Email. ABT (Always Be Testing)

In our experience, the Return of Investment (ROI) from email remains near the top of media options. A relatively small increase in conversions and sales can have significant impact on your bottom line. A test that increases your ROI 10%, 20% or more is reason to always be testing in email. An email campaign should not be deployed without a minimal investment to gain some new learning that can improve your results.

Testing different parts of email marketing is essential. With almost infinite variables in any email campaign, it can be tough to know where to begin.It’s important to remember that testing is about finding what works for your own audience. Just because one particular strategy is billed as “Best Practice,” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be effective in your individual campaign. Even though boosting open rates and click-throughs is good, the end goal should always be conversions and sales.

Our TWO Sense: AB testing


There are two basic testing methods: A/B Split Testing and Multivariate Testing. In A/B Split Testing, you’re sending two different versions of the same email with one variable changed, while in Multivariate Testing you might have many different versions of an email, with many combinations of things changed.

Here are some areas to consider for email testing:

  1. Subject Line: Working with subject lines can change the entire perception of your email, not just the open rate.  Test personalizing the subject line with the name of the recipient.  Place the offer expiration date or total savings included in the email in the subject line.  Test an icon such as a heart or arrow.
  1.  Call to Action (CTA) Commitment Level: Not everyone who opens your email is going to be responsive to an aggressive “Buy Now!” call to action. Try working with more casual CTAs like “Learn More.” Track and measure response and you may find certain segments of the email audience will respond more favorably to different CTAs.
  1. Design vs. Plain Text: Some messages are best delivered from a person, not necessarily a brand. Plain text can be your route to make that connection than a branded template. If it looks like someone took the time to write an individual email, you’re also more likely to get great qualitative feedback from the recipient.
  1. Frequency:  How often should you send an email? 2x per month? 2x per week? 2x per day?  Test to find the ideal frequency.  You may be surprised how often you can contact the email database and have a positive ROI without damaging the brand.  Best customers will want to hear from you often.  Less frequent buyers perhaps less often.  You can also query your email database to let them decide how often they want hear from you.
  1. Day of the Week and Time of Day:  There are many theories and “best practices”.  But, you really need to test which days are best for you.  Saturdays are great for some retail merchants, but terrible for B2B.  10:00 AM works best for some, and evenings are better for others.

Remember the No. 1 thing is to ABT—Always Be Testing.  Let us know if we can help.