A/B Testing Email Marketing for Campaigns

Fact: A/B Testing is crucial for any email marketing strategy. Fact: It provides irrefutable evidence of what your audience wants. Fact: There’s virtually no limit to what you can test.

Prepare to agree…

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AB Testing An Email
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Increasing the number of people that open your emails is one of the most important variables to prioritize. The number of link clicks that you get ultimately leads to an increase in revenue, which is the whole point of having an email marketing campaign in the first place. Trust us, with an average ROI of 1300%, we know a thing or five about A/B testing.

So, what is A/B testing and how does it work? Easy…

Achieving a strong email marketing A/B test is as simple as creating two slightly-different variations of an email, with the differences being dependent on a hypothesis that you’ve posed, either through data collection or historical knowledge. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, but you get the idea.

You’ll have Email A and Email B, both of which will be sent to your subscribers. Judging from what makes the two different, as well as the engagement they both receive; your marketing will either be a success or a failure. The good news is that you’ll know exactly why one outperformed the other - and that’s the beauty and simplicity of A/B testing.

How you go about your testing is just as important, so it’s a good idea to have professionals at the helm to help you decide.

Find Out How
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How We Do It

Our process is quite scientific. We start by analyzing your current email marketing program. After that, we measure the results so we can alter them and see how those results differ with each change. After that, we’ll start making predictions based on all the different results, refining our expectations over time, and modifying our approach from an informed position.

Basically, no stone is left unturned. We test each and every email that is sent, from welcome emails to sales campaigns. Picking the right test subjects is as important as the test itself. Depending on how impactful the test is, we’ll usually start by getting your whole list in on it and then narrow it down into segments over time based on the results we get.

Things We Test

Now that we’ve covered what A/B testing is, let’s look at some of the things we test. These are just the basics and we can test numerous other variables. After all, the more we know, the more you grow.

  • Send Times: Some customers like getting emails in the morning, while others prefer late afternoon. Some audiences are even more responsive over the weekend. By testing different send times, we can work according to their schedule.
  • Subject Lines: Is shorter truly better? Do emojis make a difference? All these questions have definite answers and we intend to find them!
  • Images: Sometimes a moving GIF works wonders, while other times an audience prefers a nice static image. An A/B test will show you which one to use.

Once we’ve had some fun, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and dive into the data for even more fun!

The Process

Marketers go to great lengths to make email subject lines that ‘pop’ and for good reason. The subject line is the first thing that a customer sees and it’s your one chance to get them to open your emails. Imagine you had to get someone’s full attention, but you can only say five words to do it - that’s how subject lines work.

From personalization to adding an emoji or two; there are many ways to draw attention to your emails. A/B Testing will give you an idea of which wording works best. Yes, shorter is usually sweeter, but what about the sequence in which the words appear? What you put first or last will have a huge bearing on your engagement stats. And we never EVER use clickbait - it’s the quickest way to lose an audience.

Thanks to the wonders of email design, you can add visuals to go along with your messages. Now, images can either work for you or against you, and in addition to throwing in a picture or having a unique background, the layout is worth looking into as well as it helps to know how messages will appear on different kinds of devices. Luckily, we happen to have an award-winning design team that can effortlessly balance aesthetics and functionality for you.

Another aspect to consider is the copywriting that goes into your emails. Ideally, your copywriting strategy should be backed by hard data. What type of mood does the writing in the body of the email evoke? What word count is most ideal for an email and how many words are too much or too little? These are questions that can easily be answered after a bit of email marketing A/B testing. Your content is the main event, so anything that’ll improve it is great for your overall marketing agenda.

Data Analysis

In order to transform mere interest from a customer into an actual sale, you’ll need to understand the habits of your leads. Once you get a picture of your customer’s behavior, you must grasp the motive behind that behavior. Email marketing A/B testing can give you insight into what guides a person to the sale so you can replicate that process in order to get more conversions. After all, if someone indicates they like pizza, you’re going to ditch the tacos and ask if they prefer thick or thin crust.

Efficient Systems Operation

A test is only as good as the tools that it’s conducted with. We’ve worked with countless ESPs over the years and few things are more important to us than digital tools that work and work well.

While all proper ESPs have email marketing A/B testing capabilities, not all are made equal. Some ESPs allow for A/B tests that others don’t - that’s where our instinctive internal systems come into play, filling any gaps of inexperience or uncertainty that may exist. As such, our clients get to harness the full power of conditional logic, carrying out as many tests as possible, as frequently as may be necessary.

It doesn’t matter how difficult an ESP is to use or how outdated it may be, we’re willing to go the extra mile to leverage the power of email analytics to test as many variants as possible and identify patterns, trends, and segments accurately.


It’s a Journey

At this point, it should be clear that you need to conduct experiments on your email subscribers to find out which approach is most effective, and that’s where email campaign A/B testing comes in. Campaign optimization requires a constant stream of data being compiled and analyzed; that’s the only way to improve your open, click, and conversion rates.

You need to know what data you’re trying to harvest and what you’re going to do with that data. Whenever we make a small tweak in each email, we analyze the results to see how well each one does. After all, you can’t conduct a test without extracting as much insight as possible from the results. Having a game plan makes it easier for us to accurately measure your success.


For the Road

At CodeCrew, we’re all about research. So before we begin the email marketing A/B testing process for any of our clients, we learn as much as we can about their target audience by looking at their data, compiling sample personas, finding trends, and applying all available insights at our fingertips.

From there, we go in and conduct email campaign A/B testing as soon and as frequently as possible while also ensuring that all tests are relevant and up-to-date, as with open rate-related testing in the world of iOS15 and onward. In order to stay at the forefront, we need to go hard on those tests so that we’re ready for any changes in the market or in customer preferences.

All of this helps to maximize our clients’ email marketing campaigns, and our success with this process has been incredible. Remember that thing about an average ROI of 1300% for our clients? That’s the power of solid data and years of expertise.

Now, let’s get down to business and take yours to the next level.

A/B testing Screenshots

We think it’s time you took
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successful business owner.

Have a chat with us about putting your emails to the ultimate test
and experience the results for yourself.

Go For It


Email marketing A/B testing is when we create two emails with only one difference between them. Then we monitor the performance of both emails to ascertain the effect of that one variable. By doing this with subject lines, send times, images, etc., we get a solid idea of what works with a particular audience. Plus, once we’ve noted a definite audience preference, we’ll ensure that subsequent emails adhere to this. Essentially, A/B testing is an empirical method of leveling up your marketing, since we rely on analytics and data to create jaw-dropping email campaigns. So, we’re basically scientists. Kind of.

It’s simple: We create two versions of the same email - let’s call them Email A and Email B, and both exactly the same, except for one thing: Email A has a short subject line, and Email B has a longer subject line. We hit send and watch the data stream in. If we see that Email A is performing better than Email B, then it means the audience prefers shorter subject lines. And, since both are the same otherwise (including sending time), it’s a pretty reliable indicator that we should be using short subject lines from now on. Eureka!

Not much, besides knowing what your audience prefers and skyrocketing your ROI. Seriously, though, A/B testing is perhaps the most important tool in your marketing toolbox. It doesn’t cost extra, and you get priceless information on what works for your audience. If you knew (for a fact!) that your customers read emails just before noon, why would you want to send them any other time? And how much is that crucial bit of information worth to your business? Exactly. A/B testing is the very definition of stellar ROI… as long as you know how to interpret the data correctly.