Everything You Need To Know About Split Testing

What is split testing?

Split testing is one of the most important activities you should be doing with email marketing. It helps you identify what audiences prefer on many different fronts. This can help you to achieve better results, more revenue and greater profits. However, not everyone realises the benefits, or knows how to properly adopt split testing in their campaigns.

In this article, we’ll be looking at why you should be conducting split testing in your email marketing campaigns. We’ll also be giving away some top secrets to help you out.

What Is Split Testing?

Split testing is the process of sending two versions of an email out (or landing page) with one variance on the copies to see which performs better. The difference between the two emails can be very slight, like the colour of a call to action button or one word. Or it can be a massive difference like the time of day, or day of the week.

There are many ways to test the effectiveness of split testing. You might find that customers prefer to read the content of an email with a certain subject line but are less likely to purchase after reading the email. That is why it’s important to set up key metrics for your campaign and determine what you class as better.

In addition, you should try to exhaust one variance at a time. However, if you have a significantly large enough list (i.e. over 100,000) you could test three or four varieties of the difference (i.e. four different coloured call to action buttons). However, to be sure of the results, you should do the test a couple of times.

Why Use Split Testing?

Split testing is essential if you want to improve email marketing revenues. As more ROI is generated from email marketing than any other digital sales channels, you should focus a lot of efforts on this channel. By testing your emails and adopting audience preferences, you’re likely to get better results.

It isn’t just conversions that are important either. You can look at ways to decrease the unsubscribe rates, increase social sharing, and other factors that you deem important. Split testing is also the only real way that you can test what the audience prefers absolutely.

Top Tips For Succeeding With Your Split Testing Campaigns

Split testing isn’t easy. There are many ways that you can get information or strategies wrong. So, here are some of the best kept secrets about ensuring your split campaigns are a success:

Test large populations – Ensure that you have a large enough population to start testing. You should be looking at least a couple of hundred per segment in the testing. The more you have, the higher the accuracy of the results. If you don’t have many on your mailing list, don’t buy more – just repeat the test a few times.

Exhaust options before moving on – One test does not determine the most popular options. Your audience might prefer orange as a call-to-action button in one test, but that doesn’t mean red isn’t more popular on another test. Always ensure that you’re exhausting options before declaring any success.

Randomise the audiences on each segment – When conducting a split test, always ensure that the audience in each segment is randomly selected. Otherwise you could face some bias in the results.

Regularly retest assumptions – Sometimes you might need to retest an assumption because of changes in trends or attitudes. Never be afraid of this.

Don’t tell people you’re testing them – People react differently if they know they’re being testing. All the changes you make should be subtle and the audience should be oblivious to the split testing process.


Split testing is important and you should be constantly doing it. With the right tools and attitude you can improve results of your email marketing campaigns and enjoy higher returns on your investment.

Do you do split testing? What holds you back?

Let us know in the comments below.

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