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Increase Your Open Rates

Use email A/B testing to test your pre-open elements

An A/B test allows marketers to compare two or more versions of digital content - such as a website, a landing page, or a marketing email - and determine which version performs better based on the objective they want to achieve. This optimization technique is key to improving the conversion rates of your marketing campaigns.

To get higher open rates for your emails, test different versions of the elements that can be seen before opening the email campaign like the subject line, the preheader, the sender’s name, and the sender’s email address. In order to be able to identify the element impacting your results, only test one at a time. Test the different versions on a sample of your subscribers and send the version generating the highest opening rate to the rest of the email list to optimize your results.

How to implement an A/B test

Choose an Email Service Provider (ESP) that offers an A/B testing feature, and set up your test:

  • Customize your campaign: subject line, preheader, sender’s name and email address and email body. Once this campaign has been created, you have version A of your test. 

  • Then, create a new version of your campaign (which will be a copy of version A) and only change one of the following variables: email subject line, preheader, sender’s name or sender’s email address. Once it’s done, you have your version B. 

  • Create as many versions as you want. For example, you can create versions A, B, C, and D to test four versions of your subject line. 

  • Once you have created different versions of your campaign, set the test sample size and the criteria for selecting and sending the winning version. Here, the winning version will be the one that generates the best open rate. 

  • Schedule when the test sample and winning email version will be sent. Once the A/B test has been completed, you will be able to view data and to gain insights to what your customers liked about your different versions, and how to improve future campaigns.


Brands that A/B test every email see email marketing ROIs that are 37% higher than those of brands that never do A/B tests.



Pro Tip

Make your A/B tests run for a minimum of one hour before the winning version is determined. If your test sample is large, you can even run the A/B test for a longer period.

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Want to know more about how you can apply these email growth tactics to your business? 

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