Split testing explained

4 minute read

Split testing features in brief:

  • Choose up to five campaigns to test.
  • Send each campaign to any number or percentage of your subscribers.
  • Test your campaigns over an hour or up to 7 days.
  • Automatically send the campaign with the highest open rate, or highest click through to the remainder of subscribers or just see the results.
  • Track your results with Google Analytics.

The benefits of split testing

Split testing enables you to find out what resonates with your readers, making your campaigns more relevant. Our split testing feature allows you to carry out A/B ( or even A/B/C/D/E ) testing on your campaigns so that rather than gambling with your content you can find out exactly what works to maximise your open and click through rates.

Our system lets you schedule up to five campaigns to test at a time. For example, you may want to test a variety of different subject lines. These subject lines could call attention to your brand ( New features from Sign-Up.to ), a specific action ( Try our new split testing feature now! ) or the specific benefits of your product or service ( Test up to five email campaigns at once with our new split testing feature ).

splittest1

To do this you would create your campaign as usual and then duplicate it twice, changing the subject line for each one to give you the three campaigns with individual subject lines. You could also make other changes but it is best to focus on one metric at a time to be able to get accurate results. Once you have created your campaigns, head to the send tab and choose the “run email split test” function.

splittest2

On the split test page the first thing you will need to do is select your campaigns. By default you can select two campaigns, but in this example we are using three so we will click “add another” to enter the third campaign. Now you will need to select a portion of your subscribers to send to.

We are testing subject lines, so the metric we are testing is open rates as subject line is the key factor in your reader deciding whether or not to open the email. If your usual open rate is 40% you will want to send to around 250 subscribers, to give you around about 100 opens.

splittest3

For this example we will send the campaign 24 hours after the results of the test so that the winning campaign is sent at the same time of day as the tests, you can choose any time between one hour and 7 days for this but for best results we would suggest 24-48hours.

Subject lines are not the only thing you can test. Why not try different templates from our range or if you are thinking about moving to a new template, why not test it against your old one with the same content before you commit to using it full time. You could try making subtle changes to the wording in your email, or use different product pictures to monitor the effect on click through.

There is no hard and fast rule to what works in email marketing but over a period of time split testing can allow you to get to know your subscribers better so that you can create relevant content and see better results.