How To Split-Test Your Email Marketing Messages

The Email Marketing Robot supports “spintax” so that you can test any part of your email message, and then monitor the responses to work out the combinations that result in the highest response rate.

Through testing, you can then remove the worst performing combinations, and add new ones to further attempt to increase the amount of leads generated for sending the same number of cold B2B emails.

If you’ve ever tested ads in Google Adwords, this is the exact same process but using targeted marketing emails.

There are several ways to use split testing with our software:

Subject Line Testing

The first objective of your email should be to get the email body text read, and other than your sender name (which should probably just be your name, or your company name, or both), the subject line and the first few words of your email message are the things that will get your email message read, and not deleted.

Let’s say you think of three possible subject lines:

  • 12 Reasons Your Business Should Have A Native App By 2016
  • Does your business need a mobile app?
  • FW: Mobile Apps

We recommend brainstorming 100 different subject lines for your business, then pick the three that you think will work best. You could ask your customers, staff, friends, and family to vote for the ones they like the best, then test them using the software.

When you enter them into the Subject Line field in the software enter them like this:

{12 Reasons Your Business Should Have A Native App By 2016|Does your business need a mobile app?|FW: Mobile Apps}

Then, you set the targeting of business types and geographic locations, and you send your email to 1000 businesses. Lets say you get the following results:

Subject 1 – 4 responses
Subject 2 – 2 responses
Subject 3 – 6 responses

In this case (which is hypothetical only), we would recommend keeping subject lines 1 and 3, and replacing subject line 2 with another one that may perform better.

Ask yourself, what was it about subject line 3 that caused the higher response? Can you learn anything from this experiment that could help you to craft an even better subject line?

When you finally find a subject line that outperforms any other, let’s say subject line 1 is the overall winner, you can then do multivariate testing to test many different combinations, like this:

Original subject line: 12 Reasons Your Business Should Have A Native App By 2016

Multivariate test: {Twelve|12} {Conclusions Why|Reasons Your} {Company|Business} {Must|Should|Needs To} {Offer|Have} A {Mobile|Native} App By 2016

The software will pick at random the word “Twelve” or “12”, then “Conclusions Why” or “Reasons Your”, and so on. In total this test will produce 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 x 2 x 2 = 96 combinations.

Let’s say you then send this to 5000 businesses, by looking at the replies that you receive and counting the totals for each subject line combination, you can then see if you can find an alternative subject line that performs even better.

Email Body Testing

Testing completely different email body text

You can easily test two or more email body texts by first of all writing out the emails in notepad, and testing two or more different strategies. For example, you could test the strategy of asking who would be the best person to talk to, or you could try asking if they would like to receive a free white paper or training document from you.

In the email body field in the software, enter the emails like this:

{email one text|email two text|email three text|and so on}

Note that there are no line breaks after the | sign, but you can include line breaks and new paragraphs in the body text. Just ensure that you start with { break up each combination with the | symbol, and finish with a }.

Use the “test mode” in the software to test the email to ensure that you have got the syntax correct before sending out for real.

Testing phrases or words within email body text

You can also test on a paragraph by paragraph basis to produce several combinations, for example you could re-write a paragraph to say something in a different way to test the response:

{Paragraph one text goes here.|Re-written paragraph goes here.}

The other option is to test words within a sentence, this will produce many variations:

{Hi|Hello} this is a test message to {demonstrate|show} how you can {AB|split} test words {inside|within} a sentence.

Testing Call to Action (CTA)

Once your email is opened, and the paragraphs are read, the final thing you can test is your call to action (CTA).

You may have a few ideas about your CTA, such as they could reply with the persons name that you should contact, or they could reply for a free report, or they could reply for more information.

Simply type out your CTA paragraph in notepad for each combination, then put a { sign in front of the first combination, immediately after that combination put the | sign, then the next combination, and | sign, the next combination, and so on, with a } after the last combination. For example:

{CTA paragraph 1|CTA paragraph 2|CTA paragraph 3}

Again, by sending out 1000 emails, and then looking at the responses that come back, you can count up how many people responded to each call to action, and find that one that produces the most responses.

To sum up

Small increases in response rate can add up!

If you aren’t using split testing in your B2B cold emails, then you’re leaving money on the table.

If you haven’t already done so, download the Email Marketing Robot software here, and try using “spintax” in your marketing emails to increase the response rate of your campaigns exponentially.