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What types of email campaign split testing will increase my response rates for my business?

The design, subject line, email list, and time of day you send email are all important factors to consider when testing your next email campaign.

And, when you have so many ideas for the campaign, split testing will definitely prove beneficial to you. So, what should you consider before your next test?

Two Factors to Consider During Email Campaign Split Testing

1.) Subject Lines

Subject lines are one of the best tools for testing because they will catch the reader’s eye inviting him to open the email. So, it’s important to have good subject lines. You could use the reader’s first and  last name to see how it resonates with him. Or, consider using special characters. For more information on using special characters, check out our blog post, “Will using special characters increase response rates in email campaigns?” at

2.) Design

To see what elements work best, you could go with a fancy design or basic email. Send them both out to determine which one is opened up the most.

Two Ways to Test Your Email Campaigns

1.) Test different subject lines

One could be personalized with the reader’s first name and one could be a general statement. If it’s a special offer, one subject line could read,”We’re offering you a free subscription. Open your email and check it out.” Another could read, “Click here for a free subscription.” So, you portray the same message in different ways to see what works best.

2.) Apply a three-way test (10/10/80)

Come up with two testing measures and send each measure to 10% of the list. After a few days, you’ll see results of how many people opened the emails. Use that metric to send to the remaining 80% of the list that was most successful.

Why It’s Important to Test Your Email Campaigns

With split testing, you could discover your readers like their first names in the subject lines. (I know when I receive email that reads, “Hey Phil, it’s time to renew your subscription,” I’m more inclined to open it.)

So, don’t be afraid to try something different. Experiment. Whether it’s subject lines or designs, testing allows you to see what works. This will greatly benefit you in the long run.

And, don’t forget to track your emails.  Make sure your email provider has a great tracking system so you can have the best and most accurate results. Check your reports to determine when people open your email and which types they open the most.

So, What Works Best?

We’ve found that subject line testing has been the most beneficial because the results are easily translatable. Subject lines are more convenient to come up with than different email designs.

We’ve had clients test subject lines using personalization. Their testing was “[First Name merge], It’s time to renew your subscription” versus “It’s time to renew your subscription.” After a few days, the results came back and the open rates for the personalized emails were much higher. In more cases than not, we found that the personalized name in the subject line testing provided greater results than the one that didn’t .

Now, I encourage you to test your emails to determine what works best for you.

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Beth is our VP of Digital Marketing Strategy who, besides drinking a ridiculous amount of coffee, helps clients generate more business. Whether they’ve partnered with Proximity Marketing for a decade or just joined the family, Beth helps clients achieve success and achieve measurable results.

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