How and Why You Should A/B Test Your Emails

Your goal is to reach teachers, and email is a key way to get your brand messaging in front of them. But what will get your subscribers to open and click? While there are some key best practices, the best way for you to really understand your teacher audience is to conduct A/B testing and analyze the results (sometimes known as split testing).

What Elements Can You Use for A/B Testing?

There are a variety of components you can test when reaching out to your teacher audience:

  • “From” line (brand vs. personal)
  • Subject line (emojis, length, phrasing, personalization)
  • Headline (length, personalization)
  • Message (length, tone, messaging, theme, formatting, fonts, link placement)
  • Call to action (placement, formatting, phrasing)
  • Images vs. text-only
  • Interactive elements vs. static

You can also A/B test specific audience segments related to education (location, grade levels, Title 1 or not, urban/suburban, etc.) or the time/day on which you deploy the email campaign.

What Results Can You Gauge From A/B Testing?

In this regard, it may make more sense to work backward. Want to increase open rates? You’ll want to conduct A/B testing on the “from” line or subject line and see what results in the highest rates. Want to increase engagement, conversion, or click-through rates? You’ll want to test elements within the body of the email itself.

Click maps area useful took to help you to see where users are clicking, how far they are willing to scroll, and what elements they prefer to interact with:

A/B testing click maps

How Do You Conduct A/B Testing?

First, decide which variable you’d like to test. It is best to test only one variable at a time so you can clearly review the results.

Depending on your email service provider, you might be able to conduct the testing directly within the platform. Many platforms allow you to choose from an A/B Test (evenly splits the campaign to 50/50 of your audience), A/B Winner (you choose an initial percentage to send to and then choose the winner manually to deploy to the remaining percentage), or A/B Auto Winner (you choose an initial percentage to send to, select the criteria for determining the winner, and the platform automatically deploys to the remaining percentage at the time you enter). You want to give your audience enough time to interact with your A/B testing so that you can determine a proper winner.

Select Campaign Type for A/B teting

If you plan to segment your list yourself, it’s best to keep the amount and audience parameters as similar as possible so you can accurately evaluate the results.

Looking for more best practices? Be sure to download our 23 Best Practices for Education Marketing in 2023!