What is A/B Testing in B2B Email Marketing: A Beginners Guide

Lead Your Email Marketing Campaign with A/B Testing

By Binary Demand - Last Updated on May 24, 2023

B2B A/B testing is crucial in email marketing because it enables you to make data-driven decisions about your email marketing campaigns. These decisions can ultimately enhance the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts and produce better results for your company.

A/B testing can help you avoid common errors and assumptions by offering data-driven insights into how your audience responds. Additionally, it can assist you in improving the performance of your email campaigns, which could result in greater engagement, more sales, and a better return on investment. This makes email marketing a substantial part of B2B lead generation solutions that help increase revenue.

This guide will explain what A/B testing is, how to set it up and give tests for running A/B tests on your email campaigns to improve their performance.

In this article

What is A/B Testing in B2B Email Marketing?

A/B testing, sometimes called split testing or bucket testing, is a statistical technique used to contrast two product or service variants to see which performs better in accomplishing a particular objective, such as improving conversions, click-through rates, or income.

A product’s two versions (A and B) are randomly displayed to various user groups during A/B testing. Statistical analysis is then used to quantify and compare each version’s performance. The version outperforming the competition is deemed the winner and frequently adopted as the new standard.

A/B Testing Stats You Should Consider

There are several statistical factors to consider when running A/B tests that can aid in effective result analysis and interpretation. Here are some significant statistics to take into account.

b2b email a/b testing statistics

Why Do You Need A/B Testing in B2B Email Marketing?

The only way to statistically demonstrate which email campaign is the most effective is through A/B split testing. Additionally, it is the quickest method of learning what your audience prefers. Here are some benefits:

Application Benefits
It helps in determining which elements resonate better with your audience. Improves email performance
It helps analyze the data collected from the A/B test and better understand your audience’s preferences and interests. Increases engagement
It helps determine which version is more effective in converting subscribers into customers. Optimizes conversion rates and increases ROI
It allows you to minimize the risk of launching a new email campaign. Reduces risk
It helps to monitor consumer behavior changes regularly. Helps stand out from the crowd

How Do A/B Testing Campaigns in B2B Email Marketing Work?

A/B testing aids in improving the effectiveness of your website or marketing initiatives. Testing various components allows you to make data-driven decisions that produce better outcomes and a higher ROI. There are three steps we’ll be following here:

  1. Setting up an A/B testing campaign

Marketers can make up to three variations of a single variable type—subject line, From name, content, or send time. Send one variation of your campaign to a subset of your subscribers and another to another subset of your subscribers to determine which variation yields the best results.

  1. Select the winning criteria

B2B Email segmentation plays a critical role in the email marketing approach. If you have a small group of audience or segment, or if you’re testing send time, send the combinations to all your recipients simultaneously. Send your test combinations to some of your recipients with other variables or a sizable audience or segment, then send the successful combination to your remaining recipients.

Implementing email segmentation is an ROI-driven B2B Email Marketing Strategy that needs to be considered. 

There are two ways; one is the automatic way, and the second is the manual way. These ways help you increase total revenue, clicks, or open rates.

A] Automatic Way

After a predetermined period, the winning campaign will be sent to your remaining recipients. The winner can be chosen based on the highest open or click rate, total revenue, or if your account is linked to your online store.

B] Manual Way

Pick the winner yourself based on reporting statistics or other elements you deem most important.

  1. Variables that can be tested

  • Subject Line

Test out various wordings or sales pitches to see which ones attract the most interest.

  • From Name

Check to see if emails containing a specific person’s name or your organization’s name are more effective with your audience. For each combination, specify the From name and email address you want to use.

  • Content

Create various versions of your content to see which receives the best feedback. Test minor content modifications or entirely different templates using this variable.

  • Time to send

Discover the time of day that your recipients are most likely to open your campaigns. You must send your combinations to all your recipients at once because the winning combination cannot be sent at a time that has already passed.

Also Read: The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing

How to Set Up Your Email A/B Test in B2B Marketing?

Setting up an email campaign for an A/B test is simple. Select precisely what you want to test, produce two or more versions, select the best sample size for each variation, and then get started.

Although the setup is simple, a few specifics in each step must be followed to guarantee accurate results. Let’s look at it.

  1. Which variable to test

It’s crucial to consider your overall marketing goals and objectives when choosing which variable to test in an email A/B test. You can use the steps listed below to decide:

    • Specify your goal
    • Select a testable variable
    • Make several versions
    • Split your list
    • Divide your list and examine the outcomes
    • Use the successful version
  1. Focusing on the correct sample size

You must consider several variables, including the size of your B2B email list, the desired statistical significance and confidence level, and the anticipated response or conversion rate, to choose the appropriate sample size for an email A/B test. 

Typically, you must enter several details in order to use a sample size calculator. Additionally, the smallest difference in response or conversion rates you want to be able to see with your test is called the minimum detectable effect size.

