A/B Testing is a great way for your company to optimize its email marketing campaigns. However, it is important to follow a few guidelines. First it is essential that you limit your A/B test to one variable at a time. That is the only way to get a clear picture of which version of your campaign will be most well-received. Also, before A/B Testing your company should have a basic idea about which variables are most important to test, so you can prioritize your marketing efforts.
We recommend focusing your first few A/B Tests on:
Subject Lines or Headlines
A good subject line will entice your lead to open your email or read further. Bad subject lines will almost always turn your leads off and reduce your conversion rates. Your headlines should be relevant to your target audience and clearly demonstrate the value of reading further.<
Graphics & Images
Using better photographs or graphics will result in more successful marketing campaigns with higher conversion rates. Better graphics could either mean higher quality images or highly tailored illustrations. For instance, a composite image that demonstrates a well-executed inside joke, relevant to your specific target audience, will be more effective than standard stock photography.
Once you have developed two distinct versions of your marketing campaign, it is important that you test a large enough sample of your target audience. A very small sample size, will bias your test results and may lead you down the wrong path. Most statisticians recommend using a sample size of at least 24 for all A/B testing.
Check out Dan Siroker’s, Director of Analytics for the Obama Campaign, talk on A/B testing: