I’m a Sucker for A/B Testing Technologies

Yes, I’m a sucker for A/B testing technologies and anything MailChimp.

Last month, MailChimp introduced a brand new A/B testing experience for us digital marketers to play with. It’s a completely redesigned interface with native content testing, so goodbye *|GROUP:X|* merge tag!

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by MailChimp (although I’d be happy to receive another Freddie T-shirt, as I lost the old one 🙂

I used many email marketing software (from Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor to ExactTarget and Pardot’s Automation), but I’ve been a fan of MailChimp for many years. I had the chance to meet some of their amazing peeps in marketing conferences, and I was always impressed by the way they have conducted their brand. There is something about this company that makes you feel connected.

Okay, enough praise for the monkey.

Measurable Digital Era

We live in a digital era where everything is measurable, from clicks on our ads and social shares of the latest post to the number of steps we make a day! (I’m not that obsessive…but it’s 8,662 steps.)

As marketers, we know it’s vital to run A/B tests when trying out new tactics or layouts for our email campaigns. Improving conversion rates can make a bigger difference in our bottom line than many other marketing efforts.
The ability to measure performance of a variation (A or B, or C in MailChimp’s case) allows us to constantly improve our open rates, click-through rates or, more importantly, the conversion rate once they’re on our website.


Creativity for More Accurate Results

Regardless of the email marketing software I choose, I try to be creative and test many email variations. Yet I test only one thing at a time in order to get more accurate results. Throughout my email campaigns, I’ve been testing many things:

  • Subject lines (“Product XYZ on Sale” vs. “Discounts on Product XYZ”)
  • From names (“Awesome Company” vs. “Lior from Awesome Company”
  • Delivery times (first email of the week vs. after-work email)
  • Call-to-actions (“Purchase Today!” vs. “See Plans & Pricing”)
  • Testimonials to include (or whether to include them at all)
  • The specific offer (“Save 25%” vs. “Get Vendor Rate”)
  • The layout of the message (single column vs. two column vs. different placement for different elements)
  • Personalization (e.g., “Mr. Smith” vs. “Joe”)
  • Body text, closing text, images, etc.

Yes, there are many options to test, and betting on the winning version with your CEO can actually win you many Starbucks coffee cups (not to mention credibility as an email expert).

MailChimp’s new A/B Testing interface
(formerly known as A/B Split Campaigns) allows me to decide which variable (subject line, from name, and send time) I’d like to test and how many different combinations of that particular variable to compare. The exciting news is the ability to test up to three combinations of a single variable at once and avoid separate campaigns for advanced content testing. I’m excited about this change (can you tell?) and have already tested its new features in our B2B campaign.

What’s Next for MailChimp

I have no clue, but maybe it includes developing built-in integrations with other CRM systems or showing Unbounce how landing pages AB testing are done right!

I know we should use A/B testing methodology a lot more than we do today. It’s a great way to learn and grow our businesses.