How to Split Test Your Newsletter to Maximize Engagement
 In E-mail Marketing

mailchimp split testI send out a newsletter, the Just a Digital Minute each and every Wednesday. Of course I want to have as many people read it as possible (sign up here).   I am often stumped as to which subject line will be more appealing and compelling to my readers in order to increase open rates and engagement. A person could drive themselves crazy  having to make such momentous decisions:-)

But Freddy (Mail Chimp’s Mascot) has come to my rescue with easy to use A/B testing capability that they offer to premium account users.

Recently, we have started using their  A/B split campaign function to test and refine subject lines for the, Just a Digital Minute. What we do in a nutshell is create two different subject lines. It will send a test to a subset of my list and send the rest of my mist the newsletter with the winning subject line. Since implementing the A/B split campaigns for subject lines, our newsletter click through rate has skyrocketed from, an above average, 3.8% to an unexpected 6.0%.  The industry average is 2.7%. I love my readers!

Whether your newsletter is large or small, even a small increase can mean more engagement and more business. We had a client that had online products as one of their side gigs.  Although they had 800 subscribers, they hadn’t sent out a  newsletter in over a year.

We helped them get a newsletter together with company updates and a discount promotion code and they doubled their online sales for the month. They got that result without the A/B testing.

It’s time to make your newsletter a priority for your online business, and I’ll show you below how to use the A/B Split Campaign function to maximize your results.

How to set up mailchimp A/B split campaign in 10 steps:

  1. Login to your Mailchimp account and navigate to the campaigns page.
  1. Click the “Create Campaign” dropdown menu and click on the A/B split campaign.
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  1. Select the option you would like to test.
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  1. If you choose “from names” or “subject lines”, then you can specify the percentage of subscribers that are to receive the test of the two versions. The remaining subscribers will be sent the more effective “from name” or “subject line”.
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  1. Under “How should a winner be chosen”, you are able to specify whether you want the winner to be chosen by click rate, open rate, or if you want to manually choose the winner.
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    Note: If you choose delivery date and time as your split campaign, then Mailchimp will automatically split your list in two, and choose the winner by open rate.
  1. Click Next and choose the list or segment that you want to receive your campaign. The subscribers who receive the split test are chosen randomly, which means that you can’t choose who is in each group. Once you’ve selected your list or segment, click next to proceed to the setup step.
  1. If you are testing “Subject lines”, you’ll see two fields for the Email subject.
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  1. If you are testing “From names”, there will be two fields each for “From name “and “From email address”.
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  1. Once you have set your split campaign, click next and choose the template for your campaign design.
  1. Since this will be the first time you do a split campaign, you won’t be able to replicate your email template design and will have to recreate it. Then you create your content, test and send your Mailchimp split campaign as you would normally. The next time you want to do a split campaign, it will go faster since you can replicate the design. Good luck with it.
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