In the last chapter, we discussed analytics. The ability to measure success opens up a whole new world of improved marketing. Measuring makes it possible to find out which elements of your messages are more likely to work before you commit your entire database.
But even with the power of measurability and testing at their fingertips, the majority of email marketers don’t test. If you’re already testing, you have a huge advantage over marketers who are still relying on what “looks” or “feels” right. You’ve recognized the fact that the data from a test will tell you what is right. The success gap is widening in email marketing, and a line can be drawn between people who are testing and those who are not.
Another line can be drawn between A/B type testing and the advanced (yet simple) techniques of multivariate testing.
A/B testing means that you are simply testing one sample against another. A/B tests can be run using subject lines, layout, copy—just about any single variable you can think of with respect to your email. It’s easy to do. It yields results. The drawback is that you can only test one variable at a time. When you first start testing, you might want to test a lot of variables.
Here is a simple example of A/B testing: Chris wants to send an email to his subscribers to tell them about his upcoming book. The subject lines are (A) Buy the new book by Chris Baggott and (B) I really would like your feedback on my new book.
One of these ...