Test Newsletters by doing A / B split testing with newsletters 2021


You will have heard it dozens and dozens of times: lA newsletter is one of the most effective tools for attracting traffic to your site and generate real conversions. But is there a way to understand if your newsletters are effective? Sure, with a A / B split testing!

We all receive tons of newsletters every day, and I’m sure you won’t read them all either. Indeed, many contain spam and reading them is often a waste of time.

How to create a newsletter that stands out from the others? There is no secret: the only way is to test, test and test, until you find the combination of title, text, image, colors, call-to-action, etc. optimal.

Test Newsletter with A / B Split Test

This is where theA / B split testing. This technique allows you to test newsletters, but also websites and landing pages, in a scientific way, optimizing your efforts to the maximum.

It does not end here. If you use one of the best tools to send newsletters, for example MailChimp, you will probably have access to one specific functionality for A / B split testing.

So I advise you not to delay: learn now how to test your newsletters by doing A / B split testing and get to work.

The elements to be tested on a newsletter

As we have already said, the elements that can be tested on a newsletter are different:

  • the subject of the email. This is a fundamental element, perhaps the most important. Having an effective subject causes subscribers to open the email. If this does not happen, all other efforts are obviously in vain.
  • Heading. Very often, those who send newsletters open their message with a greeting: “Hi!“,”Hi Andrea,“”Hi how are you?”… If most of the contacts have subscribed to your list and provided their name, no doubt use the tag * | FNAME | * (in the case of MailChimp) to create a personalized greeting and great for grabbing the reader’s attention.
  • Initial questions. Often, to keep the reader “glued” to the text, questions are inserted in the initial part of the newsletter text. Of course, some questions work better than others. This is therefore another element undoubtedly to be tested.
  • Copy. The central body of the email: long text or short text? Formal or friendlier style? There are many variations to try.
  • Images. First, you will need to consider whether adding an image to your email campaigns is the best choice or not. Sometimes, images distract from the main content. If you decide to use images, test dimensions, position and obviously different subjects.
  • Call-to-action: key factor in increasing conversions. Again, try doing A / B split testing using call-to-action with different texts.
  • Color. Colors are also important in email campaigns. Try changing the tone of the header, call-to-action, and text.
  • Delivery day / time. Identifying the best day and time to send your campaigns will be a determining factor in your email marketing strategy. Test as many options as possible.

Specifically, if you use MailChimp, you can automatically test:

  • Title
  • Sender
  • Content
  • Delivery day and time

Let’s see immediately how to do A / B split testing with newsletters using MailChimp.

Do A / B split testing with MailChimp

First, log into MailChimp and, at the top right, select Create> Email> A / B test.

Note: To use this feature, you need to sign up for a premium account.

You will then arrive at the page where you can enter the data to be tested. The first field will be Subject line. By clicking the “+” button you can add the different versions of the object.

Then select the percentage of users to send the different variants to.

For example: If you select 20%, half of them will receive the first version of the newsletter (version A), the other half the second version (version B).

Choose percentage for split test

Also select a factor that can determine the “winning” version, for example the open rate within 4 hours of submission.

After this period, the remaining contacts will receive the email that was most performing according to the parameters you set.

Warning! Do not be tempted to select a test segment that is too small. THE results obtained through A / B split testing in fact, they are valid only if the tested segment is sufficiently large. I recommend that you choose at least 10% of your list.

In the Setup phase of your newsletter, you can set the variants of the content and the design of the different versions.

Once finished, the test email will be sent at the time you set and the remaining emails can be sent automatically or manually.

Analyze your A / B split testing reports

After the campaign has been sent, you will be able to see a report where you will find all the statistics related to the A / B split test you conducted.

Go up Campaigns> Reports> View reports.

In this section you can determine which is the best performing email and possibly send it manually to the remaining subscribers.

To do this, select Convert to manual selection and confirm.

And what happens if none of your subscribers open the test newsletter? In this case, the latest version you created will be sent automatically, unless you switch to manual submission.

If, on the other hand, an equal number of subscribers open both versions, the first will be sent.

Personally, I use MailChimp’s A / B split testing functionality to test the effectiveness of campaign titles.

Although the content of the email is exactly the same, I have noticed that sometimes one subject generates twice as many clicks as another.

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Now you just have to start testing your newsletters by doing A / B split testing.

Which tool do you use for your newsletters?

Does it have an A / B split testing function?

If you have any questions or suggestions, as always, feel free to leave your message in the comments section below.

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