11 Effective Split Tests For Your Email Marketing: A/B Tests Guide

11 Effective Split Tests For Your Email Marketing: A/B Tests Guide

Revamp your email marketing campaigns with A/B testing strategies. Start experimenting today and take your email marketing to the next level!

Email marketing is especially well suited to A/B testing methodologies, although, with so many variables to play around with, it can also take time to know where to start. As we’ll get to later, it’s not just things like the content and formatting of the email we put under the microscope.

It is also best to see them in a broader context to ensure that you thoroughly optimize your email marketing efforts. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s dive in and look at split tests you can implement to get actionable insights to shape future marketing campaigns.

Team of employees looking at statistical charts and data, evaluating and making key decisions.


1. Test your subject line length

When it comes to email marketing, the subject line is key. It’s the first thing people see when they open their inbox and can make or break your click-through rate.

To maximize engagement, try running an A/B test with different length subject lines to determine which resonates best with your audience. Varying between short and long sentences could significantly impact how many subscribers read through your emails in total, so don’t be shy about experimenting.

Additionally, consider testing specific words within the subject line, like “Free” or “Discount,” as these may perform better than more generic phrases, depending on what content you are promoting.

2. Try out different personalization tactics

Personalizing emails can make all the difference in driving engagement and conversions. With A/B testing, you can experiment with different personalization tactics, such as addressing recipients by their first name or including location-specific content based on where they live.

You may also want to test how adding dynamic elements, like images that change depending on the user’s actions, impacts open rates and click-throughs. Don’t forget to measure customer retention, too, as a personalized email could be just what’s needed to turn one-time customers into loyal followers of your brand.

By using software that handles email marketing for ad agencies, split testing personalization is much easier. Keep that in mind if you’re worried about the amount of work this might entail.

3. Experiment with preheader text to increase open rates

Preheader text is often overlooked in a split-testing scenario, but it can have a big impact on open rates. This small text appears directly underneath the subject line of an email and gives subscribers a quick overview of what’s inside.

Why not try running A/B tests with different wording or images to get the most out of your preheaders? You could also experiment with using incentives like Free Shipping for added appeal.

If you’re offering discounts or promotions, ensure this information is visible in your preheader so customers are more likely to click through and take action.

4. Split test calls-to-action for maximum impact

CTAs are another crucial element for driving conversions, so it pays to get them right. With split testing, you can measure the performance of different CTAs and see which ones your audience responds best to.

Try out variations in terms of wording, placement, or design, as all these elements have an effect on CTRs. You might be surprised by what you find and how even subtle differences in syntax or the type of action you draw attention to will connect with audiences more effectively.

By running regular A/B tests on your email marketing calls-to-action, you can maximize their impact on sales and revenue growth over time. You need to reconsider whether the tactics you’re already using are working well.

5. Tweak the timing and frequency of emails for optimal results

Timing is everything when it comes to many things in life; it even applies to email marketing. As such, you should run A/B tests on the ideal frequency of sending emails because you might find that different audiences respond better to varying numbers of messages each month.

From weekly newsletters, daily promotions, or even monthly updates, there are all sorts of directions to take this. It’s a case of striking the right balance between reminding subscribers about your brand and what it offers without overburdening their inboxes with messages.

You can also experiment with different times during the day that your emails are sent out, as this could influence open rates depending on when people check their inboxes most often. So once again, with split testing, you can find out exactly what works best for your customers and tinker with future campaigns accordingly to keep them on-side.

A traditional alarm clock with 2 different coloured backgrounds, indicating sending out emails at different times during the day.


6. Use images to grab attention in the inbox

We’ve already touched on how using visuals within your emails can be a great way of catching the eye of subscribers and driving more clicks. Split testing is particularly useful for measuring how different images affect engagement rates.

In this context, try out variations between landscape or portrait orientations and different sizes and shapes. This will let you work out which ones draw readers in most effectively.

Also, you may want to experiment with adding animated GIFs or videos to your message. These are often head-turning enough to make people stop scrolling through their messages and pay attention to what you’re saying.

As with all aspects we’ve discussed, this is mainly about avoiding the temptation to make assumptions about your audience’s wants. Rather than relying on guesswork, put split testing into play and get the cold, complex data to either support or refute your expectations.

7. Compare different types of content formats (short vs. long)

It’s not just the length of the subject line that’s instrumental in influencing open rates. Indeed the length and format of the message’s content can significantly impact engagement. To get the most out of it, try running A/B tests with different types of content, such as long-form blog posts or short snippets like quotes.

You could also experiment with including infographics or interactive elements like polls within messages for added appeal. Through experimentation, you’ll eventually divine what content is the most appropriate fit for those people in your target demographics.

This could even lead you to tap into an undiscovered opportunity to connect with new audiences, which helps grow your business.

8. Analyze how design changes affect click-through rates

The design of your emails can also hold sway over CTRs in ways that are difficult to predict until you’ve put different tactics to the test. Trying out various approaches means you can measure the performance of different designs to see which resonates best with subscribers.

Scrutinize the results of A/B testing variations, such as changing font sizes or color schemes for maximum impact. It’s another case of minor tweaks making all the difference between an overlooked email and one that draws people in.

You may even want to experiment with adding subtle animations if appropriate, as this may be enough to entice more customers further down the funnel.

9. Evaluate what type of landing pages perform best

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a sky-high click-through rate for email marketing messages if when prospects arrive on your site, they don’t like what they find. That’s why landing pages have to be optimized at the same time as you’re overhauling your emails so that you’re confident of driving conversions in the right direction.

Try running A/B tests with different page layouts and content configurations to see which performs best with your audience. Also, look into how certain types of incentives perform compared with others. That way, you’ll know precisely what people want from your site and services.

A person evaluating options between different landing pages.


10. Measure which copywriting styles lead to higher engagement

Copywriting is the cornerstone of email marketing, so it pays to get your tone right. With split testing, you can measure the performance of different styles and see which ones resonate best with subscribers.

Try out variations in terms of length or even humor. For example, you may discover that people are won over by a more leftfield approach or connect better with your brand if you present a more formal, professional mode of expression in marketing messages.

From a formatting perspective, consider experimenting with different styles, such as bullet points or numbered lists, for added appeal. These often draw more attention than regular paragraphs, making content easier to scan while conveying key messages effectively.

11. See which automation strategies generate more leads

Last but not least, let’s talk about how automating email campaigns can greatly increase efficiency. Most marketers are doing this today using marketing automation tools, but it pays to get the most out of split testing as part of this too.

The trick is to use A/B tests to measure how different automation strategies perform and see which ones generate more leads over time. Try experimenting with different types of emails, such as welcome sequences or even abandoned cart messages, as these could have an impact on how many people follow through and take action after receiving your message!

Moreover, consider running tests on timing for automated emails to determine when customers will respond best. If you can automate this aspect, you’ll save yourself hours each week, which you can use to tackle all sorts of other pressing duties.


The scientific approach works best when running split tests for your email marketing and can help erase any misconceptions you might have about handling this aspect of your promotional efforts. Now that you know what you should be testing, it’s time to get down to brass tacks and begin your A/B testing adventure.

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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