Why do you need A/B testing email campaigns



Reading time: 5 min

I guess you already know, why email marketing is an integral part of your whole online marketing strategy. It can boost your conversion, reinforce your brand image or, finally, sell your products or services. Unfortunately, not everyone is using the full potential of its tools. So are you, if you are not A/B testing e-mail campaigns.

Stop being such an arrogant! 

I don’t really understand, why marketers are doing this to themselves. They are making one creation, one content, one graphic design, one heading (so many of one’s) and then click the magic button: send. Congratulations! You did your job. Uncheck it. But wait...look at the next point of your to-do list. And I do want to believe everyone has this point. I’m talking about campaign analysis ergo - have I done everything fine? You may find your conversion/open/click-through rate low. You can see how your subscribers are leaving you faster than Peter Pan runs from the blood thirsty crocodile. Here comes the question - why? Was my heading not funky? Was my content so bad and graphic that ugly? Or wasn’t my target the right one? Wouldn’t it be easier to have...comparison? Even if your campaigns are doing fine, they always can do better. Think about it. Or go to the church and pray for a luck and gut instinct. 

A/B testing for e-mail marketing: what should I test?

You don’t always have to compare one thing. You may choose several elements, but you have to remember one, crucial rule - test one thing at a time. Otherwise, your results will not be accurate. Without accuracy there will be no efficiency and without efficiency you will not make any improvements. So, check the list below and think about the right strategy.

Subject line

Stay focused, because this element decides about:

  • opening your e-mail,
  • getting into the spam folder,
  • opening your e-mail only to click “unsubscribe” button.

Subject line is similar to the heading of the newspaper or to the title at of your blog page. Will it make them want to know more? Sometimes you can be a little bit mysterious other time specific. You can use emojis, follow tips for making any headlines. Try different copy strategies which will make your subscribers open your e-mail.

Preview text

It may have the same power as subject line. Many companies don’t focus on what the preview is. Because of that they are losing another opportunity to engage their subscribers or stand out as a professional brand.

Bad practice:

Good practice:


Will you include them or not? Using them in the right way will improve your copy greatly.


Have fun with it. It should be fun. Use your imagination as you are using your analytical skills. Change the color. Differentiate your columns (one versus two, maybe even three?). Test placement of different elements such a CTA button. Think about the banner (use faces or eyes catching design). Just remember it should be responsive to cater to your mobile subscribers. 

Body text

First of all - try different personalization tricks. There is nothing more important in making a copy than adding a human touch to it. Ask yourself what sounds better: Mr. McChuck or just Ben? Make your email more relevant by personalization on the basic of past purpose or product they were looking at. Instill a sense of trust in them.

You can also test font or use of bullet and numbered lists. Note the metrics and understand your target better. Sometimes the minor tweaks are a milestone.

Call to action

It may be your finishing text or one of the magical buttons. Sometimes we experience low conversion and we do not know why and where we commit a crime. A/B testing will show you where lies the problem. Instead of “Shop now” use “Get free shipping”. You may also be more creative, but remember about KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!). Your CTA should be clear and specific. Here are some creative and/or simple examples of CTA buttons:


When you don’t know what time is the best for sending e-mail, test it. Hence, you will know which hour or even days boosts your rates.

List of subscribers

When you have no time for mistakes, try not to send your campaign to entire list. When, for example, you have time limited offers, or you are informing your clients about a webinar and you really need high conversion rate - test your email on the batch of your list. 

You know the basics, but basics are nothing without practice. So, go and conquer the email marketing kingdom!



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