A/B testing is more commonly known simply as split testing, it’s a way to improve your conversion rate optimization. Let me explain, if you website has one thousand visitors and ten people buy something, with successful conversion rate optimization you would still have the one thousand visitors but instead if just ten people buying you would have more, depending on how successful the CRO was.
As we’re talking email marketing it, did you know that it’s really easy to split test your email marketing simply by testing different email marketing messages. Oh, it’s called A/B Split testing because you have version A and version B that you send to your audience. Then you look at your metrics / stats to which one has worked the best and typically the difference between version A and B is only something minor. This is how you know what element caused the best or worst results.
A/B testing is also known as split testing. It is a way to improve your email marketing exponentially by testing different email marketing messages. It’s called A/B testing because you have version A and version B that you send to your audience. Then you look at the metrics to see which one worked best. Only a small thing is changed in version B compared to version A. That’s how you know what element caused the better or worse result.
Provided that your target audience have signed up to your email list all you do is send half you list message A and the other half message B. The after a given time you check your metrics to figure out which has worked better, for instance you might simply change the subject line in version B and nothing else. What could potentially happen is that version A gets ten times the number of people opening the email to read it over version B.
You now know something about subject lines and how your audience thinks. Depending on your email marketing software it is often possible to set these up to run automatically with the best performing version being then resent to those that have not opened the email in the poorly performing group. It might sound a little confusing, but it’s really not confusing if you’ve chosen the right email marketing software to use.
One word of warning, almost all conversion rate optimization (CRO) requires a reasonable amount of exposure before main decisions can be made, this means that you would need a large email subscription list or many thousands of website visitors. And although indications can be drawn from smaller groups, the larger the group the more reliable and effective the metric data is, leading to better more informed decisions.
There are other things you can split test as well, for example:
- Time of day – What time of day does your target audience tend to open email messages? Send the same message to some of your audience at one time, and some at another time. Check your metrics and see which times gets the most opens, you can continue to do this until you know what time works best for your audience.
- What day of the week – Depending on your audience you might find that people open emails more on a certain day than another. For example lots of sales people have sales meetings on a Monday morning, so if these people make up your audience sending them an email on a Monday might be the worse or best day, a Tuesday or another day. You might also find that sales material is opened more often on one day and educational type emails on another.
- From address – Do your subscribers respond more if the from field is your company name or your personal name? Some people may respond better if they know your brand and trust it, others may feel better if it’s more personal.
- Personalization – Inside your emails you might write to “Mr Smith” or you might write to “John” Which works best? Which approach gets the best response from your audience? This is another place where A/B split testing can help.
- Soft sell versus hard sell – You can also test the types of words you use within your email message to find out if your audience responds better to a hard sell type message or a soft sell type one.
By utilizing A/B split testing which forms part of conversion rate optimization (CRO) you will increase the effectiveness of all your email marketing campaigns. By undertaking split testing you will over time collect lots of data that you can then use to make informed decisions based upon your messages and your audiences’ specific preferences. If you would like to explore this further please contact me and I’ll see what we can do.