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Diving Deeper into A/B Testing: 30 Tests to Drive Engagement

As you send out emails, you may be wondering how you can make them stronger. Instead of trying out random improvements, try doing some A/B testing to see what your audience really wants. A/B testing is a randomized experiment that compares two variables for optimal impact. You can test variables to see which ones best resonate with your audience, and build better engagement based on the outcomes.

In GovDelivery’s recent webinar, “Creating a Culture of Testing: 30 Tests in 30 Minutes,” Madeline O’Phelan, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at GovDelivery, and Huw Ap Dewi, Performance and Development Officer at Wrexham County Borough Council discussed thirty A/B tests you can easily run with the GovDelivery Advanced Package for the Communications Cloud to determine how to best engage your audience. While all of the tests are valuable, we wanted to highlight ten of the most salient tests that O’Phelan discussed:

  1.     Preheader text

If you are using GovDelivery, you have up to 140 characters of preheader text to utilize. Using A/B testing for preheader text can help you go beyond the subject line and see if the preheader text helps boost engagement rates. Engaging preheader texts is especially useful for mobile users, as it comes up under the headline on mobile devices.

  1.     Calls to Action

The call to action is the action you want your audience to perform as a result of your digital message. Testing wording and placement in calls to action can help drive engagement. Particularly helpful is placing a call to action call out box that makes it easier for the subscriber to act.

  1.     Personalization

Personalization in the subject line, salutation, and signature helps put the audience into the message. Directing an email to the person it is going to in the subject line and salutation and making it from someone at the organization drives open and click through rates.

  1.     Click to Tweet

Click to tweet option is becoming more popular as it is a quick easy way to click folks off and connect them to Twitter. Testing this can drive engagement and see if subscribers are interested in sharing the information you are delivering.

  1.     Static Imagery vs. Video

Your message may be better told with a video. While you can’t embed video with GovDelivery services, you can take a screenshot of your video that prompts your audience to click off to the video. However, sometimes images work just as well or better than video. Try out both and see which one better communicates your primary message and boosts digital metrics.

  1.     Social Icon Placement

You want to test the placement of where social icons are in digital messages and on your websites. Try placing them in different areas of digital messages to see if different placement increases clicks and engagement.

  1.     Time of the Day

The best days to send emails are Tuesdays and Thursdays but there isn’t a consensus on when the best time to send is. Try testing out times in your organization and see which works best to drive engagement. Finding out when you should send messages allows you to become a more mindful sender.

  1.     Welcome and Onboarding

Welcome and onboarding campaigns are a strong way to get subscribers engaged early. Sending out different campaigns can determine the best way to get subscribers active and engaged as soon as they sign up.

  1.     Subscription placement

This is a great thing to test to see how you can get people to subscribe. Trying out different placements on mobile and desktop is a simple way to get people to enter in their email and connect with you right away.

  1.  Overlays

Overlays are very effective way to increase subscriber growth. They can be as simple as an email or more detailed to include images and more elaborate text. These quick pop up allows people to subscribe and engage right away but it is useful to see what kind of overlay drives subscription most effectively.

In Wrexham County, Ap Dewi and his team are using A/B testing to personalize government. He explained that the counties severe weather bulletins typically are just a very basic paragraph describing the alert and what areas should be advised. However, Ap Dewi wanted to see if subscribers would engage better with more fun emails. As a result, he started a severe weather campaign that describes the alert in a meme with references to pop culture. He explained, “from our point of view we wanted to play around with A/B testing to see if we could effectively show our subscribers that we are personable and approachable.”

Ready to try out these tests plus the other ones O’Phelan and Ap Dewi discussed? Reach out!