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The Power of A/B Split Testing


With the best will in the world, there is no way we can second guess what our newsletter subscribers want to hear about, know about or what they will react to.  And so we need to test.

You may have heard the expression “A/B Split Test”, or just plain ol’ “split test” bandied around, and for the uninitiated this is simply where you test a version A against a version B.  You run them at the same time, and keep all other elements the same, apart from the one bit that you are testing.

So…for some ideas for things you could be split testing:

  • Your headline
  • Your subject line
  • Special offers
  • Use of the recipient’s name in the subject line, or not
  • Do your recipients click a particular linked image vs a linked text
  • Delivery days or times
  • Use of your personal name or company name as a “from” email
  • Use of your company name in the subject heading
  • Your sales copy (hard sell vs soft sell, long copy vs short copy etc)
  • Use of a PS vs not using a PS in your sales copy
  • A new design of your email template
  • Your call to action (eg “Book Now” vs “Reserve Your Place Now”)
  • HTML vs Plain text

Why should you split test?  Well, if you’re serious about any sort of email marketing then you need to know what works and what doesn’t.  By split testing on a small sample, whatever works best will the version that you roll out to the rest of your list. This can help you get a better steer of what results you are likely to get from your marketing which will help you plan for all your future marketing activities.

NB what works in email may not necessarily translate across to your offline ads or direct marketing activities, so you’d need to test again there.

As an example, every time this newsletter goes out, I split test the subject line.  The winning line (has the most opens, the most engagement and the most click throughs) is the one that I use when my newsletter article appears on my blog, and that’s what I use to promote out across a much wider social media audience.

All the good autoresponders will allow you to split test, although it is generally a paid for service.

And A/B split testing is the secret of marketers the world over: split test on a small sample first then roll the winner out to the rest of the list.  Result!

For personal advice on how you can use split testing effectively on your email marketing list, schedule a 30 minute Email Marketing Strategy Session with me today by clicking here.

Dedicated to your success,

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