Effectively A/B Split Testing Your Email & SMS Programs
A/B split testing strategies within your cross-channel email and Text Message Marketing programs provide powerful, first-party insights directly from your contacts. And within the Listrak platform, you can efficiently run these tests alongside regular email and SMS operations and save results to inform optimizations and other opportunities.
Regularly testing your cross-channel program strategies helps you maximize your revenue and ROI with little lift or extra time spent. But it’s important to remember from the beginning to always test for statistical significance and focus on the things that matter. You don’t want to make extensive changes based on a small result, as it could cause a ripple effect elsewhere. So, as you prepare your marketing strategies for the holiday season, reference our holiday strategy guide for tips, consider running A/B split tests now before you go into code freeze.
Get Started with Low-Hanging Fruit: Creative Tests
- Test different variations of email content to maximize your click-through and conversion rates. Factors you can test include copy on Call To Action buttons, overall tone and language in your body copy, and imagery. Test these variables to see what gets more attention from your contacts and, in turn, generates more clicks and conversions. The changes can be subtle if you’ve run tests in the past or more pronounced if you’re just getting started.
- Test to see if adding imagery to your text messages moves the needle. Run a test of SMS vs. MMS with click-through rate to determine a winner and prove when having a visual resonates with your subscribers most. This is a particularly compelling test because of the trickle-down impact on Revenue Per Message and ROI with the higher carrier costs to send MMS. From there, you can also test what kind of visual in your MMS performs better, like static image vs. animated gif.
Test Copy for Additional Impact
- Test your email subject lines to see the level of impact on open rates. Do you need to say more upfront with a longer subject line? Do you need to evoke a particular emotion to pique interest? Will adding emojis make you stand out more in the inbox? Results can vary based on the type of message you test, so be sure to start with standard broadcast campaigns that aren’t tied to your best sales of the year or are part of a retargeting campaign. Those messages will generally get more opens to begin with.
- Test SMS body copy. Does saying more in your message move more subscribers back to your site? Do eye-catching emojis make a difference? Is your copy tone and language resonating with your audience? Emoji tests are worth prioritizing since they are encoded in messages differently and change the maximum character count to just 70 from 160. You want to protect your ROI before adopting recurring strategies you’re not sure have an impact.
Grow Your Lists Faster with Acquisition Testing
- Test different settings of your acquisition popups and subscription points to find the strategies to find the best strategies for your brand and grow your lists faster. Consider testing the type of incentive or offer your position upfront so you can protect your margin simultaneously. A high percentage or dollar-off coupon should bring more contacts to your program, but it might not need to be as high as you think.
- Test the Call To Action copy on the popup to see if changing it impacts it. Test your overall designs and themes here as well. Often, retailers will stick to traditional lightbox-type designs and templates, so thinking “outside of the box” can help improve acquisition rate and differentiate your brand.
Consider Your Testing Audience
- Test various audiences and segments for your sample sets to look for second-level insights based on engagement. Results can vary based on who you message to and test with. Distinctly identify your audiences with mutually exclusive parameters so contacts can only fall into one group at a time. See if different offers, copy, and strategies are needed for each of your core audiences. Your most active subscribers might not need as much sway as your lapsing or inactive contacts, and those latter audiences might need to see more from you upfront.
Don’t Spend Time with Tests That Don’t Matter
While there are many compelling tests to run within your cross-channel program, some don’t make as significant an impact as they have before. Prioritize your focus on other strategies and stick to best practices elsewhere. Think of concepts like automated campaign and acquisition popup timing – the sooner always performs better than later. The same goes for including an acquisition incentive, recommending products in email, and high Call To Action positioning. All these strategies perform better than otherwise pushing down or leaving out altogether.
Get Started Today
Regular A/B split testing can elevate your cross-channel email and Text Message Marketing programs to the next level with very little time and effort needed on your end. Prioritize what needs the most improvement for your own business, start small, and always look for statistically significant results before overhauling your strategies. Your Account Manager can help you isolate opportunities and find ways to get started. For more information, check out our Help Center and stay tuned to our blog.