A/B testing allows you to easily send out two versions of an email campaign and figure out which version performed better with your guests through open rates or clicks. A/B testing involves creating an email campaign and then making adjustments to different parts of the campaign to see which variation performed best. Try to only test one variation with an email campaign; otherwise it’ll be hard to figure out which variation had the most impact.
Most modern email platforms have A/B testing tools built right in and if yours doesn’t offer testing, it might be time to upgrade to a tool that lets you be as successful as possible.
You choose how many people receive version A and B and then the winning version, based on opens or clicks, is sent to everyone else. A/B email testing is beneficial not only in making your email marketing strategy stronger, it also helps your overall hotel’s marketing plan through developing better content for your website or social media networks. You can also use tools to A/B test your website, but let’s focus on A/B test types to run in your email campaigns. Here are a few tests you can get started with to maximize your email marketing campaigns:
Maybe a generic subject line such as “February Newsletter” works better with your guests compared to a specific subject line like, “Upgrades to Our Oceanview Suites!” In a subject line A/B test, the email content will be the same, but you’ll test which subject line makes your subscribers want to open the email.
Does your email come from firstname.lastname@example.org? What if it came from Jane@hotelname.com? These types of tests will see if your subscribers like a generic from name or a personalized name as if it’s coming from the hotel owner or innkeeper directly. Keep in mind your relationship with the guest and how you want your hotel or bed and breakfast branded.
This A/B email test allows you to play around with the layout, images, and content within the campaign. Maybe the subscribers want promotional pieces on the right-side column so they can scan the information quickly, or maybe your subscribers want less text with a link and a graphic.
Delivery date & times
We often talk with our clients about best times to send email campaigns but each client can get a different answer as it depends on their guests and the intent behind the email campaign. With delivery tests, you can send version A on one day and see how it’s received compared to sending it on a different day of the week.
An important thing to keep in mind with email testing is your sample size. If you’re using email to drive bookings and online conversions, it’d be beneficial to test a smaller portion of your list and send the winner out to the majority of your subscribers. If you’re testing your monthly newsletter, increase your sample size for an accurate picture of what works for your guests.
You will also want to determine how long you want the test to run for, a couple of hours or a couple of days. Consider your objective and what you want to gain from the email campaign. We suggest allowing a couple of hours to really determine a winner.
Have other tips for A/B testing? Share them with us below in the comments section!