The Remarkable Power of A/B Testing for Email Marketing

In A/B Testing by Altaf Shaikh

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A/B Tests, or Split Tests, can help you optimize your landing pages, email marketing campaigns and calls-to-action. But isn’t testing something only big marketing research firms do?  The answers is a definitive “no.” Businesses large and small are seeing the astonishing results of fine tuning email subject lines via A/B testing.

Ever since the dawn of email marketing, there has been the admonition to perform A/B split testing in order to accurately fine tune your campaign. This form of testing is simplicity itself: Send out half your emails with Subject Line A and the other half with Subject Line B, then check the metrics to see which one worked best. There is, of course, no end to what you can A/B test, proceeding to preheaders, Calls To Action and even the color of the background or the font of the newsletter font. A/B testing’s remarkable power has been applied to a vast range of purposes, from optimizing political websites to the constant barrage of tests conducted by Google on virtually all of its offerings. This widespread adoption should serve to prove the validity of the methodology and the necessity for all email marketers to embrace it.

Chop up Your Subscription List & Toss Different Looks at Your Customers

A/B testing is at the heart of a completely different and innovative model of online marketing where the brand can devise a huge variety of variables and just throw them all at the customer base to see what sticks. Instead of developing a new email campaign template, for example, why not chop up your subscriber list into sections and serve up a number of different looks for your newsletter to see which one performs best? The critical aspect of A/B testing is that only a single element is changed in each variant, but there is no legitimate limit to how many variants can be presented to your customers at any one time, given that the sample rate is large enough to be statistically valid. Therefore, the proper A/B testing methodology would call for a number of templates to be tested, then followed by a number of subject lines, then followed by preheaders, etc.

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