Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much research you do or how well you think you know your audience, your email campaign could still fall flat. This is where using split testing as an email strategy is vital. Split testing involves drafting up two different versions of the same email campaign and blasting it out to two different versions of your email list, hence the term split testing.
According to Bloomberg News, the marketing masterminds behind former President Obama’s fundraising campaign ran a split campaign that revealed a 2.2 million dollar discrepancy between the best and worst subject lines. Let’s have a look at how these split campaigns work, what to test for and look specifically at changing your subject line.
Split testing an email campaign can accomplish the following:
Help you design more effective and successful email marketing campaigns based on essential data like engagement (click open rates), leads, and bookings
Entice more of your subscribers to open your emails instead of moving them to the SPAM bin
Entice more of your subscribers to click any and all of the links within your email
Take away the guesswork of larger, more complicated email campaigns because you’re working with actual data.
Split testing allows you to throw on your science hat, and do a little experimenting with your business. The more data you have, the easier it is to make future campaign decisions. It helps you understand your audience, which will, in turn, help you fine-tune your offerings to them.
What Can I Test For?
There are numerous aspects of your email that you can test for including:
Images - Depending on the demographic of your audience more or fewer images can have a direct impact on your campaign. A younger audience might appreciate GIFs and memes, while an older one may prefer less imagery.
Calls to Action - Different people are moved to take action in different ways, and sometimes something as simple as changing a button label or positioning of the call to action can have different results. Email Subject Line - This is a really common but highly influential component to change up and this is what we will be focusing on. Changing Your Subject Line
Your subject line is the most important component of your email marketing campaign because it’s the gateway. If you can’t inspire a customer with your headline, they’re not going to open your email. George Lowenstein, American psychologist and founder of the Psychology of Curiosity states there are 5 ways we can elicit curiosity:
Talk about a sequence of events that is incomplete and needs an ending
A violation of expectations
Talk about information we once had but we have since forgotten or lost
Position yourself as someone who has information that your customers are lacking
Pose a question that induces curiosity
These are all strategies you can use when composing your split test campaign with varying subject lines. These different questions will provide you with insight into what it is that your customers are truly seeking out. 3 Ways You Can Test Out Different Subject Lines
It’s easy to go way off the rails with this particular component, so here are a few ways that you can pull of a split campaign:
Question vs Statement
Personal vs Formal
Snappy & Funny One Liner vs Highlighting a Benefit of Your Business
5 Essential Tips for Running an Effective Split Email Campaign
When running a split email campaign, it's crucial to consider several factors before hitting the send button. By following these essential tips, you can optimize your email campaigns and gather accurate data to make informed decisions.
1. Timing is Key:
Be mindful of the timing when scheduling your split email campaign. Ensure that both segments receive emails simultaneously or during similar periods. Sending one campaign before an event and another during the event may lead to misleading and inconclusive results.
2. Test One Component at a Time:
While you can test multiple components simultaneously, it's best to focus on one aspect to gather reliable data. For instance, send out an email with two slightly different subject lines rather than one with a changed subject line and extra images. This allows you to compare similar elements and draw meaningful conclusions.
3. Avoid Mid-Test Changes:
Resist the urge to make changes to your split email campaign midway through the testing period. Altering variables during the campaign can skew your results, making it difficult to identify the real data. Stay patient and let the test run its course.
4. Analyze and Optimize:
Once the split email campaign is complete, thoroughly analyze the results. Identify which elements performed better and use that data to optimize future campaigns. Continuous improvement is the key to achieving higher engagement and conversion rates.
5. Understanding the Purpose of Split Email Campaigns:
Split email campaigns are powerful tools that provide valuable insights into your audience's preferences. By understanding their purpose, you can make better-informed decisions, leading to more effective email marketing strategies.
By implementing these five essential tips, you can run a successful split email campaign and gain valuable data to enhance your email marketing efforts. Remember, analyzing the results and learning from each campaign will help you refine your approach, ultimately leading to better engagement and increased success.