6 Simple A/B Testing Options for Beginners

Your organization spends massive amounts of time putting together information to benefit the people it serves, and as a sophisticated communicator you likely have strong instincts on best practices.

But relying on instincts alone can be frustrating when they don’t produce the results you’re looking for. The good news? It’s easier now than ever to get the intel on what’s working for you.

Enter A/B testing.

A/B testing works just as it sounds. You create two versions (an A and a B version) of each element of your email (i.e. blue call to action button vs. red call to action button), and then use metrics to measure the success of each variation. And, with the results, you can view short-term and longitudinal results to optimize your overall communications strategy

Want to get started? Here are 6 simple A/B tests you can start doing today:

1. From Name

Do you send an email from an actual individual within your organization? Or a program name? Or do you include your organization’s name? The name in the “sent from” field impacts email open rates. Test various options to find the best fit.

2. Subject Line

Different words, phrases, capitalization, and even punctuation impacts email open rates. Test different subject line variations to optimize and improve your email campaign’s performance.

3. Pre- Header Text

The short summary of text that follows a subject line of an email can also drastically increase open rates. Summarize or generate interest regarding what the actual email contains by testing pre-header text variations, to optimize email open rates.

4. Image

Images contribute to – and deter from – engagement and conversions. Think about it: image size, color, and content can elicit different emotions and impact an audience differently. Test different images (or whether or not to use them at all) within your message so your visual content contributes to its success.

5. Content

Email readability, format, and word count factor into how an audience member engages with email content. Create different message variations to see what gets a better response.

6. Call to Action

Determining the best call to action, one that prompts an audience to take immediate action, is crucial to improving email engagement and conversion rates. Test variations of linked copy, verbiage, buttons (including button color, and placement), all in an effort to impact how your audience acts after they see your message.

Can you imagine figuring out the statistical analysis of two variables in an A/B test based on instincts alone? We simply can’t – A/B testing is impossible without the right tools. GovDelivery makes it as easy as possible and allows you to test multiple variations of your message to find the winning combination.

Do you have an awesome example of how you’re using A/B testing at your organization? Let us know at

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