What Are Examples of A/B Tests in Email Marketing?


    What Are Examples of A/B Tests in Email Marketing?

    In the ever-evolving realm of email marketing, A/B testing remains a cornerstone for optimizing campaign success. We've gathered insights from eight professionals, including Chief Marketing Officers and Heads of Marketing, to share their most impactful A/B testing experiences. From personalizing subject lines to tweaking sender names, discover the strategic changes that significantly improved their email marketing metrics.

    • Personalized Subject Line Boosts Opens
    • Sender Name Increases Engagement
    • Personal Gain CTA Enhances Clicks
    • Conversational Tone Lifts Email Interaction
    • Curiosity-Driven Subject Line Attracts Opens
    • Clear Communication Trumps Casual Diction
    • Benefit-Oriented Subject Line Wins Opens
    • Recipient's Name Personalizes Subject Line
    • HTML Button Matches Plain-Text Clicks

    Personalized Subject Line Boosts Opens

    Here's the test we did: The team created two versions of the same email. The first version had a pretty standard, informative subject line of 'MarketApts New Features Update.' But for the second version, we decided to add a personal touch, a bit of mystery. We went with 'You Asked, We Listened: Updates You All Wanted!' Technically, we changed the wording to, 'Hey, we built something you've been waiting for!' Version B's open rate skyrocketed by 27%. It was a sign that a little bit of personalization can go a long way in connecting with your audience.

    Armen DavtyanHead of SEO, Market Apartments

    Sender Name Increases Engagement

    One particularly impactful A/B test we conducted for email marketing involved comparing the performance of emails sent from a generic company address versus those sent from an actual person within the organization. This can actually be done on other platforms like LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter) and can produce interesting insights.

    The results were eye-opening; emails sent from a person's name generated significantly higher open rates, click-through rates, and responses compared to those sent from a generic company address. This simple change humanized our communication, fostering a deeper connection with our audience and ultimately driving more leads and conversions. It underscored the importance of personalization and authenticity in our email marketing strategy, prompting us to prioritize building genuine relationships with our subscribers moving forward.

    Ryan Kelly
    Ryan KellyChief Marketing Officer, Easy Ice

    Personal Gain CTA Enhances Clicks

    Let them realize that they will gain something from it—not the other way around. One particularly successful A/B test I conducted involved tweaking the call-to-action (CTA) in a promotional email.

    We had two variations: the first used a standard 'Click here for more details' CTA, while the second was more personalized, saying 'Discover your exclusive benefits.' The second variation resulted in a 25% higher click-through rate. It demonstrated that when clients feel there's a personal gain to be had, they're much more likely to engage. This experience underlined the importance of personalization in email marketing.

    By tailoring our messaging to speak directly to the individual's interests and needs, we can significantly increase engagement and drive conversions. This is especially crucial in today's crowded digital landscape, where clients are bombarded with generic marketing messages every day. Standing out and making a personal connection is key.

    Tristan Harris
    Tristan HarrisDemand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

    Conversational Tone Lifts Email Interaction

    As the head of Easyfish Marketing, I've had extensive experience conducting A/B tests for effective email marketing. One standout case involved a client in the e-commerce space who struggled with low engagement rates from their email campaigns.

    The original campaign had a generic, sales-like tone with a standard, business-like subject line. For the A/B test, we kept version A as is, but for version B, we introduced a more personal and customer-centric approach. We revised the tone to be more conversational and engaging, and we transformed the subject line into a question that targets commonly faced customer problems. This simultaneously stirred interest and relevance among recipients.

    The results were striking—the open rates for version B soared by 54% and click-through rates improved by 38% compared to version A. This was a testament to the value of tailoring the message to suit the audience, adopting a friendly tone, and framing subject lines as questions to pique interest. This increased the connection viewers felt toward the email content, leading to higher engagement levels.

    In a similar vein, we tested the position of the CTA in a subsequent email campaign for the same client. We hypothesized that placing it more prominently within the body of the email, rather than at the end, would increase click-through rates. Confirming our supposition, the variant where the CTA was positioned towards the beginning of the email achieved a 46% lift in clicks versus the original version. This reiterated the importance of not only choosing compelling CTAs but also positioning them at optimal locations in the email.

