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By now, I’m sure you know just how important split-testing your emails is!

That’s the best way for you to truly optimise them and continue to make even more money!

I also know how tricky it can sometimes be to come up with split-tests…

Or even how to test to get the best results?

In this post, you’ll find some great split-test ideas, as well as some really handy best practices to follow.

So, without further ado…


Split-testing best practices

First, who are you sending your split-tests to?

A really good rule of thumb is to send your split tests out to a third of your email list (depending on its size – for smaller lists, you will want to send it out to more).

Your email autoresponder software should allow you to easily track, compare, and pick a winner of the test!

How you decide on a winner will usually depend on what you’re testing…

If you’re testing a subject line, for example, the winning email would be the one with the highest open rate.

Whereas, if you’re testing a CTA button, the winning email would be the one with the highest click-through rate.

Once you have a winner, you can send the winning email out to the rest of your list!

Most importantly, you should only test one variable at a time. That means subject line v. subject line, image v. no image, CTA copy v. CTA copy…

DON’T run all three of these tests in the same email at the same time.

There are also lessons to be learnt, here…

You should be tracking your split-tests outside of your email autoresponder software so that you can start to build a picture of what works and what doesn’t.

I always find it useful to keep a spreadsheet of winning emails, why they won and refer back to that when I’m setting up new emails.

That way, you just keep producing more of the good stuff!


Top things to test

There are so many different variables within your emails that you can test.

Just think about all the elements that make them up!

If you’re still struggling, here are a few good starting points to help you out…

  • Subject Line. Your subject line is the very first thing your customers will see when they receive your email. Try different types of subject lines, such as the ones in this example from Campaign Monitor.

    The first subject line creates a bit more curiosity, whereas the second actually lists out the features.

    My guess is the first variation won, because their subscribers will have been intrigued enough to open the email to find out what the new features were!

  • Sender name. You might find that actual names of people within your business perform better than using just your company’s name.

  • Sending time. Does the time of day affect the performance of your emails? For example, a good time to test is around the time people would be arriving home from work. They’re likely to be giving their personal emails a quick check, so do they open yours if they receive it around that time?

  • Layout. Your email layout is important because it should be drawing your customers to your call-to-action. Try moving it around to see if it impacts whether or not they click on your CTA.

  • Email copy. There are several areas of copy within your email that you can test – the preview text, your headlines, the body copy, including a ‘P.S.’

  • Including images. How does including images within your email affect your click-through rate? (Remember to include alt text for those customers whose email providers only accept HTML emails).

  • Personalisation. Try different ways of personalising your emails – you could either include your customer’s name in the subject line, in the body of the email, or both!

  • Call-to-action. You can easily test your CTAs, whether that’s a button or a textual link, the colour of your button, or the copy you use!

Another example from Campaign Monitor shows a CTA split-test, where they’ve simply changed the copy on the CTA button.

  • The offer. When I say split-test the offer, I don’t mean offer 15% to some and 20% to others! I mean change how you display your offer. Do you include it in the subject line? Or maybe you display it as an image in the body of the email? Just make sure it’s clear what the offer is.

Ultimately, the reason you are split-testing your emails is to improve your overall conversion rate!

So, you’ll also want to be keeping track of that throughout this entire process.

A higher conversion rate means more revenue, which is what you’re aiming for!

For more tips on how to increase your revenue, why not check out our blog post on how to successfully cross-sell!

Or, if you would like to find out how we could help you supercharge your store’s performance through ecommerce email marketing, book a quick chat with us!