Email campaigns come in all shapes and sizes with diverse audience types and campaign goals. With so many active variables, how do you decide important variables such as which subject line will get the highest open rate or which day of the week is best for sending? Take the guess work out of the equation by actively split testing your campaigns.
Split testing allows your audience to answer the many questions you likely have about what to include in your email campaign and the savvy marketer knows that this is the only sure fire way to ensure that he or she maximizes the success of a campaign. Split testing involves sending two or more similar versions of the same email campaign to deliver a unique message to each group to determine which message is more effective.
An example of this would be taking a small but statistically significant portion of your database, and then segmenting this into two or more groups. Send the same email with the same offer to both, but change one aspect such as the subject line in order to test the results. An example would be that one group receives a subject line that says, “Product X Now Available, Lowest Prices Around” and the other reads, “Lowest Prices on Product X, Get Your FREE Trial Today!” You can then test version A against version B to see which has a higher open, click-through and conversion rates. Once you’ve selected the best performing subject line, you can repeat the process for other variables such as email content, embedded links, calls-to-action, overall design, sending patterns and other elements.
You can easily set up split testing for small segments of your email database, or set up a separate test group solely for a/b testing. Once you’ve fully tested all elements of your campaign, you can send the optimized final campaign to your entire database with peace of mind knowing it should be as successful as possible thanks to thorough testing on your part.
While the thought of dissecting your email campaigns to test various elements may seem daunting, most email service providers (ESPs) offer integrated solutions to easily split test and analyze the subsequent metrics before pulling the trigger on an email campaign. Doing so lowers the risk of an under-performing campaign and pays huge dividends in terms of overall campaign ROI.