Ready, Set, Test!

Colleen Preisner

Add A/B Tests To Your Deployments

As marketers, we can often find ourselves falling into the same old routine of deploying similar messages to the same audience. However, we know that this routine can lead to fatigue in your email list and can lead to declining metrics.

One way to keep your messaging campaigns fresh and engaging is to continuously conduct A/B tests. There are many different ways to incorporate A/B tests into your deployments to gain insight into message effectiveness.

Here are four quick A/B tests that can be conducted:

1. Subject Line Test

This is the quickest and simplest way to add an A/B test to your deployment. If you use the same subject line for each deployment (such as a newsletter), try testing it against a completely different subject line that gives a teaser for the content in the template. Testing a new subject line may attract new recipients to open the message who wouldn’t normally. A subject line test is also a great way to boost your open rate!

2. Copy Test

Conducting a copy test is a great way to test how to present a call-to-action in the template. Copy is a big reason for making people click, or even to drive them in-store. By testing different copy within a template, you will be able to see which copy has the most impact on your audience.

3. Layout Test

The layout of a template is very important because a good layout will lead the readers’ eyes through your email, drawing them to the main CTA. If you have an email template that is complex and has a large amount of copy, you may want to conduct a test against a more simplified template with less copy.

4. Offer Test

If your template includes an offer, you may be interested in testing different types of offers. You could even test a template without an offer.

You can split your list to conduct your test any way you like. If your list is large enough, you could do a pre-test by splitting 10% of your list between the control and test versions. Once you collect enough data to declare a winner, you can deploy to the remaining 90% of your list with the winner. Keep in mind that not all treatments are one-size-fits-all solutions. When analyzing the results of your test to determine the winner, be sure to look at the performance of your key customer segments individually in order to identify any differing trends.

Have a Plan

An A/B test plan is a great way to plan future testing and track past results. This will allow you to keep track of what worked and what did not, which should be accounted for when planning future tests. This plan is also great for setting your objective for the test upfront so you don’t lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. You should also plan how a winner will be selected before you start the testing. For example, if you are doing a subject line test, the template that receives the highest number of opens will be declared the winner.

By including A/B tests in your deployment, you will discover what is most effective for your audience. The tests may also encourage those inactives in your list to open or click on messages. A/B testing should be conducted continuously to keep your deployments fresh and relevant for your audience.

About the Author(s)

Colleen Preisner

Two decades of experience in the financial services industry. Fanatic of insight-based marketing strategy, having worked in nearly every marketing discipline. She leads Trendline’s Client Services teams across North America. Follow Colleen on LinkedIn

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