Weekly #NexusCafe Twitter Chat: A/B Testing Best Practices

Each week, marketers from around the world join the ExactTarget Nexus partner ecosystem on Twitter for a conversation about trends and best practices in the interactive marketing industry.  We call it the Nexus Café.

a b testingLast week's #NexusCafe participants discussed all aspects of A/B Testing in email marketing campaigns. We featured guest, Melanie Spilbeler, the Email Product Marketing Manager at ExactTarget. The Twitter conversation had a lot of participation from Nexus Partners (view transcript), sharing their ideas and best practices around using A/B Testing in the real world.

A/B Testing is a testing method where you send two versions of one email to two test audiences and then track to send the winning message. Applying A/B Testing is both art and science for digital marketers. Almost everyone agreed that A/B Testing should be part of every campaign, but the key is for marketers to build in time in their project plans and be strategic about the variables tested.

Here are some ideas about A/B Testing shared during #NexusCafe:
  • Melanie recommends using a 10% test audience #1, 10% test audience #2, and then 80% audience send with the winner for lists of less than 50,000 subscribers. For lists greater than 50,000, try 5-5-90.
  • @trendlinei: Just make sure that if you test....you measure and take action on the results
  • @trendlinei: Don't over complicate your tests either. Ease into it with baby steps. Get addicted to it then do more
  • Answering the question on what to test: @megansabine: Anything and Everything :) Do make sure the results are actionable - data is only good if you can act on it
  • Time of send is important. From @Emailgirl: We also found sending a birthday email ON the birthday far outperformed sending all bday emails at beginning of month.
  • Interesting stat from @Emailgirl: For our client Helzberg Diamonds we saw 18x more clicks when using Shop Now instead of Buy Now
  • @JoshuaYork: As an ET reseller, daily I tell clients try a few A/B testing methods. Sub lines, content and images, above and below the fold.
  • @JoshuaYork: Start with subject line, but don't forget that preview pane. B2B or B2C, we all want to wet our beak before we jump in and open.
  • @KeithTreco: Ensuring content renders correctly is a good pre-cursor to A/B testing. I've used @returnpath with success

Join us for #NexusCafe every Thursday from 11am - 12pm EST to discuss emerging topics and trends from across the digital marketing world.

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  • Andrew Kordek

    It was a blast participating in #NexusCafe. Looking for to participating in more going forward. Do you have a list of topics for the next couple of ones?

    Andrew Kordek
    Co-Founder, Trendline Interactive
    An email marketing consultancy.
    Twitter: @andrewkordek & @trendlinei