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Just because something works well for another university doesn’t mean it’s going to work for your school’s email campaign. To really get to know what will appeal to your prospects you need to run A/B tests. What can you test? Well, you can test just about anything in an email campaign from the subject line to calls to action, but here are 4 of the top email marketing variables to A/B test:

A/B Test for Email Subject Line

Email subject lines are probably one of the most common variables to test. This is the first thing that a prospect will see when the email is delivered and can have a big impact on an email’s performance. Some components to consider A/B testing are subject line length and action-oriented words that create urgency. Also, if classes are starting soon, test using a start date against not using one and gather data.

However, with recent mail privacy changes, determining a clear subject line test winner can be tricky. Open rates in today’s email world are inflated with many emails only being opened via a proxy server and not always in a contact’s inbox. Subject line tests still offer valuable data, but make sure to not focus solely on Open Rates. When determining results consider overall email engagement and when looking at the Open Rate weigh the impact off suspected mail privacy opens.

Email Deployment Date

If you’ve always deployed all your emails on the same day consider why you chose that day. Did you pick it because some survey noted it as the best day? Try different days and see what works best for your prospective students. Just because a retail giant has seen success deploying email campaigns bright and early on a Monday morning, it doesn’t mean that’s what’s best for your institution.

A/B Test for Email Calls to Action (CTA)

Once your prospects open your email, you now need to get them to take action – click through to your landing page. A/B testing your CTA can be as straight forward as trying different verbiage such as “Enroll Now” versus “Discover More”, button color, or it can also be location of the CTA within the email. Another consideration can be whether to use a text link or a button. Whichever CTA you opt for make sure it’s compelling and persuasive.

Email Personalization

Who doesn’t like to feel like an email was written specifically with them in mind? Try testing out adding a personalized greeting as straightforward as “Hi Jane!” or dig a little more deeply into your data and include details about a specific campus or program. The more relevant the email is to the prospect the more likely they are to take the action you’re looking for in your email campaign.

The variables you can test in an email are practically limitless. Your prospect list is constantly changing and so should your email initiatives. However, make sure to have a purpose in place for each test and don’t forget to analyze your results so you can adjust your email strategy appropriately.

If you’re ready to implement testing into your email marketing strategy, contact the CloudControlMedia experts today.

Marcy Ansley, Director of Email and Social Engagement