The newsletter is not a new tool for marketers. You have heard testimonials that email marketing works, that it’s still very relevant in the changing digital landscape. However, it just doesn’t seem to work for you. Open rate and click-through rate decline, but you don’t know why and how to make it better. Does it sound familiar to you? Fret not. Good news is that you can get out of this slump. Thankfully, email marketing tools have a function that allows you to conduct A/B tests to help you find out what works best for you.
At SriLanka-Villa.com, we have been through the same challenges as you do and managed to make email marketing work for us. Here are 5 A/B testing tips that will help to boost your newsletter campaigns.
Be as detailed as possible
In general, there are 4 areas for you to test:
- Subject line
- From name
However, each can be broken down into smaller details. The more you can test, the more you know about your audience and the more data you will help. This will help you refine future campaigns. For example, for the subject line, you can test if mentioning customers’ first names make a difference. How about including a sense of urgency, a price tag or using all capital letters?
Make sure your test is meaningful
While it is tempting to test anything and everything you can, make sure you know exactly what you are testing on so you can apply that in the future. For example, would sending a newsletter at 2 pm be significantly different from sending it at 2:20 pm? What does the time chosen indicate? Of course, you can go all out and test every timing possible, but you may risk lowering your open rate even more before finding the sweet spot. To avoid this, make sure that each test has a clear purpose.
Choose the right winning determinant
When you send an A/B test, there are 2 ways to find the winner: open rate and click through rate. It is important to choose the correct determinant, especially when you only test on a fraction of the entire database and the winning version is sent automatically to the rest. It does not make sense if you measure a title’s effectiveness based on click-through rate, or measure content engagement by open rate. Of course, you can find a different method, such as the number of replies, as long as it is helpful for you.
Record and organise the tests
Due to the number of tests you will conduct, it is advisable that you start documenting the results early to avoid being overwhelmed. Having a simple spreadsheet that systematically records your assumptions, tests and results will help you keep track of the data. From this, you can easily know which tests work and which didn’t and draw insights from them.
Sometimes, results may point to an idea what is way too strange for you, and you will feel uncomfortable following it. A common mistake marketers make is that the disregard the results of the tests and keep creating newsletters the way they have always been built. If you want to have a significant result, go out of your comfort zone and create that newsletter. Try removing all photos or creating an email that has only one beautifully designed image? Of course, at the end of the day, you will still need to tie these with meaningful, well-thought assumptions.