Improve Your Conversions: Split-Testing Simplified
You hear this over and over again, "the money is in the list," but how do you know if your emails are any good? In all honesty, email marketing is truly a numbers game. The higher your conversion rates, the larger your list will be. The larger your list, the more sales you will make. But there’s more to improving conversions and growing your list than just creating better offers and attracting more traffic to your free opt-in. Each piece of your email list building and marketing effort has a job to do, and it’s up to you to make sure it’s performing as well as possible. That’s where split-testing will come in handy. By tracking the results you get, then making incremental changes and comparing the numbers, you’ll begin to see the patterns that make a difference in your efforts. And that’s the basis of split testing: tracking, tweaking, and testing with the goal of continuous improvement.
What Can You Split-Test? A better question might be, “What can’t you split-test?” Because honestly, you can test just about everything, including:
- Subject lines
- Calls to action
- Button colors
- Fonts and text colors
- Opt-in incentives
- Landing page layout
But here’s the trick to a good split-test: Only test one single change at a time. You might be tempted to rewrite your headline and your call to action and your button text all at the same time, but don’t. While it may seem more efficient, the problem with this approach is that you’ll have no way of knowing which change had an effect on your conversions. If you don't know which change got more attention, then you just wasted your time trying to split test. Did they go up because of the call to action? Or drop because of the subject line? Who knows? Instead, make systematic changes to your landing pages and carefully track results. That’s the only way to know for sure what’s working—and what’s not. Most landing page tools such as LeadPages and ClickFunnels have built-in tools for split-testing. If you’re not using these tools, you can also set up split tests using your Google Webmaster tools account.
Testing Open and Click Rates Nowadays, most email marketing platforms provide a way to split-test your emails as well. Open rates are critical when it comes to email marketing and list engagement. After all, if your audience isn’t opening your mail, they’re not reading it either! You can easily improve your open rates by split-testing subject lines to determine the format and style most likely to get your readers’ attention. To improve your click rates, test your email’s call to action. Set up two identical emails—same subject line and same content—but change the call to action to see which gets the best response from your list. You’ll be able to use this information in later campaigns to improve click-throughs on all your emails. Just like list-building, it’s never too early to begin split-testing. There’s no magical number of opt-ins you must have to get started. There’s no amount of traffic that’s too small. So don’t wait—start split testing your opt-in forms and emails now, so you can enjoy the best conversion rates possible. Need help with your email marketing?
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