Smart email marketing at Webdirexion

Smart eMail marketing campaigns still rock… and A/B testing improves results.

Everyone is looking for ways to keep their prospects engaged and move them closer to a sale. One way is creating an email campaign, for inquiring minds that want to know! A/B Testing and Conversion Rate Optimizing your emails that are sent out to your prospects go hand in hand to increase your conversion rates. .

How do you know if your email is grabbing your prospects attention? A/B testing is best way to go, and guess who offers an easy solution? Our one and only Mailchimp! Many people don’t know that this is one of the valuable features that Mailchimp offers.

Webdirexion MailChimp A/B Test

This A/B test used MailChimp’s smart technology to pick a winner, then send the winning “postcard” mailing to the majority of the list.

At left is one “postcard” (compared to a full newsletter) style mailing for which we did an A/B test using MailChimp. Like most email tests, we were primarily concerned with two metrics:  number of opens, and number of click-throughs.  Our test was simple — we reviewed two different subject lines for the email:

eMail Subject 1:  “Wordpress 3.6 New Features Quick Tips | Webdirexion.com” eMail Subject 2:  “Make the Most of WordPress 3.6 New Features! | Webdirexion.com”

Two questions:  Which subject line (above) you think won and why?  And, what is more important — number of recipients who opened, or number of recipients who clicked?  We’ll tell you what we learned, below.

We understand how effective A/B Testing is. Our goal is to always test out different methods until we find which one works the best. This is why we are pleased to announce that our new choice for a CRM — Contact Relationship Manager, OnePageCRM, is offering a comprehensive integration with MailChimp, right down to smart segmenting so you can send compelling emails to different groups on your list.

So how does MailChimp A/B test your email campaigns? Well, if you haven’t sent out any campaigns yet you may not see this feature right away. Mailchimp likes to store your analytic rates first for your first couple of campaigns. Then it allows you to use the golden feature.

Changing little things to make your email more intriguing to your prospect, often works as well as changing the more obvious elements like images. You can test your subject line statement vs. a question or test the sender’s name “person” vs. “company name”. There are endless possibilities of small changes you can make until you find what works the best with your prospects.

With an A/B test in MailChimp, two versions of your email will be created. Mailchimp will randomly choose two test groups group A and group B from your total list, based on the % you set for each (usually 10%). One version will go to Group A and the other version will go to group B. The email the gets the most amount of open rate or clicks wins. The email that has the highest score, will automatically be sent to the rest of the people in your mail list.

Always look for measurable results

There are numerous ways to test your email campaign the following are a few examples that mailchimp gives:

  • What day of the week gets better open rates?
  • A subject line with an incentive or intrigue works best?
  • Include the company name in the subject line increases the interaction?
  • Is it better to use your name in the name of vessel or the name of your company?
  • Does the time of day when a campaign is sent affects the rate of clicks?
  • Is it more likely that subscribers to click a linked image or a linked text?
Webdirexion A/B MailChimp test results

Above you can see the results from the Webdirexion MailChimp A/B subject line test.

Results:  Above you can see the results from our test of a “postcard” style mailing shown above which alerted recipients to a new update for WordPress.  Note that while the first subject line did get more recipients who opened, the second version won more stars for average times opened, total times opened (some saved and reopened), and the holy grail — recipients who clicked.  MailChimp determined the winner by sending 33 of each version — 66 total to find the winner.

We really love it that MailChimp has a setting to continue sending only the winning version to the rest of the list (in this case a total of 325 were sent).  It is very easy to do such an A/B test.  Preparing two different versions of elements in emails themselves takes a bit longer, but you could then test to pull more clicks by adjusting the color of your buttons, wording of your call to action, etc.

In the end, we ended up with an 18.8% open rate where, the list average was 18% and the industry average was 13.9%, and three total click throughs.  Always be testing… it will lead to greater ROI, success for your company, and success in your career.

About

Sherri Gutierrez serves as our Webdirexion Marketing Maven, tasked with searching for ways to bring you more customers.  She has a special focus in the areas of smart lead nurturing using CRMs; eMail marketing, and B2B prospecting via LinkedIn and other methods.

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