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    How To Run A/B Tests On Your Emails: The Beginner's Guide

    A/B Tests

    Running an A/B test on your emails requires that you create different versions of the same message to find out which performs better. The following article will teach you everything about this feature, the elements you must test, tips on how to conduct these experiments, and top tools to make the best of this strategy. 

    What Are A/B Tests And Why Do You Need It? 

    Split testing or A/B testing refers to sending one campaign to a set of contacts and another version of the same campaign to a different list of contacts in order to find out which is better. This is a unique feature that helps businesses run their email marketing at the maximum potential. 

    Litmus states that over 39% of businesses currently don’t use this testing feature. Therefore, now’s your chance to stand out from your competition by utilizing this strategy. The best thing is you can expect and see big results with small changes. 

    Elements That You Must Test 

    The parts of an email that you can test are referred to as variables or elements. 

    Take a look at the variations you can run below.

    The Subject Lines Of Your Emails 

    Typically, the subject line in marketing emails is in bold. The heavier or darker text style highlights it from the preview texts. 


    Marketers can test the length of the subject lines. However, Return Path shows that 60 to 70 characters strike the perfect balance amongst email readers. Word order is another thing that can attract the attention of someone checking their messages. For instance, try alternating where you put the benefit or sale within the subject line. 

    The Body Of The Email 

    You can use split testing by trying out different versions of content types in the email. For example, test out various newsletters. Here’s an example from BuzzFeed.


    If your newsletter includes varied content types, you can compare sharing different content types in the subject line and see which ones attract the most viewers.

    Visuals And Personalization Elements 

    According to Venngage, the brain processes graphics 60,000 times faster than text. To find out whether you should include images in your campaigns and what type of images if so, use split testing. 

    Take a look at it below. 


    Without proper A/B testing, images can also be distractive. In fact, SitePoint noticed a decrease in conversions with their newsletters that used pictures. 

    When it comes to personalization, the CTR increases by 14% when you use the name of the subscriber in the subject line. 

    Here’s an example:


    The Tone Of The Email     

    Depending on whether you use a positive or negative tone in your campaign, the readers may or may not be convinced to take the desired action. When Campaign Monitor used a positive tone in their content, they recorded an increase of 22% of conversion rates. 

    Here’s an example of a positive toned email:


    Another example:


    Call-To-Action Buttons And Text 

    The final part of the sales funnel in an e-message campaign is the purchase. Here, the CTA button or text isn’t required to sell, but assist the customers to purchase without hassles. Campaign Monitor found a sharp increase of 27% in CTRs by using a button instead of a text link. 

    Here’s another example of a copy with the CTA button. 


    Even the copy you use for the CTA button is important. For instance, Campaign Monitor has found that using a unique copy like ‘get the formulas’ instead of ‘read more’ increased the results.

    Tips To Run Effective A/B Tests 

    Here’s what you’ll need to know to run split tests effectively.

    • Create speculations: Writing down an objective or hypothesis before beginning the tests. It’ll help you draw accurate results
    • Rank the split tests: To avoid overwhelming yourself with split testing, it’s crucial you rank the ideas. You must consider the following ICE scoring strategy. The first part of evaluating a test is to determine its impact. What’s the expected effect of your email copy? The next step is to consider the confidence aspect. How certain are you that the results will translate positively? The third element to grade a test on is its ease. How long or easy is it to deploy these tests? 
    • Learn more with every test: Whether or not every campaign is a success, every test is something to learn from. For example, based on the A/B tests done by SitePoint for a week, they determined a practical design that improved conversions by 32%

    Top 3 A/B Testing Tools That You Should Try 

    Wondering how to create the perfect message with split testing? Take a look at the below tools you need. 

    • Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule helps you come up with subject lines with common, uncommon, power, and emotional words that captivates the reader 
    • Email deliverability from Sender Score will ensure your message reaches the inbox
    • The Analytics Suite from Campaign Monitor helps you receive better results with the use of automated A/B tests 

    The Bottom Line 

    Now that you know how to do A/B testing for your email marketing, it’ll be easy to get started. All you’ll need to do is test the email’s subject line, content, visuals, tone, and CTA. Moreover, make sure to create goals, use ICE, and continue learning from the tests. 

    To create the ideal campaign, try utilizing tools such as Headline Analyzer, Sender Score, and Analytics Suite.