How to Win at Email Using Split Testing

Often called A/B testing, split testing can be just as important to the end result as your email itself. While the content and design of your email inspire readers to click, it’s important to consider what causes the reader to open the email in the first place — and that’s the subject line and send time. 

Subject lines

Your subject line is the first place to begin when split testing; that’s what catches the eye of the reader and intrigues them. Put yourself in the position of the reader and question why you would be interested in opening an email from your business – then you can begin brainstorming subject lines.

Split testing the subject line is one of the simplest ways to increase email performance — that is if you know which questions to ask yourself first.

A few questions to ask when split testing subject lines:

  1. What kind of tone is the best for your business to use in a subject line?
  2. Should it be friendly or all business?
  3. Do numbers generate a higher open rate than statements?

Your readers are going to provide the answers to these questions, but it’s up to you to continue to be creative and test different hypotheses.

Send time

Another effective element to split test is the time you send the email. It’s just as important to know what time of day and what time of the month to send your email as it is to have a catchy subject line.

Delivering your message at a time when it’s most likely to be seen allows subject lines to be read and, consequently, tested.

For example, this Entrepreneur infographic suggests that if you’re sending emails B2B, your best bet is to send on a Tuesday or Thursday around 11 a.m. since most people in an office aren’t checking their email on the weekend. Keep track of timing trends and learn to change with business cycles, customer interests, seasonality, etc., to create a valuable connection with your readers.

Next time you plan to send an email, think about testing 2 subject line options and 2 different send times. There is always a new opportunity to test, learn, and improve performance through these 2 quick & easy tests.

Bonnie McDermott