If you haven’t heard of A/B testing by now being in the marketing world, that’s kind of a big problem. A/B testing is one of the biggest things for marketers in a long time, and you can really see how it works for you. Email marketing is great, and definitely worth doing, but A/B testing gives you more insight on what your consumers are looking for, what they are interested in, and ultimately—what will yield you better results? After all, isn’t that what we really care about?
What is so attractive to so many marketers right now regarding A/B testing is that instead of playing a guessing game of which email will do better or what picture to use, they can implore a method that gives them solid evidence as to which tactics work better. If you’re not executing A/B testing yet because you don’t understand exactly how, here are a few tips and tricks that we’ve come across:
· Set a goal first. What are you trying to accomplish by doing this A/B test? Do you want higher open rates, more click throughs, or more subscriptions to your mailing list? Maybe you want people to fill out forms for quotes or information. Whatever it is, make sure you set a firm goal so that you can track your progress effectively. After all, if you’re not measuring anything, what’s the point?
· Pictures are huge. As a particularly visual person, I know which types of pictures and templates are more likely to catch my attention. If I were to receive two emails, one with a black and white artistic picture of something versus a color picture, I personally would be more inclined to continue reading the one with the artsy tone because it would be refreshing and out of the ordinary. Do all people feel this way? (Maybe, maybe not, hence opening the door to A/B testing.) Wired Magazine did an epic piece about A/B campaigns and showed how dramatic the effects were in the field of politics. In the article, they depict a point during a presidential campaign where they sent out two emails: one with the color logo of the candidate, and the other with a black and white photograph of him and his family. The results were amazing, and the testing showed a huge spike in mailing list sign ups from people who received the black and white photo. Pretty cool.
· Get crafty with your subject lines. Will people be more responsive to a subject line that reads “End of Fall Special!” or “Order by 11/22 and get 15% off!”? I don’t know. Neither do you. You know what can help you find out? An A/B test. There is an overwhelming amount of psychology behind the scenes of sales and marketing, and as marketers, it is our job to tap into that psychology and do our own little spurts of research. We may not be combining chemicals in a lab, but we can still have our hypotheses, experiments, and conclusions.
· Think about your copy. When I open up an email and see an overwhelming amount of words, I get really turned off, really quickly. Someone else, however, may be a natural-born fact finder, who loves to be in the know and get all of the information at one time. Send two versions of an email out: One shorter version with less copy and more picture and video content, and one longer version with more information. See which one yields better results.
Also, don’t think you have to just pick one of these methods! Really good A/B testing involves a combination of a lot of things. Feel free to go through and send one email with a different picture and short copy, and then another email with another picture and long copy. Play around with all of the combinations of emails you can make and keep testing to find out what really works the best for you and your customer base! Happy testing!
Have a great A/B testing testimonial or want to add another tip or trick? Comment below!