Have you ever received an email campaign and you thought “Wow, this is really great!” ?
Maybe it had a nice design, maybe a strong story, maybe it was very personal.
Let me ask you another question, before I hop on to giving over a 150 email split test examples.
Did you buy from that lovely mail?
As marketers, we know that a single on the mark email can outperform your average newsletter by a mile.
But it isn’t a beauty contest to see who can make the best-looking email or even the smartest email.
The challenge is to get the most engaging result rich email possible.
You might be thinking, simply said, but Jordie which email will do better than others?
Should I do this version or that version?
The ultimate answer is simple: You come up with one great idea.
and then (this is the trick) a second great idea. The second idea can be a different idea or a variation of idea 1.
Then you let those (and possibly version 3,4,5 and 6), battle it out for the win by running an email split test.
Can you lift all your email campaign results to that top level? That all depends on the quality of your ideas.
Know what works with A/B email split testing
Knowing what works is key to insightful marketing campaigns. With A/B split testing you have a great result booster at your disposal.
A/B testing will help you pinpoint which version of your email campaigns is the most effective.
But marketers often get stuck or run out of fresh ideas for email split testing, making it repetitive. So I often get asked for examples of good email split tests. Econsultancy research suggests that there are only a few email split tests that are often done by marketers… which is a shame seeing there is so much more to explore. A good reason to try the fresh email split testing ideas below!
150+ A/B email split test ideas
From the subject line all the way through the spectrum of design, copy, offers. Of course the whole anatomy of the email can be tested. Even the core message and your segmentation.
Below is a list with 150+ ideas for A/B email split tests to try. Some I used before with clients and come from own experience, use it for inspiration.
Product image variations
Soft sell (benefits) versus hard sell (buy now)
(Life)style based versus Product based
Headline copy and length
Tell the CEO that he cannot write a lame intro this time
Pricing and discount variations (10% off versus 10 dollars off)
Different mobile responsive designs
Product image sizes
One column vs two vs three column
A negative pitch (loss aversion)
The order of your links and CTA’s
Adjusting the colour scheme
Using (price) ribbons
Optimize for Mobile readers
Add odd-shaped arrows and writing to highlight important parts
Incentives to stimulate engagement
Do a radical redesign
Send time of day
Use price brackets
Use sorting cues as categories
Reword your body copy
Upsell based on previous products purchased
Change product description copy
Offer a trial or test membership / purchase
Balance of content in email versus landing page
Feature one product versus multiple products
Animation – animated gifs
Isolate one feature or benefit
Video in email
A flash sale; how long should your redeem time be
Benefit versus product feature driven
Adding a Teaser email
Personal tone versus business tone
Sending a reminder
Button to go to your survey vs already asking a first (multiple choice) survey question inside the email.
Swap the order and position of your content categories
Adding / removing editorial content
Sending a triggered welcome email series
The number of text links: a lot of links versus not so many links
Top lists, or even list of lists
Most popular items
Using trust icons
Removing links from your header navigation bar
Using line of sight to direct the eye
Different background colours
Use humour or whit (Danger! Can backfire!)
Newest / new in stock items
Segment customer versus non-customer
Test different navigation structures and designs
Changing colours to highlight an important element
Show spokespersons or ambassadors
Use an interesting looking graph or flow diagram
Casual case versus Camel Case in your subject line
Make it look less like an offer / advertisement
Clear versus teasing subject line
Link to archives or related content
Long copy versus short copy
Use of bullet points
Adding a footer navigation
Testing the from name
Use steps or a progress indicator in a series
Add a variety of social proof
Showing personal data (name, customer number)
Loyalty points and customer levels
Tie in to special days / events
Being less lazy in your Call to Actions than “click here, read more”
Repackage products into combinations and packages
Repetition of the CTA and button
Reuse last year’s successful campaign
Change the writing perspective of the copy: He, Me, She, We
Intellect Versus Emotion
Write down your assumptions, then assume nobody knows
Present a search box in the email
A Call / Chat / contact now option
Don’t sell to the ones that can’t buy
Follow up on any downloaded content
Change you Landing page design
Present decision-required information (eg for an event, show date and time)
Focus on the Greedy nature of the subscriber
Change your incentives
Rename (even if only in the email) your product / content
Using a different designer
Adding / removing index links
Changing image Alt-texts
Use the from name to show the type of email message
Shopping cart abandonment emails
Hook on to a popular trending topic
Send more of previously successful campaigns
Adding scroll indicators or scroll promoting design
Ask to fill a wishlist
Promote updating preferences
Placement of Social Media buttons
Highly personalised offers and content
Call to action (CTA) button colour en design
Add a see / search all catalogue link
Customer versus non customer segmentation
Segmentation based on engagement
Introduce your team to the reader
Make an unexpected offer
Day to send
Individualized Send Time vs. Universal Email Send Time
Abandoned cart offer and timing
Add a sense of urgency: “last chance, last dance”
Equal or increased size for lead articles
Reminder versus service update
Behavioural data interests segmentation
Social buttons design
Think before you send
Adjust your triggered emails by Season
Personalizing images based on customer profile
Splitting your CTA up into multiple, deeper linking CTAs
Adding a PS
The number of products in your mail
Mail based on RFM scores
Document the impact of the test on the funnel
Coupon code versus a direct link mechanism
Send Frequency and cadence
Offering third party products or content
Tone-of-voice: Human versus corporate
Resending to non-openers
A non-selling email
Add / remove a contact center employee image
Adding reviews or scores
Product images versus people using the products
Images of a successful outcome of using the product
Different ways of segmenting your subscribers
A mystery email
Test call-outs, text pointing to particular parts of a picture
Test violators, attention-grabbing shapes such as starbursts, ovals and banners
Image heavy versus text heavy
Inserting personal data in copy (name of business)
Pintrest style email
Use of first name in copy or subjectline
Brainstorm more variants of a previous test
Curated content versus original content
Different CTAs inside product images
Single message in your email versus multiple items
Transactional email promotions
Repeat your offer and main benefits on the landingpage
Use of a Survey
Using in-email banners
Product versus product category
Using different fonts and font sizes
Mail based on engagement level (heavy opener versus never buyer)
Category landing page, versus product landing page
Use of (previously) bought product
Removing the intro
Retest the test you did more than 3 months ago
Email exclusive content
Adding click indicators to your CTAs
Loss aversion (don’t miss) in subject line and email
Different type of offers (free shipping versus discount)
Using a contest or prize draw
Adding easter eggs
Add an indication of reading time (eg approx 2 mins reading time) for articles
Break one email into several more focussed emails or vice versa
Adopt for preview pane reading
For once: don’t offer a discount
Add or remove a highlighted / featured article
Move the email header and navigation down below your primary text/imagery and call to action.
A/B split testing your email newsletter
A/B split testing is a great tactic to optimize your messages. You know, there isn’t one right way to create, design and send your email marketing campaigns that will work for each brand and audience Not all of the above are suitable for your own email marketing program. But with that many variables, there are equally enough combinations of A/B split tests you can do.
If you are looking to improve your email marketing results, A/B split testing your emails is a great tactic and it should not be missing from your email marketing strategy. As you can see there is so much more to explore!
Let me know about your own split testing experiences, tips and questions in the comments.
Read more: emailmonday.com