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  • Writer's pictureSsemujju Lewis E

Email A/B Testing Ideas to Accelerate and Boost Conversions

A/B testing is essential for finding success with email marketing and increasing the number of sales. Split testing efforts should be put into emails and a page to find the most relevant traffic to your email. Creating a landing page where your email traffic can be directed or diverted is essential to convert to higher conversions and maximize your return on investment.

The must-have aspects for a good landing page include; a strong headline, a sub-headline that supports a headline, a supporting image or video explaining the use of the landing page, social proof and a CTA to convert subscribers into buyers.

What is A/B email testing?

Also known as split testing, A/B testing is one of the best tools for understanding how your audience responds to your email. The results of each divided test will help you shape your future email messages to have a better impact.

The idea behind A/B testing is that you want to isolate one specific difference between two otherwise identical emails. Then, you split your contact list into two groups, sending one group one email and the other email. Once all the emails have been dispatched, you measure which email did better, group A or group B.

As a digital marketing practitioner doing either B2B marketing or B2C marketing, your options for conducting A/B tests include:

  • Website A/B testing (copy, images, color designs, calls to action) splits traffic between A and B versions. You monitor visitor actions to identify which version yields the highest number of 1) conversions or 2) visitors who performed the desired action.

  • Email marketing A/B testing (subject line, images, calls to action) splits recipients into two segments to determine which version generates a higher open rate.

  • Content selected by editors or an algorithm based on user behavior to see which results in more engagement.

Regardless of the focus, A/B testing helps you determine how to provide the best customer experience (CX).

30 Email A/B Testing Ideas to Accelerate and Boost Conversions

  1. Subject line word length (many words vs. few)

  2. Emojis in the subject line vs. no emoji in the subject line

  3. Subject line tone (serious vs. humorous, or intriguing vs. straightforward)

  4. Personalized subject line (i.e., recipient’s name in the subject line) vs. generic

  5. A subject line that explicitly states call-to-action (i.e., “Your promo code is inside” or “your 20% off awaits”) vs. not explicitly (i.e., “The best things in life are free” with a promo for free shipping in the email body).

  6. Statement vs. question in the subject line *In case you hadn’t noticed, the email subject line is one of the most critical pieces of your email to get right. It’s the first (and possibly only) part of your communication that your audience will see. If you want them to open and read your email, you better know what your audience likes.

  7. Plain text email vs. HTML (yes, sometimes direct text email is more effective)

  8. Image-heavy vs. text-heavy email content. More isn’t always better; test to determine if your audience responds to lots of text or images.

  9. Long vs. short emails

  10. Salutation (i.e., greeting in the body of the email): length, personalization, tone

  11. Color scheme (test different variations and use your brand colors with the font, background, and other design elements)

  12. Video is a hot ticket right now. Like up to 300 percent more click-throughs, for example. Use testing to see how it can work for your audience.

  13. Logo placement

  14. Logo size

  15. Positive vs. negative pitch, aka pitch toward a positive benefit vs. pitch to avoid a pain point

  16. Call-to-action (CTA) copy: generic action word (like “download,” “click,” “buy,” etc.) vs. creative action word (like “get,” “learn,” “discover,” etc.)

  17. CTA button color

  18. CTA button shape

  19. CTA button size

  20. CTA button location (top, bottom, left, right)

  21. Personalized CTA (i.e., the first name directly within the call-to-action)

  22. You can experiment with various design elements locations, such as images, copy, social proof, logos, buttons, and links.

  23. For transactional email, a test which CTA’s complement the transaction: Free resource v. upsell, etc. For example, a thank you email could include a coupon for the next purchase.

  24. Time of day sent: Segment your list to find optimum open times for your audience. Don’t forget to account for the time zone.

  25. Day of the week you sent. Some days are statistically better than others (also valid for times of day, as in the above A/B test idea) for email engagement. But you should test to see what works for your audience in specific.

  26. Messaging by region: Segment your audience by region to identify if particular messages resound with one group over another.

  27. Curated vs. original content: This is a great way to refine your newsletter, where you often have several links to articles bundled into one email. If you mix in curated content, does your engagement go up?

  28. Personalization: If you are using CRM, your gut can be to personalize every aspect of each email. Find out what your audience likes: generic salutation (“hi!”) with the first name sprinkled into the body text vs. personalized salutation. There are a lot of iterations possible here.

  29. Experiment with the closing line: Do you end with “thank you” or “thanks a million?” Do you skip the closing altogether?

  30. Add a postscript (PS) vs. no postscript (especially if it's "PS, here's a {CTA}." Track the click-through on the postscript to see how powerful it is)

A/B email testing is all about learning about your audience and how they want to interact with your email. By comparing just one difference between two groups, you can know how your audience appreciates that aspect of your message.

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