A/B Testing: Your Email Campaigns to Optimize ROI

Every e-commerce business owner knows, or at least should know, the importance of email marketing to attract and retain their customer base. What a lot of people don’t know, when they start up their brand new company, is how to go about it, without spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a strategy that simply does not work. In order to avoid unnecessary spending on marketing campaigns, your email strategy should first be tested for a number of factors, including the best time to send out your emails, which subject line works best for your product or service and how to personalize or de-personalize your content.

A/B testing is one of the best and most popular ways to determine how and when your emails will get the best response and which customers or potential customers will be most receptive to your campaign. Here is how it works. A/B testing can be performed for a variety of parameters, including subject line, content, call to action messages, offers included in the email, creatives (images) and personalization. To start off, divide a group of randomly selected customers into two test groups: group A and group B. Then devise a different email for both groups, focusing on the same specific element for each one. For instance, one email could contain a subject line with a call to action, whereas the second email starts off with a plain subject line. Or you could use hyper-personalized content (e.g. taking into account the customer’s first name and relevant geo-localisation) for email A and a business-like tone for the email sent out to group B. Timing and frequency of then you send out the email is also critical.

So … make sure you send out your test emails on specific days of the week and at certain times, track the results in terms of open and click-through rates so you can determine the correct timing to generate a more positive response. And so on and so forth½you get the drift. For each individual group, you then count the amount of users that respond to your email or even just how many people have opened (and, we assume, read) your email. This will give you an immediate and clear picture of how your customers respond to certain triggers and how to go about including the most valuable triggers into your upcoming email campaign.

Alternatively, A/B testing can also be effectively used to test out landing or home pages. By including a direct link to your new website and some relevant information or offers in your email, you can find out which ideas generate the most traffic, the lowest bounce rate and, as a result, the highest profit. For both email and landing page testing, you also need to ensure that you generate a high enough response and your initial testing groups should be large enough to accommodate such a number.

In short, A/B testing is a quick and affordable way to determine what your clients like and to provide them with exactly that in your next ‘real’ email campaign. By creating the perfect email, you will not only save money on your marketing budget, but also gain a lot of profit in the long run.