The best day to send your customers emails is Tuesday, according to solid A/B testing analysis. The second best day is Thursday. But hold on, analysis from a different company says it’s best to send your customers emails when nobody else is sending them. So that means you should send them on Monday or Friday… or maybe the weekend?
But then… what if everyone else has read that analysis and started sending their emails on Monday or Friday to avoid sending them on the popular days? Should I double bluff and send them on Tuesday or Thursday like the original advice says?
By the time you’ve read all the conflicting advice on Google about the best time to send email campaigns, you may have pulled out every single strand of your hair. That’s because there is no “best time to send email campaigns” and no one-size-fits-all approach to building a successful B2C business.
It all depends on YOUR brand, and YOUR customers. Your buyers are unique, and why they buy from your is entirely personal. That’s why you need to A/B test not only the call to action in your email marketing campaigns, but every aspect of your entire B2C brand.
By testing your brand, you’ll find your company’s specific best practices — rather than the industry standard. Your buyers are unique, and your marketing should be too. Here are the three key areas you need to A/B test across your B2C marketing to get the biggest impact on your bottom line.
Why does A/B testing matter?
We know that the marketing industry uses a lot of jargon, so here is a definition of what A/B testing from the experts over at experimentation platform Optimizely:
“A/B testing (also known as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of a webpage or app against each other to determine which one performs better. Then, half of your traffic is shown the original version of the page (known as the control) and half are shown the modified version of the page (the variation).”
A/B testing is so important for your ecommerce brand because you need to know what works with your customers and which elements you can change to maximize conversion so you can more effectively market to your customers. Even making the smallest tweak can have the biggest effect, but if you’re not A/B testing that you won’t know specifically what it was that made the difference. You can then get better ROI from your marketing, understand your customers better, and even unearth some hidden gem that you can use in future campaigns. In fact, on average, a company’s ecommerce customers increase revenue by 21% through A/B testing.
Test your website
When laying out, designing, and user-testing your ecommerce website, you need to set up A/B tests for your entire site. This could be when you first start your business and are testing your beta website, or when you launch your new sale section, or maybe when you notice customers are abandoning carts at an alarmingly high rate.
You should constantly test your site to optimize conversion rates on every page. There are a lot of different variables you can tests — from pop ups to products to buttons, headlines, and even landing pages. These differences can be as small as using a different font or text color on a call to action, up to having two entirely different versions of the same webpage. Here’s an example of a landing page that we’ve actually tested, with just one small change.
The trick is not to test a number of things at a time, but stick to one change so you can measure the impact each change has on your site and understand the test results. (Multivariate testing gets complicated quickly.) Go back to your science class roots and remember you need a variable and a control to get measurable results! The process of testing your website really never ends — you should continuously optimize your website based on these results and continue to get better and better over time.
Test your email campaigns
We’ve already talked about how there is no one perfect time to send email campaigns and no industry best practice you should adhere to. Instead, you need to test sending all of your different email campaigns at different times and on different days of the week. But more importantly, you should get more granular and A/B test according to your different customer segments. These could be segments based on general factors such as location and age, or more personalized metrics such as interests in certain products or lifecycle stages that indicate intent to buy.
Aside from the time and day you send your emails, there are many factors you can A/B test in the actual emails, including:
- Subject line
- Preview text
The results speak for themselves. By A/B testing their email marketing campaigns, online secondary ticket marketplace Razorgator was able to increase their average order value (AOV) by 28% and their newsletter revenue by nearly 30% year-over-year, as well as driving up their unique email open rate by 32%.
Test your overall messaging
Tying this all together, the final aspect you should A/B test is your overall marketing message. We’ve talked before about the importance of omnichannel marketing and providing a clear and consistent message across all channels, but it’s also key to test this messaging to ensure it’s actually resonating with your buyers
For example, think back to the last time you saw a wacky ad on Facebook. That ad is likely purposely a bit “weird” because the company tested different variants across all channels before settling on that one. If you remember it off the top of your head, then they’ve done a good job and caught your attention.
One example I found recently when scrolling through Facebook is from Bombas. This sock ad is certainly very quirky. It caught my attention immediately because of the fun quotes from customers, all in lower case. I think it’s likely that this ad is the results of months and months of A/B testing — resulting in short, descriptive sentences all in lower case.
This is the true power of A/B testing — you never know what results you’ll get! Once you start A/B testing different aspects of your website, email campaigns, and overall omnichannel marketing messaging, you’ll realize that the best way to understand the likes and dislikes of your customers is to get to know them better. Your brand is unique and there are no industry best practices that universally apply to your user experience. You won’t know what works best for you until you start A/B testing.