Testing Times with Email Campaigns
June 14th 2013 | By Steve Grant
Testing email campaigns is essential. It helps to give a better understanding of the preferences and behaviour of your mailing list and can help shape successful campaigns in the future.
A/B testing is the easiest method. By providing a different email to a significant group of subscribers, you can measure reactions and see which is the most effective.
Factors to Test
Almost anything can be A/B tested. Here are some of the most popular which have a greater impact on results:
- Creative. Whilst a creative A/B test requires more work, the results can often be very dramatic. You could try testing something impactful like lifestyle imagery against specific product images, or something more subtle like font size or calls to action.
- Timing. Testing sending during the day versus sending in the evening is a popular test. The theory is there could be a greater level of engagement from your base at night when people are at home relaxing. It is best to test email timing with a 50/50 split. A/B testing for timing can also be used for testing abandoned shopping basket emails as well as other trigger emails.
- Offer. Test which offers your email base will most likely respond to. For example money off, percentage discount, a sale, free postage, etc.
- Subject line. These are the easiest things to test and can have a huge impact. Tests could include a short versus longer subject line or one that prominently displays the offer to one that hints at the message.
As with all aspects of marketing, you should consider your target audience when conducting email testing. The implications for differences in offers, creative, timing and subject lines can all have an impact according to the profile of your audience.
Analysing the Results
Determining the results of an A/B split test will depend upon what you are testing and it is best to think about how your metrics relate to your objectives before sending the emails.
Testing a subject line will only have one available metric: the open rate. Others like the creative test and offer test will have several. Don’t just look at sales and conversion rate, but consider engagement levels too like the click-through rate.
You may find the results of one test raises more questions and forms the basis for running another test. This is inevitable and email testing should be thought of as an ongoing process rather than a one-off activity.
For more information about running your email programmes and email testing, contact us today.