What Elements Should You Be Testing in Your Email Campaigns?

email testing

Using our inbox placement from 250ok, we did a test a couple months ago where we reworded our newsletter subject lines. The result was incredible – our inbox placement increased over 20% across the seed list that we created. The fact is that email testing is well worth the investment – as are the tools to help you get there.

Imagine you are the lab in charge and you plan to test a lot of chemicals to come out with the right formula. Looks like a daunting task, doesn’t it? Same is the story with email marketers! Fighting for your subscribers’ attention in their inbox means you need ot find the best way to engage them. It is imperative to test different aspects of your email marketing to optimize and develop your email channel.

Types of Testing

  • A/B Testing – compares 2 versions of a single variable to identify the version that yields the most opens, clicks, and/or conversions. Also known as split testing.
  • Multivariate Testing – compares more than 2 versions of an email with multiple differences within the context of the email to identify combinations of variables that yield the most opens, clicks, and/or conversions. Also known as MV or 1024 Variation testing.

This infographic from the great team at Email Monks helps layout the differences and strengths of A/B testing versus Multivariate Testing as it relates to email campaigns. Included are the steps involved to manage your email campaign testing, samples of how you might set up your A/B and multivariate tests, the steps involved to come to a conclusion, as well as the 9 elements to test:

  1. Call to Action – size, color, placement and tone.
  2. Personalization – getting personalization right is important!
  3. Subject Line – test your subject lines for inbox placement, open and conversion rates.
  4. From Line – test various combinations of brand, publication, and name.
  5. Design – make sure it’s responsive and scalable across all email clients.
  6. Time and Day – You’d be surprised at when folks are opening your emails! Sending them to anticipate their workflow can increase engagement.
  7. Type of Offers – Test variations of your offers to see which ones convert the best.
  8. Email Copy – Active versus passive voice and succinct, persuasive writing will make a huge difference in your subscribers’ behavior.
  9. HTML versus Plain Text – While HTML emails are all the rage, there are still folks who read plain text. Give them a shot and check the response.

Some additional resources on Email Testing

Email Campaign Elements to A/B and Multivariate Test