How to A/B split test your emails

A/B testing, multivariate testing, split testing, the same thing. The idea is simple, you test one thing (or many things) against one another to see which performs best. Some people get scared of this, cos it appears quite technical on the surface, but typically Mailchimp… they make it super easy!

Most folk test 2 subject lines, that’s the most comment test, but you can also test content, send times and from names, all of which are really useful.

Our advice is this – run one small test for every single email you send.

What you don’t want to do is test 2 completely different subject lines, or 2 completely different emails. Why? Ok, so email B wins, great, you get a decent open rate, BUT why? If you test 2 completely different things then you won’t learn what the single factor was that contributed towards the win. So instead, try this:

  1. Create a Trello board or Google sheet, just some way to document what you plan to test
  2. Let’s start by testing a subject line
  3. Start by writing 1 subject line (A)
  4. The dupe it, and add something unique to the second one (B), such as an emoji, a first name, a word in all caps, a question mark, just SOMETHING
  5. Test the same thing multiple times, like 3-10 times, just so you can be totally sure it work
  6. Grab the test results from Mailchimp and document it

Just get into the habit of testing every email, and documenting your learning, so you can incrementally improve results over time.