It’s also important to remember that A/B testing in email marketing is an iterative process, and to optimize your email campaigns for optimum effectiveness; you might need to conduct multiple tests with various variations.

Also Read: Mastering the Art of B2B Marketing: Effective Strategies for Business Growth

  1. Test only one variable at a time

You can make an accurate judgment when you only test 1 thing at a time and notice a noticeable difference in the metric you’re analyzing. It would be impossible to conclude that the subject line was the only factor in the outcome if you had altered the sender’s name in the same version.

  1. Delivery time

Remember that the winning email might get automatically sent during the testing period. It makes sense to schedule the email automation to contact this group since they most likely have subscribers, so do so.

Consider testing two subject lines with 20% of your subscribers (10% in each group). You might plan to test the open rates for two hours after the winning newsletter is delivered to recipients’ inboxes at 10 AM. In this situation, you must begin your test at 8 AM so that it can run for two hours before the winning variant is distributed at 10 AM.

  1. Timing window

Choose what time and day of the week your emails will be sent. This is crucial because the open and click-through rates can vary significantly depending on the time of day and day of the week. Email marketing, for instance, maybe more successful when done during business hours. For example, B2B email marketing is important to a business’s success and is most successful during regular business hours.

How Do You Measure Success in A/B Testing?

Before conducting an A/B test in B2B email marketing, you must decide the metrics for selecting a winner. In light of this, you should pick a performance indicator based on the A/B test variable. For instance:

Open rate: When you’re testing the “from the name,” “subject line,” or “preview text.”

Click rate: If you’re experimenting with different CTAs, designs, or email copy.

Based on some proven statistics, here are four categories that you can use to identify:

  • Statistically supported: An A/B test result is deemed statistically significant if it can outperform the other variations in the long run.
  • Assurance: If the test result is positive, the winning version can receive more engagement in the future, but you may need to conduct additional A/B tests, to be specific.
  • Not statistically supported: The test result is classified as not statistically significant in situations where the winning variation performs marginally better than the other variations.
  • Incomplete: A test is classified as inconclusive if there is insufficient data to conclude. It also means there needed to be more responses in the A/B test to measure the results.

Tips to Run Effective A/B Tests in B2B Email Marketing

There are a few tactical suggestions you can use to help increase the likelihood that your A/B testing will be successful before you jump in and start setting up tests:

1)Develop a hypothesis

You must first formulate a hypothesis based on the goals of your A/B testing before deciding which variables to test.

As a result, you could develop an idea like:

  • Emojis in subject lines perform better than those without them.
  • An email from a company employee will be more effective than one from our company name.
  • A more prominent email with clearer CTAs will perform better.
  • More images will increase the performance of emails sent in a specific order.

2) Expand your knowledge

Your A/B tests will have varying effects on conversion rates:

  • Some will increase them positively.
  • Some will decrease them.
  • Some won’t make any difference.

You must learn from your tests and use what you discover in upcoming campaigns for the best outcomes.

Utilize your database of records, prioritization framework, and email statistics to review each A/B test and make gradual advancements over time.

3) Set metrics for each component

  • Email marketing for A/B testing can take too much time and cost you money. Therefore, experts advise setting the below priorities:
  • Importance – How important is the component you’re testing? Is testing a small modification to your preview text having the same effect as altering your sender name, for instance?
  • Confidence How confident are you that the test will be successful? For instance, it has been demonstrated that altering the word order in your subject line will have a more significant impact than changing the word order in your body copy.
  • Ease How simple is it to create an A/B test? For instance, altering the CTA button’s color is simpler than creating or selecting the ideal image.

Apply the three questions from the ICE framework to each element you want to A/B test to help you grade and decide which test to run first.

B2B Email A/B Testing Best Practices

Email marketing A/B testing can be time- and effort-consuming. Here are some best practices to remember whether you’re just getting started or consider yourself an email marketing program veteran to make testing your email marketing program a little simpler:

  • Develop a hypothesis
  • Use a large sample
  • Test simultaneously
  • Test high-impact, low-effort elements first
  • Prioritize the emails you send the most
  • Wait enough time before evaluating the performance
  • Test a single variable and no more than four variations at a time

What are the Benefits of A/B Testing

There is no denying the advantages of A/B testing. From improving conversion rates to lowering risks and gaining insightful knowledge of user behavior.

Let’s explore the advantages of A/B testing and see how it can completely change how you think about digital optimization.

A/B Email testing benefits

Wrapping Up

B2B email marketing A/B testing is neither mysterious nor difficult. In actuality, email marketing is much simpler with A/B testing. There are many strategies for b2b email marketing that are kept under wraps, but knowing what works and what doesn’t will help your campaigns succeed. 

Setting up an A/B test is hassle-free with Binary Demand. You can now increase your open rates with effective A/B tests in your email marketing campaigns to grow your business.