Campaign optimization through Email A/B-Testing

  •  02.04.2019
  •  Catrin Schneider
  •   Campaign Management

Do you already know what email A/B testing is all about? If not, now is the time to find out! We will show you how this procedure optimizes your email campaigns!

Online communication tool number 1: the email

Email continues to have a high priority as a marketing instrument. In 2019, around percent of the German population was using electronic letters for private and work purposes. This also shows that almost all age groups use email as a communication tool. A further increase in the use of email is predicted, especially as it contributes significantly to the general topic of data security. So it is still worthwhile to rely on email marketing.

The emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity. The customer specific approach is the essence. A client database with the stored email addresses provides a good basis for this. In it, personas can be created and interests can be classified in categories. The longer the customer relationship, the easier it is to limit content and delivery times. To avoid getting lost in the jungle of providers, A/B tests help to improve conversion.

What is the meaning of A/B testing in email marketing?

A/B testing is the comparison between two or more variations of a particular content. In software development and web design, this method is often used to find out which content triggers a higher call-to-action rate (CTA). Within email marketing, this procedure provides information about the opening or click through rate. This aims to increase the conversion rate and convince more recipients of the message. Tools such as promio.connect can be used to perform these A/B tests and evaluate results easily. Different components of the email are tested.

The subject line decides between top or flop

Your greatest attention should be paid to the wording of the subject line. However hard you try, the content of the mail will not be read if it does not speak to the recipient. Therefore you should always use attractive wording for the mail to be opened. You can compare the following criteria in an A/B test:

  • Length of the subject line
  • Inserting emojis or other flashy icons
  • Questions
  • Discounts or promotions
  • Personalization of the subject line

Try to choose the salutation as personally as possible and address your contact e.g. with their first name. Salutations such as " Dear Mr. Mustermann" are no longer up-to-date and in most cases appear rather impersonal.

Greater conversion through visual optimization

You did it. The subject is well chosen - the recipient has clicked. Images or other visual illustrations are always seen first by the readers. The visual design of your email campaign offers a good opportunity to carry out a test run. For instance, determine which image size or style your readers like best. It is absolutely necessary to avoid long loading times, as otherwise users will quickly drop out again. By testing the improved version you will achieve a higher conversion. Furthermore, the size of a call-to-action button can be a decisive factor for the click rate.

Content tests - convincing with the right content

Apart from the visual design, the email content is also ideal for testing. After all, also the wording has to be convincing in order to achieve a good conversion. Even if the texts of the emails are often only skimmed, they must be convincing in order to achieve an optimized conversion. When testing content, for example, you compare different text lengths or wordings.

Another important element of your mails are the "Call-to-Action-Buttons" in short CTA, which function as a request for action from your customers. Again, you can try out which colors, sizes or placements are most effective. The same applies to other links, e.g. the social media buttons.

Attract your readers at the perfect moment

To finish, there is also the possibility to test the time of your mailings. This allows you to find out at what time of day your customers prefer to open their emails and adjust accordingly. 

6 Hints That You Should Consider When Testing:

1. Do not test everything at the same time

We recommend modifying only a few email elements per testing. Of course, when changing the time but also changing the subject line, no conclusions can be drawn about the better option. An increased or decreased opening rate could now either be due to the fact that it was sent after people leave work for the day, or it could be due to an optimized address. You will have to restart the test from scratch. Therefore, please check one thing at a time.

2. Aim for a regular A/B-testing routine

The preferences of the recipients change over time and must be closely monitored.

3. Store your test results

Previous results can often provide important information for current A/B tests. You should therefore create a detailed test report and then extend it. This helps you to keep track.

4. Strive for larger test groups

To ensure that the conclusions drawn are representative, the number of recipients per test group should be as large as possible.

5. Choose the same time for dispatch

Small time differences between the dispatch of two versions can falsify the results. If a dispatch time test is not carried out, we recommend to send the two variants as parallel as possible. promio.connect offers you the simultaneous dispatch of different versions through different types of campaigns. A defined part of your target group is subjected to the test. Shortly after, the remaining target group also receives the version that was clicked more effectively.

6. Take a holistic approach

There are many more relevant statistics to consider than just the opening, click and conversion rates. Soft and hard bounces, unsubscription rates and the number of complaints are also important data that can benefit from the A/B tests.

We offer you the appropriate testing tools and are happy to advise you. At the same time we are not dependent on your email provider. Feel free to contact us. It will be worth it, promise!