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Best Practices for A/B Testing

November 20, 2013 Published by

A/B testing, or split testing, is a simple and effective method for making sure that your email marketing campaigns are tailored to make the largest number of conversions possible. Make sure to use these best practices to get more meaningful data out of your next round of A/B testing. [more]

Change only one thing at a time: Accurate A/B testing comes from only having one difference between message A and message B. If you change more than one element of the message, then it becomes impossible to isolate which factor(s) had an effect on engagement rates. While it may be tempting to try and speed up the testing by changing multiple elements, it will only obscure your results.

Keep timing and sample size aligned: The purpose of A/B testing is to look for the most effective variables in a marketing message. Other things that might affect the rate of engagement need to minimized, such as time of day, day of week, marketplace conditions, etc. By sending tests A and B out at the exact same time, you can avoid most of these other influencers. Similarly, make sure that the sample size for each test is similar enough (size, geographic location, etc.) to produce results that can logically be compared.

Make sure your infrastructure is prepared: While testing, your ecommerce site can expect a bump in traffic and new orders. If things aren’t running smoothly, users could be abandoning carts and skewing the results of your testing. Before launching a test, make sure you have adequate stock and that your backend management is running smoothly.

Always be testing to find what elements of your email marketing are encouraging the most customer engagement. Even effective messages should be re-tested to make sure they are still as effective as possible.