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Five Reasons to A/B Test Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Posted on June 26th 2014
When you want to reach out to your lead and customer base with email marketing campaigns, A/B testing is an effective way to determine which email is most effective in promoting engagement and interest. It's amazing how many people will A/B test their landing pages or other aspects of their marketing campaigns and yet not apply the same principles to email marketing. After all, if your subject headline doesn't get the person opening the email, then nothing else matters — nothing.
When you take two versions of the same email, send one to half your email list (A, the control group), and send the other half to the other list (B, the variant group), then use marketing automation technology to gather data on how many people open each email, click through to the landing page, or purchase your product as a result of receiving the email. Compare numbers, and you will see which email is more effective in generating engagement with content and profit for your business.
Among the several reasons to A/B test your email marketing campaigns, the following are the top five.
A/B Testing is Easy
Marketing automation email tools like MailChimp, Saleforce's Pardot or Marketo make A/B testing easy as you can assign different contacts to each list and test various aspects of your email marketing campaign such as subject line, email body, call-to-action, sender name, and time to see how it impacts your email opens, clicks, and conversions.
Aside from sending out emails and automatically tracking how contacts engage with your email with the right marketing automation technology you'll be able to tracks what happens when visitors land on a specified landing page or social media accounts they may reach through either of the emails you send.
Once you compare data for content engagement from each email, you can quickly see which email will maintain lead and customer interest and boost sales, and why.
A/B Testing Saves Money
Manually tracking how many people open the email for the A list or open the email for the B list as well as how they interact with content in the email or which email results in the most purchases would require a lot of extra staff time and money out of your pocket, or even a completely new social media team. Marketing automation technology provides you with this data automatically. You can then use your saved money to support other aspects of your business and make sure your employees are using their time in the most useful and efficient ways possible.
A/B Testing Turns Leads into Customers
If you set up your campaign properly you'll be able to improve things like your open rate and click rates. Your open and click rates, among other things, can help with gathering customer insight and figuring out exactly what features your leads are responding to.
For example, let's say you're selling blenders and you have three common selling points that you use in your marketing materials. Your blenders will save your customers money because of their versatility to do the task of several home gadgets such as a coffee grinder and vegetable chopper, they take up less space because they have a smaller base, and they are quieter so that you won’t bother your family or wake up your spouse. As you email your list, you can rotate which of the benefits you extol and observe the response. You might think that your customers care more about saving money, but after comparing open rates and clicks, you may find that customers actually care more about the fact that your blenders are quiet.
When you have insight on what kind of content leads to an email being opened more often and the lead clicking through to your landing page, you can continue to provide that kind of content for other email campaigns helping you to increase conversions from your email marketing campaign.
A/B Testing Helps You Keep Up With Competitors
When you know what works in your email campaigns to pique the interest of leads and keep your customers engaged, you have a competitive edge over other companies selling a product similar to yours, because people will buy your product more often than the competitor’s product. Since A/B Testing is so easy, you can conduct as many email campaigns and A/B testing rounds as you need to discover the key qualities of a successful email campaign, and you will gain a reputation as a popular and successful business.
A/B Testing Helps You Plan Other Online Marketing Campaigns
When you see what works and what doesn’t work in your email campaigns, you can take that insight and apply it to your website and social media platforms to promote even more engagement in those areas. For example, you may see that leads and customers respond with more engagement when you send the email at a certain time of day. You can then apply the same strategy on your Facebook or Twitter by making posts at optimal times. Leads and customers may also click through to your landing page more often when you use images in the email, so it follows that they would also engage with social media content more when you incorporate more images there. Leads and customers may also respond different ways depending on the tone you use in the body of each email, whether it is a personal tone or a more formal tone. Take note of which tone causes more leads and customers to click through to your landing page, and you can adopt that tone more often in other areas where you have an online presence. You can learn a lot by simply tracking lead and customer activity when they interact with different kinds of emails you send them.