Ten Split Testing Ideas for Email Campaigns

Freelance Business Writer

Business WriterThe perfect email marketing strategy does not exist. There is no set formula that works for everybody. Testing various aspects of your email campaign is the secret to improving and optimizing your emails to drive web traffic, sales, conversions, leads, donations or whatever your goals may be. Not only will it improve your results, it will also increase reader satisfaction and build a good reputation for your business. It is imperative that you target the correct audience and ensure your message is relevant to them – and it is just as important to test your message for effectiveness. This can be achieved with split testing your email campaigns and these are the ten most essential variables that will drive results:

Split testing is good marketing practice and multiplies revenue tenfold.


People compute information differently. To find out what type of content appeals to your audience, it is advisable to run tests on your email offers. The results will allow you to identify what encourages your subscribers to perform the action you require. You can split test pricing against discounts, free shipping against discounted delivery, webinars against eBooks, demos against free trials and even soft sells against hard sells.

Subject Lines

The best way to get your subscribers to open your emails is to test a variety of subject lines. This is the first thing they will see when your mail arrives in their inbox and plays a big role in their decision to open or delete it. While short subject lines are often more engaging, using long ones may also have its benefits. You should test long lines, short lines, direct questions, personalization, offers, problem solvers and more against one another and find which performs best. Your subject line needs to remain descriptive and compelling in order to motivate your readers to open your email when they are scanning their inbox.


Once your reader has opened your email, your headline becomes of paramount importance. You need a headline that will make your reader want to read more. By testing several different headings against one another, you will be able to see which are the most convincing. Change the font size, offer a special or free service, ask a specific question and be creative overall.


Your call-to-action is the most critical aspect of your email campaign. Use your content, images, layouts, subject lines, headings and all other components of your newsletter to increase your chances of converting leads. The goal is to interact with your readers outside of your email campaign by getting them to register, share thoughts, share on social media, watch a video, download or learn more. This is why testing your actual call-to-action buttons or links is just as important. You can change the location of your call-to-action or offer a variety of products in numerous ways to see which provides higher click-through rates. You can play with text, banners and colors. Be creative as possible with your call-to-action.

Sending Times

The response rate can be affected significantly by when you send your newsletter. Finding the right time is a difficult process because people have frequent access to their emails with the growth of mobile technology. The message you portray, the demographics of your readers and the industry that you are in will play an important role in the ideal time. Decipher the location of your readers. How widespread are they? Do they cross multiple time zones? Your mailing list can be divided into segments which can be sent at different times and on different days. The results of these tests will allow you to determine what the best time is for you to send emails.

Email Frequency

People do not enjoy being bombarded with email messages that clog their inbox, yet they do enjoy timely communications that offer what they need. Finding the correct balance involves split testing groups of subscribers and the amount of emails they receive. The goal is to find out if they want fewer or more of your communications and what they respond better to. Your most active subscribers may be receptive to receiving more emails, so test it on them. Likewise, send fewer to those that are not reacting very well. Try out various combinations and remember to test this on a small group of your total subscribers before sending to everyone.

Split testing guarantees customer satisfaction by discovering what consumers want.

Visual Formats

Around forty percent of inboxes are set to automatically disable images. This default setting is rarely changed by users and these people will never see your images. The importance of including text is therefore essential. You can test your layout easily by selecting a few formats and pitting them against each other. Navigation, design, images, text, call-to-action, links and every other component of your newsletter should be moved around, changed in size, highlighted or whatever creative ideas you can think of. Those that result in more conversions or click-through and open rates are providing you with the results you need. Another consideration to think about is that most subscribers will have the Preview Pane enabled. This allows a section of your email to be displayed in their inbox, so be sure to use this to your advantage.

Landing Pages

If the offer on your landing page has high value and relevance, it will be more successful. Create several versions and test which result in the highest conversions. You can refine your landing pages by using different headlines, colors, calls-to-action, navigation, layouts, images and text. Then direct people to the different versions and see which ones encourage the most action.


Evolve your email campaign to respond to the personal interests and needs of your readers. This involves asking for as much of their information as possible during their sign-up phase. You should send surveys and implement preference centers to obtain insights into your target audience. Once you have this information, you will be able to personalize your email messages. You can then test the click-through and open rates by testing first names, full names, company names, interests and more.

Sender NameBusiness Writer

While some inboxes only display the sender address, others display the sender name. Along with your subject line, this is what they will see before they open your email. Creating a sender name and email address that is consistently used and instantly identifiable by your readers will build a trusted source for them. If they know your sender name then they are more likely to open future emails from you. You can easily test which names and addresses encourage the highest open rates. Try several and choose the best one.

Email campaigns that do not produce the desired results are a waste of time and resources. The risk of this occurring can be eliminated simply by testing a variety of components within your emails. Split testing these elements is good email marketing practice and will drastically boost your click-through rates and conversions. There are many ways that an email campaign can be improved and it is a continual process. It is easier to test some elements than it is to test others, but you need to monitor and analyze your results to make informed changes and decisions. This is how you will know what works best for you.