A/B Testing your Emails: Fresh Ideas and Proven Strategies

A/B Testing your Emails: Fresh Ideas and Proven Strategies

With holidays slowly approaching their finish, it’s time to draw the line and take a look at your Email campaign KPIs. You’ve probably sent out quite a few New Years emails to your subscribers, (special holiday offers included), and if you’re doing your CRO right, you’ve probably sent at least two different versions of it.

So, what’s the state of your conversion rate? Got plenty of those clickthroughs? How about your end result and your ROI? Looking almost as good as your Christmas dinner did?

However, if you’re not satisfied with your results, we are about to share the holiday spirit with you and help you optimize your next email campaign to perfection. With some of our fresh ideas and proven strategies, you will have no problem in finding inspiration for your next send out. Now, let’s break down your email and address every part of it in particular.

Your Subject Line

Speaking from a personal perspective, I know I’ve received quite a few “NEW YEARS SPECIAL OFFER” emails. I have no idea what the body of text actually said but I’m sure I’ll manage the time to sort out my SPAM folder sooner or later.

Instead of discussing unreliable psychological tricks and playing guessing games with compelling words, let’s just put it out there that there is one positively productive strategy for getting your emails open. Let me let you in on that secret, it’s quite simple yet effective:

Make your subject lines too long to read.

Excessive subject lines simply drive traffic. When people start reading your subject line most of them simply want to know what the message is about. Apprehensive subscribers will delete any email they got if they don’t know the sender personally. Don’t worry about those types of clients; we will get them on your landing page through a different path. The ones that will open your emails will decide whether to do so right there on the subject line.

For example – if you’re running a special Holiday campaign with a discount, don’t just write down:

My Company’s Holiday Discount

All chances are that I don’t care about your company that much. If I do care, don’t worry – I already know about that discount, in fact – I was waiting for it. You need to target potential clients, the ones that did subscribe on your address but still aren’t avid fans of your service/product. They need to see something exciting, something new and something (drumroll) personal. Combining that formula with the above-mentioned strategy, your subject line should end up looking something like this:

You’re about to rob My Company with this crazy Holiday Discount that we are running right now!

The “psychology” behind this subject line is obvious: you are being witty, you’ve personalized the message, and you are keeping your subject line transparent-ish. Don’t worry, you’re not being spammy, you’re just being smart.

Additional tip: Although I said I won’t get into psycho-tricks, one thing that you should always employ (when speaking about personalization) is using your subscribers Name. No matter what tool you use for your email marketing (Autopilot, Mailchimp etc.) you have the option of personalization and implementing names should be a simple task. Use it and watch your clickthrough rate increase. Don’t believe me? Split test your samples and send out one batch with personal names included and one with generic templates. Prove my point wrong, I dare you.

Your Email’s Body

After a weeklong holiday feast, very few of us can brag with their slim figures. However, you should always brag about your slim email’s body. The text within the email should be concise and your message should go straight to the point. Excessive explanations won’t get you anywhere, people will simply focus on keywords, skim through your email and, worst case scenario, opt out from your mailing list.

To prove my point, I will present two email texts and you can be the judge.

Sample A:

Hello [NAME],

This is Someone You Probably Don’t know from My Company.

During the Holiday Season we’ve decided to treat our subscribers and loyal customers with a special discount. All purchases will be rewarded with a 20% off the original price, and if you buy our product now, you will get a little promo product for free as well.

For new customers we have a special 5% first purchase discount, and if you decide to share our promotion with your friends through your social media accounts, we can even get you a “friend of the company price cut.”

To find out more, please click here and contact our sales team.

My Company is proud to say that we have over 10,000 of satisfied customers and a great relationship with our clients, so if you have any questions about our service, shipping or product – we are available 24/7. Our product is one of a kind thing that you can’t find anywhere else and you will love it.

Thank you for your time and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Someone You Probably Don’t know

Although you are providing your subscriber with some valuable information, all chances are that hw/she won’t even find out about them. Nobody has time for too long emails. An alternative to the above-presented email could be the following, more effective text that will get right to the point.

Sample B:

Hello [NAME],

This is Someone You Probably Don’t know.

If you are in a middle of that last-minute gift shopping frenzy, stop right now and be an absolute winner on your dinner party with our super cool product that’s on a crazy discount as well. (Up to 40% OFF if you’re smart!)

Click here to find out more.

Have a great one,

Someone You Probably Don’t know.

Don’t believe me, consult every marketing expert that you know and you will get the same response – short and clear messages drive clickthrough rates. Leave all of that excessive info for your landing page and focus on getting your leads further down your sales funnel. Don’t believe me? Split test this tip as well.

Additional tip:  If your product/service is easily represented with an image, please include that image in the body of your text. Keep it small in size (everything larger than 400KB is a no-no, we don’t want to keep the readers waiting more than 3 seconds on a download) and use HTML code instead of actually designing your email in Mailchimp/Autopilot/Mautic etc. Sometimes those designs come out looking off because you never know which email client your subscribers are using. Also, implement a link to your landing page in the very image as well.

Your CTA

The very last tip, which will make your email campaign even more successful, is a transparent Call to Action. Writing Click Here in a different font will get someone’s attention, but a big, red, personalized button will definitely be the very focus of your email’s body. Like this one:

Learn CRO

Feel free to click on that one, .ME cares about readers and can actually help you learn CRO in details.

Don’t be afraid to tell people how to get to your product, after all they didn’t get to your subscriber list by accident. Or did they?

Avoid being labeled as a spammer at all cost, that’s the first rule of email marketing. The second is to implement an auto-responder sequence, but that’s a whole different story.


Sarah Green

Sarah Green explores the latest web trends and covers stories related to technology, startups and digital life in general. Writing professionally since 2012, she has developed a sixth sense for trending topics in these fields.

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