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Test email: the secret of successful campaigns

Test email: the secret of successful campaigns

Test email is a vital resource for the success of an email marketing campaign. Through it, the preferences of those who receive the messages come to light, guaranteeing the development of assertive strategies in the communication plan.

Testing email marketing brings many benefits: it increases the quality of communication; it raises open rates; it generates insights; it complements planning and so on.

This is one of the best ways to get to know your leads and the reasons that lead them to make a purchasing decision.

But before you plan all the stages of your test email, you need to understand how it works. Keep reading to find out more!

Application of the A/B test

A/B testing is a tool for getting closer to the public. With it, you can analyze people’s behavior in relation to what is being communicated and, from there, adjust the campaign by inserting pertinent information and/or removing excesses.

Here’s how to apply it:

Separate a sample from your mailing list (30% of your contacts, for example).
Select the variant to be tested (email subject line, CTA etc).
Send a version of the test element to 50% of the sample and another version to the remaining 50% of emails.

The alternative with the most opens will be the audience’s preferred option.
With the results of the test email in hand, you can send your campaign based on insights generated by your audience. That way it’s easier to get it right, isn’t it?

It’s worth remembering that professionals can only achieve the positive effects of A/B testing if their bases are properly verified and free of bounces.

In other words, there’s no point in running an A/B test email on a list of invalid emails.

And speaking of which, do you know how to build healthy mailing lists? Watch our webinar to find out how a well-built base can increase the potential of your email marketing!

Planning the test email

First of all, you need to define the objective of your email marketing campaign. Do you want to boost sales, convert to a link? Generate leads?

Planning the test email comes next, and will vary according to the objectives defined.

For example, if you intend to send a sales email, testing the elements directly linked to the click-through rate and conversion rate is best.

Remember that click-through rate is different from conversion rate. The former indicates the level of audience engagement, while the latter indicates how many people clicked on a specific action.

This way you’ll know, for example, which color attracts the consumer’s attention the most and a host of other details that together will form an effective approach.

Here’s how to test the copy and design of your campaign.

What to evaluate in copywriting

In the email header, the subject line and the preheader are crucial for the consumer to open the message. For this reason, these items should always be tested, regardless of the type of communication being shared (promotional, transactional or institutional emails).

It is important to note that subject lines are spaces that allow for a greater variety of tests, such as the existence or not of emoticons; insertion of the recipient/sender’s name; upper and lower case; question and statement.

On the inside of the message, the call to action should lead the reader to the CTA, which should be persuasive enough to generate high conversion rates.

The internal text (core of the message) must ensure that the content is clear and remains in line with the communication objectives.

What should be evaluated in design

On the inside of the email, the layout should be consistent with your brand’s tone of voice. Is your audience conservative? The layout of the elements should follow a more traditional line.

Are you communicating with a young, trendy audience? The graphic scheme should be bolder, and so on. Make sure the design is consistent with the persona’s behavior.

Still on the subject of layout, texts should be scannable, i.e. easily identifiable by their headings and subheadings. This should be observed more in informative emails (newsletters), which contain a greater amount of text.

With regard to colors, you need to pay attention to the contrasts between the background of the piece and the CTAs. Conversion buttons should have colors that catch the user’s eye.

Use automation to send test emails

Anyone who works with large lists needs the help of an email triggering platform.

This is because it is impossible to work with thousands of recipients without an automation service to send the messages.

Similarly, it is impractical to send test emails to a sample list with thousands of addresses.

That’s why, for those who work with email marketing campaigns, automation is the only (and best) alternative for carrying out a good A/B test.

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How to view test email results

Now that you’ve seen the importance of sending test emails and how to apply them to your campaigns, understand how to measure the results.

The first thing to consider is the duration of the test. The results of 30 minutes after sending will be different from the results of 3 hours, for example.

It all depends on the size of your sample. The smaller the number of test recipients, the shorter the duration, and vice versa.

Use only one metric per variable. For example: if you want to analyze the internal text of the message (core), only consider the click-through rate. Using more than one metric can cause confusion.

It is also important to establish a percentage of success for each variable to be analyzed. For example: you want 15% clicks on the email’s core. Did the number of clicks meet this ideal?

Just as it’s easy to apply the test, it’s also easy to see the results. And with automation, you have access to the best results without having to make comparisons manually.


What is the difference between test email and A/B testing?
The two names mean the same thing. In other words, it means having access to your audience’s preferences before sending an email marketing campaign.

How do I apply a test email?
A sample of the mailing list should be separated. When defining the elements to be tested, a version should be sent to 50% of the contacts, and another version to the rest of the sample. The result of the test will be the variable that achieves the pre-established percentage of success.

What should be evaluated in an A/B test?
Subject line, preheader, internal text, CTA, layout and colors.

Why is automation important?
Handling large mailing lists requires the assistance of a mechanical service. That’s why marketing automation generates flows for sending messages and applying A/B tests, among other functions.