What should you be testing?

What should you be testing?

Katrine Andersen & Ewa Seiler - October 30, 2017

The first step to getting started with A/B testing is deciding what you’re going to test. This may sound like a simple task, but with the nearly endless amount of elements to test, it is important to take a structured approach to designing your tests.

The most common A/B tests focus on testing the sender name, the subject line, the time of day you send, and the day of the week you send. It is also possible to test elements inside the email, such as the call to action text, images, colors, or overall layout. Don’t let the many options overwhelm you. It is important that you take a step back and build a strategy for what to test, in what order you want to test, and what you want to get out of those tests.

Below you will find an overview of some of the elements we recommend testing.


Why should you be testing?


1. Sender name – this is one of the first elements your subscribers will encounter when receiving your email. Therefore, you should make sure that you use a sender name that makes it easy for your subscribers to identify you. For example, you could choose to use your official company name (QuantAds), a personal name (Peter), or a combination of the two (Peter from QuantAds). By testing these different sender names in multiple email sends, you should be able to determine which name is the best at catching the attention of the your subscribers.

2. Subject line – your subject line is one of the most important factors when your subscribers are deciding whether or not to open your emails. This makes the subject line a great place to start with A/B testing, as you will be able to see nearly instant results. And if done correctly, this type of testing can prove to be very rewarding. When testing subject lines, we recommend grouping your tests into different categories instead of just testing random subject lines against each other. For example, design a test comparing a subject line that asks a question (“Are you ready for the winter cold?”) against a subject line that makes a statement (“New winter coats now in stock”).

3. Sending time and day – Have your ever wondered which day and time is best for sending out your newsletter? A/B testing can help you find the best combination of day and time for your specific target group.

4. Content: cta buttons, colors, fonts, images, etc. – A/B testing can also generate a lot of insight regarding what works best in terms of email design and content. Whether you’re looking to find out which hero image generates the most clicks or which color call-to-action button has the highest conversion rate, using strategic A/B testing will help you find the answers. When testing design and content elements, it is important to remember to only test two variants of the same element at once. If you test multiple elements in the same A/B test (for example using two different hero images and two different colored buttons), you won’t be able to attribute your results to one specific element – thereby eliminating the long-term value of your testing strategy.