Launch A/B Testing to Gain Value from Email Campaigns

What resonates with your customer?

The easiest way to know what your prospects or clients want is to ask them.

It’s a question that can be asked in countless ways. You can craft email marketing campaigns to query everything from the best subject lines, the most open-worthy sender name and the optimal day of the week or time of day to send your message.

How do you do this?

Enter A/B testing.

This method of polling your customer – without actually creating a survey – allows you, as the email sender, to determine which aspect of a particular campaign is most effective simply by creating and testing several options.

Getting started

If you don’t already have one, you will need an account with an email marketing company such as MailChimp, Constant Contact or AWeber. I use (and love) MailChimp for my business’ email campaigns.

Once you have imported your email lists of customers and folks who have signed up for your news, you can begin creating A/B campaigns.

Things to keep in mind         

A/B testing is an important component of your email marketing campaign.
A/B testing helps to determine which email variations resonate best with your customers.

Since you can test a multitude of variables to ultimately determine a “winner” in the category of choice, it is first important to determine what you want to test. If your goal is to see, for example, which subject line results in the most opens, your A/B campaign will involve crafting the exact same email message – with two or three different subject lines.

Each of the subject lines will be sent to a small portion of your subscribers, generally 10 percent. Your email provider will then send the “winning” subject line to the rest of your list, omitting folks who have already received the test campaigns.

Your subject line will obviously vary from email to email, but you can also determine, for instance, if the sender name has any impact on your email campaign open rate by testing your name against your business or nonprofit’s name.

No matter what you choose to test, you should limit the A/B testing to one component per email. If you try to test the best time of day and a subject line it will be impossible to know which of those variations caused the higher open rate.

You can read more on email testing campaigns here.

For more tips or help with your company’s A/B testing campaigns, call Theresa Katalinas at 215-519-8833 or email

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