It’s A against B in this ultimate email marketing campaign split testing. Which one will win and how will they be decided? Stay tuned to know more.

But first, for those who are as yet unaware of the existence of split testing, it is a great method for optimizing your email marketing campaigns in order to experience the success you so crave. Among a previously chosen small group of subscribers, 2 different versions of your email are sent and based on which one does better, that version gets chosen as the winner.

Split Testing Steps

In order to fine-tune your A/B testing and improve your ROI from the email marketing campaign, there are certain steps that need to be implemented.

Step 1: Choosing Testing Criteria

An email campaign has countless variables that can make a big impact on your results. Some of that criterion that can be tested are:

  • Subject Lines
  • From Lines
  • Calls To Action
  • Headlines
  • Message Layouts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Fonts
  • Personalization
  • Time Tests
  • Offers and Incentives
  • Design

Step 2: Choosing Metrics

How do you measure success? There are 3 important metrics to keep in mind:

  • Open Rate – Was it email variation A or B that got opened by most people?
  • Reply Rate – Was it email variation A or B that got the most replies?
  • Click Rate – Was it email variation A or B that was more effective at getting people to click through to the linked content?

At times, it will be obvious which key metric to follow. E.g.: When testing the best time to send, how would success be measured by you? Would it be through the email that has received the most number of opens, replies or overall clicks?

Step 3: Choosing the Research Question

In order to stay focused on the A/B split test outcome, some research questions you can include are:

  • The highest conversion rates are produced by which call to action?
  • Does video inclusion provide a higher click-through rate?
  • A higher open rate can be generated on a Monday or a Tuesday?
  • The highest click-through rate is a result of which headline?

Step 4: Choosing One Variable at a Time

It is vital that only one variable is tested at a time so the results can be more accurate.

Step 5: Choose Segments Randomly

Even though the ideal circumstance is 2 test groups that have similar demographics, you can still achieve valid results by randomly dividing your list.

Step 6: Choosing a Large Sample Size

If your email list is very large, you will only be able to use 10% for testing but on the other hand, if it is small, you would need to use the entire list to get A/B testing results that are statistically valid.

Step 7: Choose Appropriate Testing Tools

Useful A/B split testing tools are now made available by many Email Service Providers (ESRs). These tools randomly select samples from each side, track your results while generating reports that include a side by side result comparison. Once the winning version is selected, it then proceeds to send it across to the rest of the recipients.

Deciding a Winner

Once you have selected one of the 3 metrics mentioned in Step 2 as the performance metric for your split test, you will not be able to change it again once deployed but it is still possible to monitor the activity of all the 3 metrics.

Split Testing Mistakes

In comparison to the past, email A/B testing has become much easier ever since email service providers (ESPs) have rolled out that functionality. But it is also quite easy to mess it up as well and end up with the wrong conclusion that could undermine all your efforts.

  • Without focusing just on your broadcast and segmented emails, test your automated and transactional emails as well
  • Your email A/B testing efforts need to be focused on campaign elements that have a high possibility to increase email performance.
  • Get a better understanding of your target audience, whether they are a local maximum or a global maximum
  • Conduct your A/B tests one element at a time.
  • Test your metrics as far down the sales funnel as possible so as to ensure the email aligns with your campaign goal
  • Test audience segments that include your active subscribers
  • Your testing groups need to be large enough so that your results will be significant statistically
  • Set a test plan in place, in order to test regularly and record those results
  • Confirm the test results
  • Share the email A/B test results with your company’s other channel owners

Keep in mind the above recommendations and ensure that you get the most out of your A/B testing.

Importance of Testing

It is incredibly vital that your email marketing campaigns are optimized through A/B testing as it allows you to get a deeper understanding of the way your customers think and behave. So as to better organize and schedule your future email marketing campaigns, you need to know your customers.


Every email marketer wants to experience a successful email marketing campaign success but end up falling short in one way or the other. To solve this problem and to help you achieve success, Valasys Media brings to you the V-Mail portal.

Using our V-Mail portal, you will be able to create unforgettable email campaigns and build email newsletters that are beautiful and effective and also drive real business results. Your emails will then be able to command attention with the use of our easy-to-use design, personalization, and automation tools.


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