It’s no secret that email marketing has been widely adopted by many businesses and organizations as a tool to communicate with current and potential buyers and supporters. But have you ever wondered why some emails outperform others? Maybe you have logged countless hours to craft the perfect message with compelling graphics to engage your target audience only to send it and realize the results were less than satisfactory and did not meet expectations.
The good news is there is a way to determine which email components are more likely to resonate with your audience and drive response and revenue.
An A/B test allows you to create two versions of your email campaign and send each one as a test to random audience segments within your email database to see which version produces the best results. Most email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact include the A/B test tool as an embedded function and will automatically sort which groups receive version A and version B emails. Many digital marketers tend to utilize A/B testing to focus on KPIs (key performance indicators) such as open and click-through rates, but these are not always the most effective insights to measure your campaign’s success.
In the fundraising and nonprofit world, perhaps the most critical and fundamental metric is the donor conversion rate. If your email campaign has exceptional open and click-through rates but minimal conversion to donor gifts and revenue, an A/B test can evaluate certain attributes within your campaigns that either help or hinder donor conversion.
What are some of the variables you can analyze with A/B testing?
Subject line text, email body copy and creative elements, CTA buttons, and send times are examples of variables you can manipulate in your testing process (Note: some platforms only offer select variables to choose from, so make sure you review your platform’s capabilities before testing). For example, you can design your version A email to display static text, images and a simple CTA for donors to give a gift of any amount but design your version B email to introduce a GIF animation as part of your CTA. Your A/B test analysis will show if your audience is more likely to convert based on the dynamic imagery versus the traditional “Click here to donate” link. Remember, it’s important to modify and test only one specific variable at a time to compare differences in audience behavior and interaction with both content versions.
A/B testing can help you refine your email marketing strategy and identify opportunities to increase your ROI over time. Give it a go and let the results speak for themselves!
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