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A/B Testing #SubjectLineTesting

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

I had seen many companies take A/B Testing very interesting and same time they confused about the concept. So I find it this post would help to clear it out everything and give an idea to plan your next A/B Testing.

Marketers call A/B testing or Split Testing or MVT (Multivariate testing). Instead of using a A/B Testing – I would call it “hypothesis“. Generally, Hypothesis proves that “Because of A, result could be increase/decrease” other words “A and B can effect to the result positive/negative” or “A can be reason of the result”. So it can help you to find a problem or it can find a solution to fix.

In email marketing, there is 3 types of hypothesis (testing).

  1. Subject Line Hypothesis – to increase your Open rate

  2. Content Hypothesis – to increase Click-to-Open rate

  3. Call-To-Action (CTA) Hypothesis – to drive traffic to your web page

  4. (+) Timing Hypothesis – to find your subscribers engage what time with your brand; The reason I included as (+) is I found that you cannot predict the timing to increase your conversion rate. Behind all this test “Increase your Conversion Rate” and it doesn’t matter how high Click-To-Open Rate you have if there is ZERO transaction. I personally check my office email at 9AM to 11AM. But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to purchase a product by online or visit stores. I check my personal email 6AM to 8AM or 5PM to 8PM while I am in the train or waiting for the train. But 5PM to 8PM, I would give a 100% of confidence to check all my emails. (read details from my next post “Best time to send a campaign and How to increase a conversion rate”)

By this post I will cover Subject Line Hypothesis.

One day my client came to me why I have ZERO open rate. We have tested Subject A and B. Still didn’t have much difference. The reason you wouldn’t see the result for the Subject Line hypothesis is:

  1. Database is not enough to test – Make sure that you selected right target to test. Best way to do is target to only active subscribers. Those are the subscribers very active to respond.

  2. Summarise – Before pick any fancy words identify your goal and summarise your content into one sentence (150 narrow down to 45 characters).

  3. Test the words – Now you have a summary of the content and test case by case – Try with personalisation and without it; test with FREE shipping  vs. FREE sample/gift/complimentary service/voucher; FREE word against COMPLIMENTARY etc.

  4. But keep your subject line – Simple, Short, and Sweet. And avoid using SPAM words.

  5. Most of the email opens on mobile device (Mobile email will account for 15 to 70% of email opens, depending on your target audience, product and email type), “Pre-Header” is very important and must be relative to the Subject Line.

And after all this setup most important thing is track your result. To track my hypothesis I use table below:


This table is very simple and easy to track your result. Please do note that take a data at least after 7 days deployment. That’s all for now.

Happy Testing!

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