What is A/B Testing in Emails? (and 4 Things to Try)

 | What is A/B Testing in Emails? (and 4 Things to Try)

As a marketer, you know the value in testing everything… and then testing it again. In fact, the importance of testing is really why digital marketing in itself is so powerful. See, there’s no other marketing area that offers as many opportunities to test as digital marketing does — specifically email marketing — and A/B testing is a huge part of that!

A/B testing is a research method where you try out two different methods with a randomized group of people in your audience to see which method resonates better. In marketing — specifically in email marketing — it’s a really effective way to see what’s working… and what isn’t. Wondering how you can start A/B testing? Here’s how.

Why A/B test?

So much of marketing comes down to the importance of testing, tweaking, and trying new things… and A/B testing allows you to do that in a measurable, trackable way. Without A/B testing, you may be missing out on valuable information and data that could really improve your strategy, and you might also be relying on strategies that aren’t working as well as they could be.

Luckily, most email marketing software makes it incredibly easy to try out A/B testing in your email campaigns — and for good reason! What works for one audience may not work for another, and A/B testing is an excellent way to quickly figure that out. 

4 things to A/B test in your next email campaign

When you know you want to start A/B testing, it’s common to wonder what, exactly, needs to be tested. Here are 4 things to try out when A/B testing in your next email campaign:

  • Subject lines: Switching out subject lines and preview text options for different audiences is an excellent A/B testing method for boosting open rate. We always recommend offering a few different options to test what’s working best, and it can be really helpful to try out different language options (think: “open up” or “find inside) alongside more typical subject lines. You can also try out adding in fun emojis or puns when A/B testing to see if they encourage higher open rates.
  • Openers: Switching out the first line of your emails is a great way to A/B test your email campaigns, too (specifically how people are engaging with them). Try out pulling in <FirstName> fields on some of your emails, and balance it out with a generic opener in your others to see which encourages higher engagement.
  • CTA buttons: A/B testing is the very best method you can use when measuring conversions in an email, and one of the best ways to  leverage it is by tweaking the copy in your CTA buttons. Try testing with 2 different CTA options, and use the winner to inform your future campaigns as well.
  • Email length: Different audiences prefer different email lengths, which makes it a perfect thing to test. Consider testing two drastically different lengths to measure anything from engagement to conversion, and keep that in mind when building out future campaigns.


Looking for other ways to measure and market your business as effectively as possible? We’ve packed Marketing Career Hub with tons of options and resources to pull from, and you can find them all here.

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