A/B testing - or split testing - email marketing is one of the few practices marketers employ to improve the performance of their email campaigns. In this blog, Maret, Hubspot Consultant at Huble Digital, walks through how to split test your emails to improve the response rates of your email marketing strategy.

Maret Reutelingsperger - Should you split test or AB test your marketing and sales emails_

 

A/B testing (also referred to as split testing) your emails is the process of splitting your external communications into two different categories. This approach allows you to compare and contrast different elements in your email (e.g. images, text, subject line) to see which drives the best results from your audience. 

E.g. Are your subscribers more likely to open the email if there’s an emoji in the subject line? Does having an image in the header impact click-through-rates? 

Understanding these factors and applying your learnings to all future comms will ultimately result in you creating better-performing campaigns that will generate more leads and sales for your business.

Elements such as content color and imagery are just a few of the things you should be testing on your audience. However, if you plan on A/B testing your emails, it’s important to remember that you can only test one element at a time. After all, if you split test your subject line, header image, colours and location of the CTA, and discover one of the emails works better, how will you know which element drove those better results?

How to conduct a split test on Hubspot?

Hubspot makes it super easy to split test your regular emails (emails that are sent as a one-off). However, before you approach this, you must first determine the goal of your email:

  • Do you want to increase engagement? 

  • Do you want more replies from people reading the email?

  • Do you want to increase clicks onto the website?

  • Do you want to drive more sales?

Understanding this will help you decide what elements to experiment with - which we’ll dive into more below. 

To set up your AB testing ...

There is an original A version of the email as well as the test B variation version.

AB Testing

Examples of what elements you can test:

Subject line

When you split test email campaigns, the subject line is always a good place to start. You can experiment with capital letters, emojis, questions, shorter or longer sentences. This helps to establish how your email open rate is affected.

Imagery

Imagery is a really subconscious area and the images that you choose definitely have an impact on your readers’ responses. Testing different types of images is always a good way to see what content your readers are attracted to and engage with the most. Try testing differences such as image size, people vs non-people, bold or pale colour palettes and humour. 

Content

Your brand messaging and the information that you share all make an impression on your audience. Without wandering too far from your company voice, you can experiment with altering your choice of language, colloquialisms and tone of voice to see if it increases your click through rates.

Call-to-action

Once a subscriber has opened your email, it’s essential to have an effective call-to-action (CTA) so they take the intended next step. Often, people limit CTA usage to simply changing the button or text colour, but there’s actually a lot more that you can test to improve your click through rates.

1- Location: The location of a CTA can make a big difference on click-through rates. If people don't scroll down to the end of your email, they might miss it. So, why not try it out in different places to see what kind of change that makes. 

2- Images: Experiment using image CTA’s instead of just a button with text. Images are likely to attract more people and may encourage them to click through. 

3- Wording: Experiment changing up the text on your CTAs. “BUY NOW” may work for some communication, but for prospects who aren’t at that stage of the buyer’s journey, you may have more luck with “BROWSE MORE”. Your audience can tell you what works best for them, and the stats will show this after you send the email.

Conclusion

Now that you know the right way to split test email campaigns, it can be an effective strategy to help you win more opens, clicks, leads, and ultimately sales. 

Split testing is not only limited to regular emails in HubSpot and can be applied to automated emails, although the process is a bit more complicated. If you would like our team of marketing specialists to help you plan and achieve an effective email strategy, reach out to us and we will be happy to help you.

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