7 Split Tests You Can Implement Today

How many times have you heard “you should test to see what works best for you” or something to that effect? Probably too many to count, right?

The reason you hear it so often is because when it comes to email marketing (as well as any other marketing channel), testing separates the pros from the Joes.

It’s one thing to think we know what works best, but when we apply a little bit of scientific method to our marketing, we not only find out for sure, we learn more about our visitors and subscribers — and that helps us predict more accurately what will work in the future.

The challenge for a lot of people (including us at AWeber) is deciding what to test. There are simply so many small changes we can make to our forms, messages and other parts of our campaigns, that it’s easy to get stuck on deciding where to start.

So, to help you get started with split testing (or to get back into it if you’ve gotten complacent and stopped testing regularly), here are seven split tests you can run on your website to get and retain more subscribers, lower spam complaints, and increase response.

7 Split Tests

Give these a try and see how they affect your subscribers’ response (not to mention your perception of your subscribers).

See our Knowledge Base for instructions on how to create a web form split test and a broadcast split test.

  • Create one signup form where you ask for name first, then email, and one where you ask for email first, then name.

    See if the order that you ask for information affects how many people sign up.

  • Send one broadcast with personalization in the subject line, and one without.

    Do subscribers respond to personalization, or do they see it as a “gimmick?”

  • Split your next message into three broadcasts with different sending times: one between 8AM and 9AM, one between 12PM and 1PM, and one between 4PM and 5PM. Compare open/click rates for each message.

    Find out what time of day your subscribers prefer to hear from you.

  • Try using a different call to action on your signup form besides the old classic “Submit.”

    Come up with 2-3 short phrases, create your forms and compare opt-in rates (a couple options: “Sign Me Up”, “Send Me _____”, “Keep Me Informed”). Keep whatever you’re using now too, and make it the “control” in your experiment.

    Not everyone wants to submit to getting email from you. Find out what trigger they respond to.

  • Add a privacy statement (i.e. “we will not share your email address…”) to your signup form. Create another form where you instead link to a privacy policy on another page of your site.

    Compare opt-in rates for those forms against a form where you make no privacy statement.

    Are visitors more likely to sign up if you tell them you will treat their inbox with respect, and differentiate your email practices from others’?

  • In your next HTML email, test using a button for your call to action against using a text link.

    Is a well-written text link more compelling than a colorful, more prominent button?

  • For your next broadcast, add a permission reminder (“you’re receiving this email because you signed up at ____” etc) in the message. Compare your clickthrough rates, and your spam complaint rates.

    Does reminding people why they’re receiving an email make them any more likely to recognize and trust you? Does it make them more likely to read through your email and/or click on links in it?

You might have some interesting findings (if so, please share them!)…

…but even if you don’t — even if you run all 7 of these split tests and none of them bring immediate, significant changes to your campaign — you’ll still be more familiar with split testing than you were yesterday, and better prepared to test and improve your campaigns in the future.

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What Do YOU Split Test?

Are there other split tests that you run regularly?

Share them with your fellow email marketers below!