The best marketing is often a beautiful dance between art and science. However, your CEO is not interested in dance. He is interested in money. Split-testing email comms means you can optimise many elements and give the CEO what he wants.
Your hard-nosed CEO wants answers:
- “What are you doing to optimise email open rates?”
- “How do you get the maximum number of people to read your fabulous content?”
- “What are you doing to get people people clicking?”
Read on for best practise in split-testing email communications.
MailChimp’s in-built A/B campaign tester
With MailChimp’s A/B testing tool, it’s easy to test alternate subject lines; sender (‘from’) names; send date and time.
Decide which of these you want to test, choose the percentage of your list you’d like to test (20% is recommended), and you are off.
Let’s assume you want to test two different subject lines to find out which prompts the most opens. MailChimp will guide you through the stages of setting up this campaign with its competing subject lines. It will even automatically distribute the winning subject line to the balance of your list. A pretty simple but very smart way to provide the CEO with some marketing rigour when you next get quizzed.
It’s also possible to run an A/B split test on click rates (as opposed to open rates). In this scenario, the campaign with the most clicks will be the winner.
Use Static Segments to optimise content
I’ve previously explained the benefits of using Groups for smart segmentation in MailChimp. Here’s another way to harness segmentation for testing purposes.
The ‘Static Segments’ feature comes into its own when you need to test multiple alternate elements. Let me explain. Imagine you were testing two different subject lines and two treatments for newsletter body content. The A/B tester tool described above will not help because — while it does its job efficiently — it is automatic and based on one email campaign (one set of newsletter content). Static Segments lets you test subject lines AND alternate content/design. Segments do take a little bit of extra work to set up, but once done, they can be re-used at will.
Note that Static Segments do not create new lists or duplicate data; they do make working with existing data more easy.
Here’s all my posts on email best practise.
If you’d like to hear more about how to target customers with relevant, timely, actionable email marketing, please contact Mick Dickinson.