street signs in opposite directions saying choice

In the last blog article we wrote about the advantages and implementation requirements of Eloqua A/B testing. The method is not really a novelty, but often underrated when it comes to its influence on the marketing performance.

Today, I would like to share with you some best practice examples, which we just recently implemented with one of our clients in order to improve his email campaigns. In this context it is essential to test one element at a time. Using too many combinations could be tricky.

A/B Testing Tricks

First of all, we need to clearly define which metrics we want to influence. And in addition to the email open rate and click rate, we also want to affect the general response to our campaign.

Of course, you don’t have to test all available options. It is best to choose those metrics you have already made some experience with and you would like to obtain more information on.

To test the open rate of your emails, it is useful to send out emails from different senders. 50% of these emails should be sent from a “donotreply“ address, the remainder from a designated company employee.

It also makes sense to test the effects of a modified subject line on the open rate by using a question for one part of the email send-out and a statement or call to action (CTA) for the other part.

Which email will your customers more likely respond to?

In order to compare the click through rate (CTR), part of the emails get a header, the other part is sent out blank. Does it make any difference whether the image is placed in the margin to the left or to the right of the text? You will only find out the answers through continuous testing.

As simple as it may sound, even the design of your call to action is important. Some readers prefer the hyperlink; others feel magically attracted by a colorful button, even if it looks like advertising.

Also with respect to the ideal waiting period between two emails there is no “non-plus-ultra”.

It is really up to you, whether you want to bother your recipient the very next day, or grant him a few days or even weeks.

But no matter what and how you like to test, there are a few “no-go’s” that I want to share with you to help you avoid the risk of your emails disappearing in spam folders.

CAPITAL LETTERS in the subject line, and the terms “win” and “discount” should definitely be avoided.

Test more to gain more insights

What works with one target group, may not work with the other one. Luckily, we’re all different and hence respond to different things either in a positive or negative way.

Once the first emails have been sent, you can draw comparisons and eliminate the “losers” in this game fairly soon.

And yet, losers in the first round must not necessarily remain in that position. If you change the order or combination, they could also turn into winners.

Here’s the best part: every effect or change, however small, can be seen and evaluated with an accuracy of one decimal place, which helps you understand what the scope of improvement is.

Do you need any assistance in the implementation and execution of your campaigns? Our consultants are happy to help you.