How to Do Email A/B Testing? The Ultimate Guide for Marketers

Created On
June 27, 2023
Email A/B Testing

Did you know that 39% of businesses send their emails untested? Imagine launching a mission without a strategy – a risky gamble, right? But there's a solution – Email A/B testing, the secret sauce to successful email campaigns!

With A/B testing, you craft two variants of your email: version A and version B. Each with subtle changes, like changing the subject line. These versions are then dispatched to separate segments of your email list.

This isn't a wild guess or dart game; it's a strategic move. You set distinct goals, choose your test variables wisely, and send your versions to the battle of audience preference.

Next, you monitor the battlefield, observe, analyze, and unveil the winning strategy. This champion version captures more clicks and conversions, the holy grail of email marketing!

Importance And Benefits Of Email A/B Testing

It is impossible to exaggerate the value of email A/B testing for email marketing. It is essential for the effectiveness of your email marketing for the following reasons:

  • It enables you to pinpoint effective subject lines that appeal to your target demographic, enhancing your attempts to generate leads.
  • Trying out various calls-to-action (CTAs) increases email open rates and prevents emails from ending up in spam folders.
  • You can pique the attention of your prospects and produce more leads by experimenting with different designs and components.
  • Finding the most efficient techniques early on saves time and money and lessens the likelihood of protracted ineffective marketing efforts.

A/B testing ultimately provides knowledge about your prospects' preferences, allowing you to develop better-customized communications.

How To Set Objectives For Email A/B Testing?

Before starting with an email A/B testing campaign, it is essential to define clear objectives. These objectives include increasing open rates, improving click-through rates, boosting conversions, or reducing unsubscribe rates. 

1. Establish Clearly Defined Goals: Begin by stating your goals. Do you want to enhance conversions, click-through, and open rates or decrease unsubscribe rates? The ability to assess achievement successfully and plan your tests properly depends on having defined objectives.

2. Pick Your Metrics: Select the precise metrics you'll monitor. These can include the number of distinct openings, click-to-open rates, or the income made. You may assess the efficacy of your tests by tracking the proper indicators.

3. Use Tools: To set up your A/B testing quickly and easily, use user-friendly platforms like Smartlead. Selecting the email campaign to test and the comparison variables is simple.

4. Define Your Variables: Decide on what elements you want to test - subject lines, sender names, email content, or perhaps even the time of sending.

What Are The Variables We Need To Test?

To conduct effective ab email testing, it's important to choose the right variables to test. Some common variables include subject lines, sender name, email address, call-to-action (CTA) text and placement, email copy and content, and visual design elements. Marketers should prioritize variables that have the potential to impact key performance metrics significantly. However, testing one variable at a time is essential to isolate the impact and obtain accurate results.

  • Test various subject lines to see which leads to increased open and engagement rates. Take into account varying the length, tone, customization, and urgency. 

As per a survey, if a person’s name is in the sender’s column, the chances of opening the mail increase by 0.53%, and the click rate increases by 0.23%.

  • To determine which sender names receivers are more inclined to trust and open emails from, try out a variety of sender names. Try different iterations, like utilizing a specific person's name, a business name, or a mix.
  • Experiment with various CTA positions and types, including text-based CTAs, buttons, and hyperlinks. Test different text, design, color, and placement options to maximize click-through rates.
  • Test several iterations of the email copy, such as its length, tone (formal vs. informal), vocabulary, and customization. Check which versions have the best click-through and conversion rates.  

5. Only Test a Single Component at a Time: Test one ingredient per campaign for reliable results. By doing this, you can pinpoint the precise reason for any changes in your data.

6. Analyze and Put Into Practice: After careful interpretation, analyze the outcomes. Implement effective methods in your next email campaigns using the knowledge you acquire.

It is important to understand that we should perform A/B Email testing on only two alternatives of a variable. Otherwise, selecting the best out of all the options would be difficult.

How to do A/B Testing? Step-by-Step Guide

So now, we will look at the detailed steps involved in Email A/B Testing and how you can use Smartlead to perform it more efficiently and successfully. 

Step 1: Establish Your Objective

Choose a clear objective for your A/B testing, such as increasing conversion, click-through, or open rates.

Step 2: Create Test Groups

Open your Smartlead account after logging in, then go to the A/B testing section. New A/B test campaign creation. To set up test groups for email marketing A/B testing:

  • Create statistically meaningful segments from your email list.
  • Based on considerations for sample size, determine the size of test groups.
  • Distribute subscribers among the test groups at random.
  • The test groups should be balanced to reduce confounding factors.

Smartlead helps you find your target audience and send targeted emails that can convert into businesses. Moreover, decide which portion of your email list to test. You may use particular criteria, such as demographics or prior behavior, in Smartlead to build tailored test groups.

