Last month, we explored how to effectively A/B test email marketing campaigns. This month, I wanted to get more tactical with four things you should be A/B testing in your email campaigns: subject lines, visuals, content, and CTAs. Keep reading for some hands-on advice.
1. The perfect subject line
The subject line is one of the most prominent elements of your campaign, and it plays a large role in your open rate. Through A/B testing, you can determine which subject line gets the highest opens. Here are some elements to consider when A/B testing your subject line:
- Length: What is the optimal length? A recent study from Return Path shows it’s around 61-70 characters. Short subject lines have also proven to be eye-catchers, like “Sale” or “Last Chance” or “A Personal Note”
- Word order: Should you present the main offer at the beginning or towards the end? Consider these examples: Use this discount code to get 25% off your next purchase vs. Get 25% off your next purchase using this discount code
- Personalization: A simple first name can make all the difference. Compare “Tom, celebrate fall in Chicago!” with a generic “Celebrate fall in Chicago!”
- Emojis vs. no emojis: A highly debatable topic, but it all depends on your brand and the type of campaign. Remember, relevance is key
2. Which visuals work best
Using visuals in your email campaigns can be a powerful way to get your message across. But too much and the wrong usage can also distract the recipient. Consider these elements:
- Images: Number of images, scenery vs. people, exterior vs. interior
- Design: Layout, background, bullet points vs. paragraphs
- Colors: Bright vs. pale, branded, contrast
- Fonts: Style, size
3. Which content has the biggest impact
The copy is another important thing to think about:
- Length: Will your text fit on one page, or will your recipient have to scroll? I suggest a maximum of three scrolls to view the entire email
- Header: One line vs. two lines, question vs. statement
- Personalization: Opening your message with the recipient’s name vs. no name and keeping it generic
- Offer: Does “Save 30%” perform better than “Book 2 nights, get 3rd free”?
4. Which CTAs get the most clicks
Lastly, the call-to-action (CTA) helps in getting your customer to the next step, often one step closer to booking! Consider these:
- Button vs. text: Buttons vs. hypertext links
- CTA copy: “Book Now” and “Stay With Us” are examples of copy you could test to get your recipients to click
- CTA placement: Where does your CTA perform best? In the middle? Before the scroll?
- Number of CTAs: Do you include several CTAs (e.g., “Book A Stay and “See Menu”) or a single focused CTA like “Learn More”?
Now that you know what you can test, let’s check out some real examples from Revinate Marketing customers:
The Papandayan A/B tested two different hero images in their campaign. They found that Version B with their hotel room outperformed Version A with people.
Hotel Woodstock experimented with the length and copy of two subject lines. They learned that the more descriptive subject line was favored by recipients.
A/B Testing with Revinate Marketing
Revinate Marketing makes it easy for hotel groups to conduct email marketing. If you’re not already using Revinate to increase direct bookings and generate revenue, please reach out to learn more.