a/b testingEmail marketing allows you to build relationships with your prospects as you send them emails in the hopes of converting them into clients. But simply typing a message and sending it out won’t do.

An email marketing campaign should not only be efficient; it has to be effective enough to make sure that your prospects will eventually become loyal clients. This is where A/B tests come in. Making use of this method guarantees that you get more engagement out of every email or newsletter you send.

The biggest and most important part of the A/B testing process is research. From there, everything will fall into place. Here’s how and why A/B testing (also known as bucket or split testing) will step up your law firm’s email marketing game.

What is A/B testing and how does it work?

A/B testing or split testing means creating two variations of a single email marketing campaign: Version A and Version B. Version A is sent to a certain number of your recipients, while Version B goes to the other half. This method shows you which among the two is more effective. The version that gets more clicks or responses is evidently the more effective version.

With two variants, you can easily see what works and what doesn’t. You can make improvements needed to attract more consumers. It will also allow you to mix and match designs that your target market will love.

What to consider in A/B testing

In A/B testing, you work with different variables to get the best results. The changes could be as minimal as a change of color or as massive as redesigning the entire page.  You could test the subject line, the message’s layout (single or two columns), the headline, the body text, the closing text, images, personalization (Example: Mr. Murphy or Brian), the inclusion of testimonials, and the call to action (Example: “Visit our website now!” or “Contact us any time for more information.”).

With all the variables you need to consider, it’s important to decide which ones you want to test first. Changing too many things at one time can make it difficult to tell what change made the difference in results.

If clients do not open your emails, for example, maybe it’s best for you to start making changes in your subject line first. If that works, then move on to the others you think are most important.

Each of these elements will play a part in how your clients will react to your campaign. They could either react positively to an element or go the other way and decide that it isn’t for them. It will be up to you to interpret the results and decide which changes are good and should be incorporated into future mailings, and which don’t work and should be set aside.

Analytics and results

Once you have decided on two versions for testing, the data is then analyzed and you can start understanding what the results mean. As the users start receiving the email, activity and responses will be tracked through an analytics dashboard where data will be collected. A statistical engine will then analyze the data. From there, you’ll be able to see which version had resulted in a better response rate.

There are three general categories that are often used to evaluate the results – the open rate, the click-through rate, and the conversion rate. In most cases, any change is designed to improve one of these three metrics.

A/B testing tools

Email marketing campaign software like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Active Campaign usually come with A/B testing tools as do marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and Marketo. If you aren’t using any of these providers, you can always set one up manually, too.

You would need to make two separate lists of recipients and send version A to the first list and version B to the second list. Keep track of response rates on a spreadsheet and you should be able to make a comparison to see which version got the better results.

A/B testing tips
In A/B testing, always test on a large number to get more accurate results. Test often and try to keep it to just one variable at a time so that you can pinpoint which specific elements work, and which don’t.

Why A/B Testing is a must

A/B testing makes sure you get more out of the existing traffic you have. This will also help in the continuous improvement of your law firm’s site and of your email marketing campaigns. A/B tests make sure that you’re always using the best possible format for your emails. You’ll save time, money, and effort in your email marketing campaigns.

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