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Email AB Testing Best Practices & Ideas- Not to MISS OUT!_Large Size_C

Email A/B Testing Best Practices & Ideas- Not to MISS OUT!

You cherished email marketing campaigns that drove great engagement with your subscribers and even conversion. But, do you find the tables turned toda...

You cherished email marketing campaigns that drove great engagement with your subscribers and even conversion. But, do you find the tables turned today? The same email campaign might not be even earning a single conversion for your business. So, what is the reason behind it?

Maybe, your subscribers have started losing interest from your lame subject lines or the email template design style you have been practicing since ages, acquires no place in the recent trends of email marketing.

Well, to this, you can have Email A/B testing as a magic wand at your disposal. Let your subscribers decide what they’d like to prefer over 2-3 variations of email campaigns designed by you. This is the stage wherein your team should shoot more questions based upon what you already know and what you don’t know about success of your email campaigns.

Ask questions like:

 What type of visual effects drove more subscriber email engagement?
 Which type of CTA buttons drove more click-through-rates?
 Did the colors used in images influence the engagement and conversions?

In this article,

How A/B Testing in Email Marketing Works
Types of Email A/B Testing
Decide What You Want to Test
16 A/B Testing in Email Campaign Ideas
Benefits of Email A/B Testing
7 Best Practices for Email A/B Testing

How A/B Testing in Email Marketing works

1. Design A/B Testing Campaign

Choose one of the variable types- Subject line, Email body, From name, and Delivery time. Create 2-3 variations and send them to all the different set of subscribers. The variation that is majorly appreciated by subscribers is chosen as winner.

2. Decide Winning Email Criteria

Send out the variations to your recipients and decide on what basis the winner will be chosen from the remaining variations. For this, criteria like Open rate, Click rate, or Total revenue can be taken into considerations.
Email AB Testing- Working

Types of Email A/B testing

Depending upon the requirements of your email campaign, A/B split test along those lines can be carried out. Here, are four major components of email marketing that are testable:

AB testing email marketing- Types

1) Subject Line:

“Hey” was the subject line that helped Obama to raise 690 million dollars. There were no anticipation made by Obama’s team that it would certainly work out. It was a sheer trial and error method. Obama’s team could significantly increase results from their fundraising efforts by testing different types of subject lines for their email marketing campaigns.

In April 2015, in order to figure out whether clickbait email subject lines produce higher rates, Return Path scrutinized over 9 million email messages sent to over 2 million customers. And, that’s how they figured out that clickbait subject lines aren’t effective.

You vs. No You

Adding “you” to your subject lines can make your subject lines personal. Many email marketers, have witnessed improvements in their open rates and click through by use of personal pronouns.

with you- Email AB Testing

Personalization vs. No Personalization

Whether you want to include recipient’s name and location in order to enhance relevancy. A study by Marketing Land examined that personalized emails can generate 6x higher conversion rates. Though, only 30% of brands have leveraged personalization for their emails.

Short Subject Lines vs. Long Subject Lines

You need to test your email subject line in order to figure out which length will be appropriate for your niche industry, list and campaign. Here’s two subject line tests as an example:

Short Subject Lines- Email AB Testing

2) Email Body

Without Email Body, your email is nothing. Decide whether you want a serious email body or a cheesy one? Long body or a short one? Different type of styles are popular with different types of email audiences.

3) From Name

Sender name is the first thing that people notice, even before subject line. And, that’s the reason why many email clients display sender prior to subject line in left-to-right reading pattern.

Form Name- Email AB Testing

4) Delivery Time

Today, one of the prime concerns amongst email marketers in Timing. Everyone wants to know, which one will be the perfect and productive time for sending out the emails to customers. Delivery time has great impact on whether someone sees your emails, let along clicks through, let alone converts. Test and you’ll be able to nail perfect delivery time eventually.

Delivery Time- split testing email marketing

Decide what you want to test

Subject line

eConsultancy’s 2012 Email Marketing Industry Census report suggested, 66% of email marketers test their subject lines for their email campaigns regularly. Moreover, using an emoji for your subject line can increase open rates depending upon your target audience.

Emoji- Email AB Testing

Call to Action

Your CTA is what invokes your customer for a click-through. There are many questions you might come across while designing your email campaign. Where in your emails should be the CTA placed? How many CTAs must be used in one particular email campaign? Test out different options to figure out which one suits best for your email recipients.

CTA- Email AB Testing


Leverage the power of images for your emails, only when it is necessary. Get started with no images/ static images to see if it can render the effect you desire.
Thereafter, embark on testing various types of images and figure out what hits the right chord.

 Test Whole list or just a portion?

Majority of times, you would be wanting to test your whole list. To get a better picture of how your email list will respond to your new email marketing campaign, the best methodology is to test all of them. However, there might be some instances wherein you don’t want to test the entire list:
• If you are having a large email list and the ESP you are using for Email A/B testing is charging by number of email addresses. In that case, test the largest sample you can afford and make sure to select the names randomly for accurate results.
• In case you are running a limited time offer and want to get as many conversions as possible, you might want to test it on a small bunch of people first. And, then send the winner email to the entire list.

16 A/B Testing in Email Campaign Ideas

The complete anatomy of emails, from subject line to closing note can be tested. Below are 16 ideas for your A/B split testing in email marketing:

• Product image variations
• Send time of day
• Responsive design vs. Non-responsive designs
• Animated gifs
• Video in email
• Customer vs. Non-customer segmentation
• Using testimonials
• Add assortment of social proofs
• Splitting CTA to multiple linking CTAs
• Segmentation based on engagement
• Social buttons designs
• Text heavy vs. Image heavy
• Including survey to email campaign
• Usage on in-email banners
• Product landing page vs. Category landing page
• Never buyer vs. Heavy opener

Why Marketers Fall in Love with Email A/B Testing

Here, are some of the key benefits of Email A/B testing we’ve brought to let you know how effective it can be for your next email campaign.

Benefits- Email Testing Email Campaign

7 Email A/B Testing Best Practices – You cannot Miss!

If you’re initiating implementation of Email A/B testing for your email marketing campaigns, here are some guidelines that can make your testing experience effective:

1. Conduct one Email A/B test at a time.
2. Test deep down the funnel as possible.
3. Test one attribute at a time.
4. Balance Test Period Length and Test Audience.
5. Test simultaneously to reduce the chances of your results getting skewed by time-based factors.
6. Listen to accurate data you have collected, not your intuition or gut instinct.
7. Test as large a sample as possible for accurate results.

Your Turn!

For your effective email campaigns and getting good returns on your invested marketing dollars, A/B split testing in email marketing is a skill to master for your next email campaigns. Here’s what you should do next:

1. Seize your next email marketing campaign and set up A/B split test for it. Use the above mentioned tips and check out the results.

2. Make sure to accurately track your email marketing conversions.

We’d love to hear about your email A/B testing journey. What types of split testing have you been to so far? What were the types of results you had? We’ love to hear from you!

Happy Testing!

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Kevin George

Kevin is the Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing full-service email marketing companies. He is an email enthusiast at heart and loves to pen down email marketing content. You can reach him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.



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