Step 3: Developing Test Versions

Develop test versions by changing the variable you wish to test in several email iterations. Make alternative email subject lines, call-to-action buttons, or email body copy, for instance.

Smartlead provides several options to choose the most suitable element for your mail to be more visible to the prospect. Here are some examples of different subject line suggestions.

  • Variations for the selected variables: Create several email iterations that include the modifications you wish to test. Use relevant email marketing terms to make the email more presentable. Make alternate email copies or numerous subject lines, for instance.

  • Consistency across test versions maintenance: To isolate the influence of the variable you are testing, keep the remaining components of the email the same throughout the test versions.
  • When creating persuasive and appealing content, ensure all email versions are well-written, interesting, and in line with your overall marketing objectives.

As per a survey by Campaign Monitor, there is a 27% increase in click-through rates if the email contains a button instead of a text link.

Step 4: Implementing the Test

Detail the testing conditions, such as the duration and the number of test subjects for each group. Your chosen section will be automatically divided into equal-sized test groups by Smartlead.

  • Select an email marketing platform with A/B testing capabilities like Smartlead to set up and manage your test easily.
  • To guarantee a fair distribution, randomly distribute the various email versions to the test groups.
  • Establish reliable tracking systems to monitor how well each test version performs. This may involve employing special links or codes to measure openings, clicks, conversions, or other pertinent data.

Moreover, Smartlead helps auto-rotate your mailboxes across your leads, which can help save 100s of hours by saving you from launching multiple campaigns for each mailbox.

Step 5: Monitoring and Analyzing Results

After setting up your test parameters, start the A/B test campaign. The various iterations of your email will start being sent by Smartlead to the appropriate test groups. Use Smartlead's reporting and analytics tools to keep tabs on the effectiveness of your A/B test campaign. For each test version, keep track of important data like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

  • The open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and other pertinent KPIs should be measured and recorded for each test version.
  • Determine if the observed performance differences across test versions are statistically significant or whether they could just be the result of chance using statistical analysis.
  • Determine which test version performed noticeably better at accomplishing your target goal based on the analysis of the findings.

Step 6: Applying the Learnings

Review the results of your A/B test to decide which version best meets your goals. You may evaluate the statistical significance and make data-driven decisions using Smartlead's analytics tools. After you've chosen the best version, utilize Smartlead to distribute it to the other email list segments or use the knowledge you've obtained to improve future email campaigns. You can follow the below step-by-step process for the same:

  • Implement the winning version for the rest once you've chosen it to maximize your email marketing strategy.
  • Keep a record of the outcomes of your A/B test, including the factors examined, the outcomes, and any conclusions drawn. To help your team develop future campaigns and tactics, share these ideas with them.
  • Utilize the information you learned from your A/B test to continuously improve and maximize your email marketing efforts. To improve performance, apply the insights to the next campaigns and refine your strategy.

Step 7: Iterate and Optimize

Write down the lessons you learned from your A/B test and use them in your next email marketing campaigns. To improve your email marketing performance, use the insights to improve your plans, test new factors, and continually improve them.

Moreover, follow-up emails are necessary during email campaigns to portray your company’s interest and reliability. These emails can make the prospect think you are dedicated to your work. Smartlead can help you choose the best follow-up email format from several templates available.

Best Practices For Email A/B Testing

Given below are some of the important things one needs to keep in mind during A/B Email Testing:

  • Test one variable at a time. Finding the variable accountable for your test's outcomes might be challenging when simultaneously testing several factors.
  • Test using a substantial representative sample. The findings will be more reliable if you test on a sufficiently large sample of your email list.
  • Be aware of the context and time. The time and setting of your email campaign may also impact your test results. For instance, sending your email campaign on a weekend instead of a weekday can obtain different results.
  • Incorporating client choices and input. Use consumer preferences and comments to direct your A/B testing. Know the prospect's interests and preferences to provide them with more personalized data.

Avoiding these basic email campaign mistakes to increase your chances of converting the leads into your clients.

Wrapping Up

To maximize the efficiency of your email marketing initiatives, email A/B testing is a useful method. You may get important insights and make data-driven decisions to increase metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions by methodically testing factors like subject lines, email text, CTAs, and timing. Email A/B testing enables you to improve and optimize your email marketing efforts by allowing you to set up test groups, examine outcomes, and deploy winning versions. Utilizing software like Smartlead streamlines the process by giving users the capabilities and insights to decide wisely and produce better outcomes. Accepting email A/B testing may improve your email marketing efforts by increasing engagement, conversions, and, eventually, ROI.

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Author’s Details

Tanmay Shukla

Tanmay is a SEO Content Writer at Smartlead. His zeal and enthusiasm in writing led him to the path of being a Content Writer. He has been advancing in this field by possessing more knowledge and skills. His constant endeavor has made him a whiz in SEO, Creative Writing, and driving sales through writing.


Edited by:

Charu Mitra Dubey


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