A/B testing in email marketing

A/B tests in email marketing & how to perform successfully?

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Carrying out A/B tests in email marketing is a preliminary and fundamental step that can make the campaigns launched by email to your clients, users, and subscribers achieve the desired success.

A/B testing is a process that tests the different versions of a single email and checks which version performs better. For example, choose what you want to test in the email, i.e. the subject line, content, and email templates, and check what is working and what is not working for your audience. This process is A/B testing.

We cannot forget that email marketing is still one of the most used direct marketing tools. We know the benefits of email marketing for a company or business, as well as the types of email campaigns that can be carried out using email as a means to reach customers and users.

Making the campaign effective requires the development of an email marketing strategy planned in line with the business objectives of the company.

In this article, we will learn what A/B testing is in email marketing and how to perform it successfully to maximize your open rate and return on investment. You will also learn the common mistakes made while doing the A/B test and their solutions, as well as some of the best A/B testing tools.

What is the A/B test in email marketing?

What is the A/B test in email marketing?

A/B testing is the process of determining which email variation of an email campaign is performing better, with the ultimate goal of working out which variation of the email campaign is gaining the best result. According to the data of A/B testing, you can analyze which campaign is getting the best results.

An A/B test can include the design of emails and subject lines to test which one generates more opens. You can do more advanced A/B testing by testing completely different email templates to see which one generates more open email campaigns.

If you are using A/B testing tools like Systeme.io then it becomes very easy to do. In Systeme.io, you can use the email builder to create two different types of email templates, and it will send to two different email lists and analyze which one is performing better.

Once the test is done and the best version is found, then it will automatically be sent to other lists. A/B testing is the best way to increase your open rate and decrease your bounce rate.

You can refer to our article on Bounces in email marketing and how to avoid them. this article is about what are bounces in email marketing and how you can avoid them.

What should I test?

  • Images or no images.
  • Call to action buttons.
  • Email templets.
  • Email design.
  • Subject line
  • Word order.
  • Email content.
  • Visuals of emails.
  • The style of the email
  • The length of the email.
  • The tone of the email
  • Finally, buttons or text

Above are some examples that you have to test in A/B testing and also test personalization. By doing the A/B test, you can get a better engagement rate and a better open rate, which will result in more website visitors and sales. Invest some time in experimenting with these.

What elements can be tested in an email marketing A/B test?

We have seen that one of the most common mistakes made when doing an email marketing A/B test is in setting the variables to be tested.

It must be one at a time, but what elements can we test?

  • The subject of the email
  • The name of the sender of the email
  • The size of the text: the length of the email body
  • The placement and shape of the CTA buttons (words, colors, sizes)
  • The email template: its visual structure
  • Graphics and images (location, purpose, content, and quantity)
  • The titles and bodies of the descriptions of the products or services presented
  • The way of presenting the price of products and services and promotional offers

These elements can greatly influence the opening rate of an email and the number of clicks that the user makes on a link.

Common mistakes when doing A/B tests in email marketing (and their solutions)

Common mistakes when doing A/B tests

The following are some of the most common mistakes made while doing A/B tests in email marketing. Naturally, we’ve left out one of the biggest mistakes: not doing A/B tests before launching an email marketing campaign.

  1. Not generating a clear hypothesis: it is based on vagueness or generalities.

Solution: Pose a specific hypothesis that can be tested.

2. Not keeping a record of the A/B tests carried out with data allows the results to be analyzed and conclusions to be drawn.

Solution: Write down in writing the hypotheses that you are testing. For example, if I change the placement of the CTA button from the left to the right, I will get more leads in the conversion.

3. The test has several variables and objectives at the same time. This makes it more difficult to assess the validity of the results obtained.

Solution: Create two identical versions of the email in which the difference is only one element, the one you are going to test in each version and test.

4. The A/B test was carried out with a small sample of users, so the results lack statistical value. It can also happen that the A/B test has been carried out with too large a sample of users.

Solution: The size of the test groups should be set appropriately. This type of testing requires sending to the minimum group on the list necessary to obtain statistically significant results.

Calculator to know the minimum size of a sample

  1. The criteria chosen to determine the success of an A/B test are not consistent. For example, for visual elements.

Solution: Properly determine what “success” is on the test.

OR: The subject and name of the emissary decide on the opening of the emails.

CTR: clicks are more related to the content of the email.

2. Email marketing A/B tests are carried out during inappropriate periods, such as Christmas or bank holidays.

Solution: Send email marketing tests at different times of the year and analyze their effects and impact.

Keep in mind that the lower the number of emails in the list, the greater the proportion of the list necessary to carry out A/B tests and obtain results that add value to the test.

You have a calculator that will allow you to determine the sample size you need to carry out your email marketing A/B tests.

Increase graph

Advantages of A/B testing

  • Better engagement rate.
  • It decreases bounce rates.
  • It increases sales.
  • Effective content.
  • Increases conversions.
  • Reduces risk.
  • Save money.
  • Increase profit.
  • It makes analysis easier.
  • And finally, it gives the best ROI.

A/B testing providers.

The following are some of the best and most popular A/B testing providers.

  • MailChimp
  • GetResponse
  • Aweber
  • Systeme.io

By using these tools, you can save time and effort.

Additionally, if you want to learn more about email marketing providers, then check out our article: 4 tips for choosing the right email marketing provider. This guide will help you choose an email marketing provider.


Finally, Get started on your A/B tests today. Create different versions of emails and test which is performing better and send them to the rest of the email subscribers and then see your results increasing. You will see your increasing open rates, increasing sales, and getting more traffic.

Now you know what A/B tests are in email marketing and how to perform them successfully. Apply these tips and tricks to your next A/B testing and move your email marketing to the next level. Use the best and most popular A/B testing method to get the best results in less time. Also use tools like MailChimp, GetResponse, and Systeme.io.

I hope you like our article, if you have any questions on A/B tests or any questions about email marketing then feel free to comment below.

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