The Great British Split Test
Marketing is about producing results, really good results, day in day out. Stale marketing produces stale leads for your sales team. So, it’s important to keep on top of the game and make sure you are constantly producing great results which can be tricky, particularly with a small marketing team.
Times change, marketing changes, and your audience changes so you need to make sure you are producing relevant, fresh content for the right people at the right time. And what better way to get to know your audience inside out than by split testing (or A/B testing).
At CommuniGator we love an experiment. That’s why we split test everything possible, at least once a quarter if not month. The most important asset to your email campaigns is your list. The list you really want to engage with your marketing comms and become a hot prospect and then eventually convert to a customer.
Before you begin on your split test rampage, it’s important to understand what you are going to test. From all the variations possible choose one thing to test at a time. Then identify what you consider as a success. Is it your CTR you want to improve? Or just your sending deliverability? Or is it the conversion and attrition you are looking to improve. Plan it all out before you begin and it will help you determine what assets to test against.
The results are in…
We’ve got 4 variations for you to test this quarter and the results.
1 Sender Alias
Whether its person name vs company name, male vs female or international vs national. It’s interesting to see what/who your audience is more susceptible to.
You may think that a name your audience is bound to know will have more of an impact than a total stranger. That’s the total opposite of what we found. We split tested a campaign to our customers, one from our Head of Account Management who they all have a good relationship with, against a made up international name. Alejandra De La Rosa. After a quick google search to make sure Alejandra wasn’t a criminal, he was the winning name in this case!
10% National vs International 11%
4.6% Person vs Department 3%
Although it may only seem like a 1% increase, if your data pot is large enough, that extra push could be the difference between sales and marketing hitting their targets for the month.
Top Tip: Change you sending domain and sender alias at least once every 6 months. Not getting any clicks? It may be because you are ending up in peoples clutter if you’ve been using the same sender details for all of the time.
2 Subject Line
The decider of your open rate. Remember, in the inbox, the attention span is less than 30 seconds, so make it a good one! There are a number of different variations of the subject line you can test, not just the length.
9% Negative vs Positive 5%
4% Caps vs No Caps 7%
14% No Personalisation vs Personalisation 2%
2% Question vs Statement 2%
3% Typo vs Non-Typo 4%
3 The design of your email
Again, the design of your email is just an umbrella to the amount of testing you can undergo to identify your highest achiever. From the layout, the style of your call to actions, the body of the text, the HTML build-up, imagery, colours the list is endless. We chose a few specifics we were keen to experiment with and here’s what happened:
2% Short vs Long 3%
2% More Links vs Less Links 1%
2% Buttons vs No Buttons 9%
7% Outlook style vs Design 4%
From days in the week to times of the day, you should investigate when your audience is most likely to engage. Some of them maybe early birds, others night owls. The only way to find out is to test. With the upcoming launch of Artificial Intelligence, we will soon be able to customise every single individual sending time based on their preferred engagement. For now, though, test the same campaigns – same content, same sender alias, same subject line, same design. Across different days of the week and times of the day. We tried out of hours sending:
5% Out of hours vs Non-out of hours 4%
What split testing determines:
What day of the week gets the best open or click rates
The best types of subject lines to use
Does personalisation work
Does the design have an impact on the results
Remember test one thing at a time and if it works in your emails take the logic outside of just emails. Use in your social media, across your website, in your paid for ads. And don’t give up! Test, test and keep testing.
Good luck! Take a look at our latest guide on A/B Split Testing.