Email A/B Testing – 3 Simple Variables to Test

Email A/B testing is an important marketer’s tool when it comes to understanding what works for your brand and for your audience.  The insights gained from the testing allow you to see what your audience connects to.

With regular A/B testing, you can understand and implement the tested components that resonated with your customers. Over time, this insight could improve conversion rates, resulting in a huge difference to the bottom line.

What Components Are Available To Test?

There are endless points to conduct an A/B test.  Here are 3 easy-to-test email elements to dip your toes into:

   1.    Email Subject Line

The Test: Which subject line receives the highest open rate?
What to Test: Create 2 emails with the same copy. Use a different subject line for each email
Example: You have an email for an event and you wonder, is it better to have the event name and location in the subject line or simply the event name? Create 2 subject lines:
a. Meet us at XYZ Event in Las Vegas
b. Meet us at XYZ Event.

Which subject line performed better?

   2.    Call To Action

The Test: Which Call to Action (CTA) does better? Words or Images?
What to Test: Create two versions of your email:

  • Version 1 will have text for the CTA
  • Version 2 will have an image for the CTA

Example: You have 2 emails:

  • One version has the Call to Action (CTA) in words. For example: Register Today!
  • One version has the Call to Action (CTA) as an image.  For example:


Which CTA received the most clicks?

 3.    Email Subject Line

The Test: Which email template received the most desired action?
What to Test: Create 2 emails using different email templates.  Each version will use the same copy, images (if possible) and subject line.
Example: You have 2 emails each using a different template:

  • Email template A
  • Email template B

Which Email template received the highest click-through rate or other desired action?

For best results, ensure the tests are run simultaneously, only variable is tested at a time and the production schedule allows time for testing.

Regular A/B testing helps shed insights into what your audience connects to.  Conducting 1 – 2 tests per week and tracking the results will provide information that can overtime improve email metrics.