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A/B List Splitting

A/B List Splitting is the act of sending half of your subscribers one newsletter and half of them another newsletter then comparing if one performed better than the other.  For example, you might vary the subject line, you might vary the content, or you might simply move the content around within the same newsletter.  You might also vary the time of day or day of week on which you send the email marketing campaign.

Here are some of the more common things you might vary in your A/B list splitting testing:

  • Different email subject line
  • Varying your landing pages
  • Modifying the creative including moving things around
  • Personalizing your messages with name and other personal information
  • Varying the email message "From Name"
  • Comparing HTML versus TEXT newsletter results
  • Testing short copy versus lengthy copy
  • Sending on a different day or time of day

Below are some instructions on implementing your own A/B List Splitting in eNewsletter Pro...

Step Suggestions
Establish a campaign to use as a benchmark (Campaign A) Testing without any benchmark is a waste of time.  We suggest you find your best performing campaign to date and use it as your benchmark.  You will simply want to copy the newsletter and update it with your most recent content.
Determine what changes you will make and use as Campaign B The most important thing to remember in A/B list splitting is to make your changes one-by-one.  Changing multiple variables at once will not allow you determine which change affected the performance.  Instead of changing your logo, changing the subject and moving things all around in just one campaign, space these changes over separate email campaigns.  That way each change will be isolated and traceable.  A list of common changes is shown at the top of this email.
Split your list Now that you have a benchmark newsletter and have created a modified version, you are ready to split your list and send both Campaign A and B.  eNewsletter Pro 5 and higher offers a simple way to split your lists.  This option is found during the send process.  The option is titled "List Splitting".  This option allows you to maintain your subscribers on just one list but consistently split the delivery into two groups. 

Although multiple options are offered, we recommend using the Odd/Even subscribers option.  This option selects subscribers based on their SubscriberID which is an incremental number created automatically by eNewsletter Pro.  This option produces a more random set of results by essentially choosing every other subscriber. 

The other option is to select the first or second half of subscribers.  When sending eNewsletter Pro always sorts by SubscriberID ASC.  That means the first half of the list always represents those subscribers who have been members the longest and the second half represents newer subscribers.  This option is therefore less random then the first option.

So, you will now send your benchmark newsletter (Campaign A) to one half of the list such as the "Odd Subscribers" and the modified version to the "Even Subscribers" (Campaign B).

Analyze the Results Now that you have delivered two campaigns, you will want to compare the results and determine if your changes have improved performance.  Pay particular attention to any changes in click rates, views, and if you are measuring ROI if there have been any changes in sales or leads.  Any changes in bounce rates will also be of interest especially if changing the "From Name".
Make additional gradual changes and repeat the process If the campaign changes were successful, you might now make Campaign B your new benchmark campaign.  Now when you send your next newsletter make an additional change to send to your B list and repeat the whole process to see if these changes enhance the performance.



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