    Cole Greer
    Cole GreerVice President, Easyfish Marketing

    Curiosity-Driven Subject Line Attracts Opens

    I executed a meaningful A/B test that revolved around experimenting with various subject lines to assess their impact on open rates. I personally oversaw the dispatch of two versions of the same email—one with a direct subject line and another featuring a more inquisitive approach.

    Analyzing the responses, I found that the change that truly made a difference was the adoption of a subject line that sparked curiosity. This adjustment significantly elevated open rates, as recipients were genuinely intrigued to explore the content.

    This experience underscores the critical role of crafting captivating and intriguing subject lines to enhance email engagement, drawing from my personal journey and expertise in the field.

    Farah Kim
    Farah KimHead of Marketing, Winpure

    Clear Communication Trumps Casual Diction

    Before launching our integrated chatbot, we A/B tested conversational email copy to optimize user engagement with a select group of international participants. Version A mirrored our friendly yet professional support tone, while Version B adopted an upbeat, emoji-laden style in an attempt to achieve higher rapport.

    While response rates initially trended higher for Option B, the chatbot logged more failed issue resolutions due to misunderstood instructions. Analyzing transcripts revealed that Version B’s casual diction confused non-native English speakers. Our international user base found Version A’s clarity more beneficial, despite fewer initial email clicks.

    This taught me an important lesson: clear communication enables progress. Simple and professional equals success in engagement and in resolving queries. People, no matter where they are, prefer classic efficiency over 'cool,' entertaining flair when trying to solve their problems.

    Nitai Aventaggiato
    Nitai AventaggiatoFounder & CEO, Helpmonks

    Benefit-Oriented Subject Line Wins Opens

    A/B testing is a technique to compare two versions of an email and measure which one performs better. At Content Whale, we use A/B testing to create effective email marketing strategies for our clients.

    One example of a successful A/B test we conducted was for a client who wanted to promote their new e-book on content writing. We tested two subject lines: 'How to Write Killer Content in 2021' (version A) and 'Download Your Free E-Book on Content Writing' (version B). We sent them to 10,000 subscribers and tracked the results for a week.

    Version A had a higher open rate (18%) than version B (12%). The change that made a difference was the use of a benefit-oriented subject line. Version A highlighted the value and urgency of the e-book, while version B was generic and bland.

    This A/B test taught us that subject lines are crucial for email marketing success. We always try to craft catchy, clear, and compelling subject lines and test them regularly.

    Bhavik Sarkhedi
    Bhavik SarkhediGrowth Head & CMO, Content Whale

    Recipient's Name Personalizes Subject Line

    In one of our recent email marketing A/B tests, we experimented with different subject lines to see how they impacted open rates. One change that made a significant difference was personalizing the subject line with the recipient's name versus using a generic greeting. The personalized subject line resulted in a noticeable increase in open rates compared to the generic one.

    This simple tweak demonstrated the power of personalization in capturing the audience's attention and engaging them with our email content. It highlighted the importance of understanding our audience and tailoring our messaging to resonate with their preferences. As a result, we've integrated personalized subject lines into our email marketing strategy moving forward, leveraging this insight to drive better engagement and, ultimately, improve our campaign effectiveness.

    Chris Hunter
    Chris HunterDirector of Customer Relations, ServiceTitan

    HTML Button Matches Plain-Text Clicks

    We conducted an A/B test comparing our traditional plain-text format with a newly designed email template. Over several weeks, we noticed that click-through was significantly lower on the designed version. We could have simply concluded that the designed version was less engaging, but our email marketer went further and adjusted the format—specifically, by swapping the image CTA button with an HTML button.

    The click-through on the HTML button was comparable with the plain text, so we updated our template. Because of this test, we had more polished and professional-looking emails, without any loss of subscriber engagement.

    Tasia Duske
    Tasia DuskeCEO, Museum Hack