How would getting more clicks and opens on your emailers affect your B2B marketing campaigns? Companies are always looking to improve their communications with prospects while generating more leads and sales. With 333.2 billion marketing emails being sent and received each day, you want to make sure yours are standing out.
With A/B testing, you send different versions of an email to determine which tweaks influence results. This process helps you tailor email communications based on what is working and what is not. But what are the best practices to help maximize your results?
Define Your Email Campaign Goal
With so many email variables to choose from, it is essential to establish your goal at the beginning of your email A/B test. What metric are you trying to improve? What variables affect this metric? Defining your goal not only saves you time, but also plays a vital role in defining your next steps.
Variables to consider
There are a variety of variables you can A/B test on your emailers depending on which metric you are looking to influence.
Looking to boost open rates, try testing
- subject lines
- days or times
- adding personalization
Interested in improving click-through rates, try testing
- emailer length or tone
- visuals or photos
- call to actions
- button size, color, wording, or location
- adding personalization
Focus on One Variable
The more variables you test at one time, the harder it is to pinpoint which one made the difference, especially when testing using a smaller list. For best results, start with just one variable at a time.
However, in some instances, it can make sense to initially test two drastically different email styles against each other to determine a good starting point for your layout.
Consider Your Sample Size
Be sure your test list is at least 1,000 contacts to render a statistically significant result. Smaller lists risk generating inconclusive results.
If your list is large enough, you may also be able to A/B test with the first half of your list and send the winning emailer to the second half. Just be sure to let enough time pass to generate a conclusive result before choosing your winner.
Send Tests on The Same Date and Time
When conducting an A/B test, you want to try and limit the number of variables so you can see exactly what is working and what isn’t. Send your A/B tests simultaneously, unless date and time are the specific variables you are testing.
Review Test Performance and Repeat
After your A/B test is complete, it is essential to go back and review your results. Did the test increase or decrease the metric you are trying to move? What variables can you test next to continue to improve performance? Even tests with negative results are helpful because they can show you what isn’t working.
While what works for one company may not always work for another, testing and reviewing your results could significantly improve your B2B email marketing metrics. For example, studies by Yes Lifecycle Marketing in 2019 showed the average email open rate was 20.81%. When testing personalized subject lines 50% higher open rates were generated!
Email A/B testing is a crucial part of B2B email marketing. Over time it will allow you to determine what works best for your audience and provide your company with the best email marketing results.
Kate Smith is a Creative Director at Schubert b2b. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Design from Kutztown University. When not in the office, she enjoys snowboarding, eating cauliflower, and staying up to the wee hours of the morning playing Destiny.