A/B Testing for Eyes and Email
If you’re experimenting with email marketing for customer acquisition, you might ask your optometrist how to improve your success.
You’ve probably stared at an eye chart with big letters at the top and microscopic ones at the bottom, and read down until the letters blurred. If you don’t have 20/20 vision, the optometrist subjects you to a series of tests, putting several lenses in front of your eyes, and asking you how far down the chart you can read with each one.
Then, he or she fine tunes your prescription by flipping from one lens to the next, asking “is it clearer with this one or that one?” The doctor gains a little more information about your eyes with each test, and discovers the best prescription to help you see more clearly.
Essentially the optometrist is performing A/B testing to determine the optimal lenses for you. And that’s what you need to do to optimize your email marketing.
Test, measure, and optimize with A/B testing. It’s called A/B testing because you’re testing one variable at a time (A or B?) to determine which achieves the best results.
What to Test
There are a lot of variables to emails that you need to test. Since you can’t conquer them all at once, you need to think through each of your goals.
- Open Rates
Nothing is going to happen with your email campaign unless the email is delivered and opened. You can ensure email delivery by going with a reputable service provider, such as Aweber, iContact or Constant Contact. Also, you’ll want to stay away from “spam” words in your subject lines
Let’s assume the email dances through the filters and arrives in your prospect’s email in box. Now she’s quickly deleting emails so she can get to the ones that really matter. She glances at who the email is “From” and scans the “Subject.”
You should test both, but start with the subject line, which will likely have the greatest impact. Simply draft a few subject lines that appear to be compelling. Take your email list and split it into two groups. Use one subject line for one group and one for the other. Once you discover which subject line gets the most opens, it becomes your control. If you have more subject lines to test, test it against that one.
Another variable that affects open rates is not what the reader sees, but when they see it. Test which day of the week works best and also time of day. It will vary depending on your target market. For some it may be early in the day, before the executive gets tied up in meetings, for others lunch time might work best while your prospects are grabbing a bite to eat at their desks. When you look at your test, of course, factor in different time zones.
- Click Throughs
The next job is to inspire your email readers to click through to your website. You’ll want to measure the percentages of those who opened the email clicked through to your website or landing page. Click throughs are affected by compelling calls to action, overall messaging, appealing graphics—colors and layouts. Over time you’ll want to complete tests in all these areas.
The number of tests you can do depends on the size of your list and how much you can slice and dice it to send email variants. But the more you test, measure, and optimize, the more likely you are to create a clear picture of the path to successful lead qualification and customer acquisition.
For more information about 3D2B, visit www.3D2B.com or call +1 718-709-0900 or +39 06 978 446 60 (EMEA).