Email testing is great because it eliminates guesswork and provides insight into your campaign’s effectiveness.

10% extra sales, 25% extra clickthroughs does that sound good?

Email testing allows you to know which changes will give the best results. On top of that, it is pretty easy to do. But there is more to it. Here are five must know essentials for better email testing.

1 – Have a smart plan to guide your email testing.

Testing for the sake of testing doesn’t help anyone. So set goals and try to achieve them. It is much easier to design tests when you know what you want to achieve. A plan also allows you to think ahead and beyond only testing just subject lines. Testing is not a onetime thing, so put different tests on the calendar and roll out you whole testing plan over time. If you want some inspiration on things to test, have a look at this list of 150+ email testing ideas.

2 – Test the bare minimum

Think about what you want to achieve by email marketing (your goals, right) and how you would be able to do so by optimizing your e-mails. If you want to sell more of a certain product, maybe you should firstly test product pictures, offers, landing pages, target groups, etc instead of for instance sendtime. The less testing you do to achieve your goals the better! So start with the tests that have high potential and the ones where you can re-use the outcomes.

3 – Be a scientist when email testing

It is no use testing if the outcomes are incorrect or if you cannot use the results because of faulty test-design. So use a testgroup that is large enough. Split your file in random groups and test if your outcomes are significant, meaning that the difference isn’t caused by chance, but was really a result of the test.

You can use an online A/B testing significance calculator (google it) to see afterwards. Rule of the thumb, aim for at least 200 outcomes (opens, clicks, conversions) per testgroup and you should be good.

4 – Walk to conclusions

If one test showed that a longer subjectline preformed well, it doesn’t mean that all long subjectlines will. If one week you have best send results on a Monday, next week might be different. So avoid jumping to conclusions, these might hurt your own results. Re-test when necessary.

5- Get management buy-in by having fun

Have fun testing. Make it an internal contest to guess which subject line or test version performs best. This keeps the spirit high and adds some fun to the workplace. It might also save your testing program all together.  Marketers that share results have a lot better buy-in from management. And buy-in is the second most important thing for a continued testing plan, right after those great results.

Email testing allows you to know precisely which changes will improve your email marketing. So be sure to include email marketing tests in your email marketing plan.