Email marketing split tests are a known best practice method to ensure your email is preforming at maximum capacity. Every email marketer should know the the email testing essentials. But not all A/B split tests are created equal.
There is more to it if you want to create true impact, so make your split tests count (to ten ).

10 questions for better email split tests

Answer these ten questions to run better, smarter email optimization tests.

1. What are we focusing on to prove and improve?
2. Is testing the best way to spend our marketing budget at this stage?
3. What are the assumptions as to what will and will not work?
4. Are the changes big enough, can they be bigger?
5. Do the proposed tests have high potential for seriously improving results?
6. How will we measure the outcomes, is this a valid measurement?
7. Are we (too) comfortable with every result?
8. Will our tests answer the hypothesis we set?
9. Are we creating true changes or only variants?
10. Can we re-use the results in later campaigns?

The beauty of email marketing split tests

I always encourage people to improve their email marketing, make it smarter and more effective. Increase the email hit ratio, so to speak. One of the benefits of email marketing is the ability to run in depth optimization and email split tests.

This works mainly because when you send out your email newsletter, it is one-to-one. You can send different people different emails. Change an element of a single email, or even complete emails and compare them with other variants.

And it’s highly measurable, so you can track behavior and get insight into which email gets more clicks or makes the most conversions.
Sometimes the split testing gets stuck and only scratches the surface, now that is a missed opportunity. if you are looking for some testing inspiration, here are is a list of 150+ email testing ideas to get you started.

The problem with superficial email testing

What I often see is that the A/B split testing for emails are too superficial. Tests get put at the end of the process, many only do subject line tests and if lucky some elements of the email. That is not email marketing best practice at all.

Running A/B split tests before doing a serious email marketing review has downsides. Improving a non-optimized / thought through email program, can be a serious waste of resources. As long as there are improvements, doing this form of mild testing is better than nothing. But it will never make the emails outperform themselves.

Add direction to your email split testing

An optimization or even an A/B testing plan should have a underlying direction, to improve the complete email marketing program and do so in a sustainable fashion. If that is implemented, we can ask the bonus question: How do we celebrate once the results improve dramatically?