"If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it." – Peter Drucker
One of the best parts of online marketing is that it's possible to know exactly how your campaigns are performing. By constantly testing and analyzing your metrics, you can adjust your strategy and achieve increasingly better results.
A classic way to test and improve email marketing campaigns is A/B testing.
In this article, you will learn what A/B testing is, and how to use the Newsletter A/B scenario in edrone. Let's go!
How A/B testing works
A/B testing is a simple, yet powerful technique used to make constant and incremental improvements in online marketing campaigns by testing two slightly different versions of a given material (e.g. "version A" and "version B", hence the name) and using whichever performs best.
It can be implemented in many different materials such as landing pages, online ads, and even buttons. One of the best aspects of A/B testing is that it minimizes risk. You don't have to commit to changing something before knowing whether or not it will bring better results!
This is how it works for email marketing:
Two slightly different versions of the same email are created – for example, changing the subject line, sending times, or a call-to-action.
Each version is sent to a part of an audience. For example, if you send an A/B test to 50% of a given audience, 25% of people will receive version A and the other 25% will receive version B.
Each version's performance is checked after a given amount of time (for example, 24 hours after sending the test). Sometimes it's quite a big difference!
The best performing version is sent to the remaining 50% of the audience.
How to set up your Newsletter A/B scenario
First, log into your Mission Control and go to ENGAGEMENTS > NEWSLETTER A/B.
Step 1: Get Started
The first step is choosing whether you want to create a new campaign or edit a current one.
After making your choice, click the NEXT: ADJUST button or select ADJUST from the progress bar on the top of the screen.
Step 2: Adjust
In this section, you will determine what section of your audience will receive the test emails, with a maximum of 50%. Regardless of what percentage you choose, this section will be split into two equal parts, which will receive versions A and B of your emails, respectively.
In other words, if you choose to send your test to 20% of your audience, 10% will get version A, and another 10% will get version B. Once the winning version is determined, it will be sent to the remaining 80%.
To continue, click on the NEXT: SENDER button, or choose SENDER from the progress bar.
Step 3: Sender
Here, you will set up who is sending the email: Name, E-mail, and Reply-to E-mail. You can input new data, or choose from a predefined sender (for example, the same sender you have previously used in for other newsletters).
Click on the NEXT: DESIGN button, or choose DESIGN from the progress bar.
Step 4: Design
On this section, you will design your email. Click here to learn how to use the new Drag 'n' Drop Editor.
To create each version of your email, select "Message A" or "Message B" from the Choose Message Type drop-down menu on the top-left of your screen.
To continue, select COUPONS from the progress bar.
Step 5: Coupons (optional)
It is possible to add coupons to any email. You can choose between Static (same coupon for all customers) and Dynamic (each customer gets a unique coupon). We recommend using Dynamic coupons whenever possible.
Regardless of your choice, you will need to upload a CSV file with your coupons. If you need help with creating them, there are several free online coupon generators.
Once your files are ready, click on UPLOAD (CSV). Select which column contains the coupons, check the box if you wish to ignore the first line of your file (column titles, for example). If everything is OK, click on CONFIRM COLUMN. A green confirmation message should appear at the top right corner of your screen.
To continue, click on the NEXT: AUDIENCE button or choose AUDIENCE from the progress bar.
Step 6: Audience
In this section, you will choose how to segment your test audience. Please note that you can only segment your test audience, but the winning version will be sent to your entire contact database.
You can select a pre-defined segmentation (basic CRM segmentations, tagged, or RFM if available) from the Audience type drop-down menu, and segment further by Subscription status (SUBSCRIBED, UNKNOWN, or both).
After choosing your test audience, click on the NEXT: DATES button or select DATES from the progress bar.
Step 7: Dates
Here you will determine when your test (A/B) messages will be sent. You can choose to send them immediately, or schedule to another day and time.
In edrone, times are in CET timezone.
We're almost done! Click the NEXT: REVIEW button or select REVIEW from the progress bar.
Step 8: Review
Send a test email to double-check if everything is working properly. When you're ready, click on the RUN TEST A/B button.
Alright! Now you just have to wait a few hours and come back later to check on your A/B test's performance. After that, you'll choose and send the winning message.
Step 9: A/B Summary
In this section, you will see your A/B test's performance. Each version will have its own column of main metrics such as Sent, Opened, Clicked, Orders, Orders with Coupon, Unsubscribed, and CTR.
edrone's algorithm will evaluate all metrics and give each version a score to help you decide which is the winning message. However, you also have the option of considering a specific variable into account – for example, open rate – and picking the winner yourself.
Once you determine which is your winning message, just select it and click on the SEND WINNING MESSAGE TO OTHERS button. And that's it!
For better results, rinse & repeat on every newsletter you send. And, as always, be sure to check its reports regularly to continue improving your strategies.
Step 10: Reports
To view your A/B Newsletter's performance, go to the REPORTS section on the progress bar. Here you will find the main metrics such as Engagement revenue, Sent, Opened, Clicked, Orders, Orders with Coupon, Unsubscribed, and CTR.
Need more help?
If you have any further questions about Newsletter A/B, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org