You Are a Part of Email Marketing
Consider that email you received from Amazon, Walmart, or any other favorite retailer today. Personally, my guilty pleasures are B&H Photo and Adorama. When you open the email via your email program, you may not be aware that you are part of an A/B/ email marketing test. Maybe you have a friend that is also a customer and also received an email form the same retailer.
You and your friend start comparing emails. You’re surprised to find your friend’s email was not only slightly different from yours, but it hit her email box at 7:00 a.m. while your email showed up at noon. Your email subject line says, “New Cameras in Stock”, and your friend’s subject line says, “New Canon Cameras in Stock!” Her email says, “See Our Latest Canon Full Frame Models” while your email Call to Action says, “Buy Now!” You’re a photographer and so is your friend, so why the difference when both emails are from the same retailer? There is a good chance you and your friend are part of an A/B Test for an Email Marketing Campaign.
Monitor Your Actions
The retailer is going to monitor the actions taken on both emails. Was the email opened? Did you click on the Call to Action button? Did you ultimately make a purchase? After compiling the available data, and you can be sure most, if not all retailers are doing this, it’s time to implement Linear Regression testing. What are they looking for? Which Call to Action worked best? Was there any difference in open rates based on subject line? Which delivery time reported the highest click through rate? Which overall email design reported the highest open or click through rate? The data will be charted and the differences compared.
A regression shows the extent to which changes in a “dependent variable,” which is put on the y-axis, can be attributed to changes in an “explanatory variable,” which is placed on the x-axis. (Hamel)
Actual Email Marketing A/B Testing
If you are doing an actual A//B test, you would limit your changes to one or maybe subject line and call to action. The subject line will determine the open rate. Once open, the Call to Action can be monitored for the Click Through Rate. Additional changes, copy, images, etc. should be limited or you will lose sight of which variable actually caused the change.