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New! Optimize your workflows with A/B testing for automation

· 8 min read · Automation,Updates · Mar 16, 2023
Cesar and Josue from the Customer Support team.

We all have good ideas, but none of us can 100% predict what will inspire our email audiences to act. That’s why A/B testing is such a powerful tool, and it just got better. 

When you A/B test multiple versions of emails, forms and landing pages in MailerLite, the audience decides the best version based on their actions. It's the best way to take the guesswork out of your marketing and base your campaigns on data.

Today, we’re thrilled to announce that you can now A/B test email automations to gain that same powerful insights. Email automations can transform your marketing by reaching people at the perfect times, so it’s critical that you’re getting it right. 

With the new A/B split testing step, you can test up to 3 variables on your Email and Delay steps. The resulting data will give you the power to fine-tune your email automations into well-oiled machines.

The new A/B split testing feature for Growing Business and Advanced plan users comes in the form of an automation step, which means you can add split tests at different points of your automation sequence.

The example below uses A/B split testing steps to test 3 elements:

  • The subject line of a promotional email

  • The delay time between a promotion email and a follow-up

  • The content of a follow-up email

An example workflow with two different split tests, one testing two versions of an email step and one testing two versions of a delay step.

There’s no limit to how many A/B tests you can add to a single workflow. Although, if you’re adding multiple tests, you may want to make sure they’re labeled properly so you can keep track of the results properly (more on that later).

A/B testing certain email automation sequence steps can offer a multitude of benefits for your email marketing. Here are just a few:

  • Increased open and click-through rates: By testing different subject lines, sender names, and preheader texts, you can determine which version resonates better with your subscribers and leads to higher open rates. Similarly, by testing different content and calls-to-action (CTAs), you can identify which email version generates more clicks and conversions

  • Improved engagement: A/B testing different send times and frequencies can help you find the optimal timing for sending emails to your subscribers, resulting in improved engagement and reduced unsubscribe rates

  • Better subscriber insights: By testing different email versions, you can gain valuable insights into your subscribers' preferences, interests, and behaviors. This information can help you tailor your future campaigns and segment your email list based on their preferences

  • Higher ROI: By optimizing your email automation sequence through A/B testing, you can improve your email marketing ROI by generating more conversions, reducing churn, and increasing customer lifetime value

Overall, implementing A/B testing in your workflows can help you make data-driven decisions, improve engagement, and drive better results from your email marketing campaigns.

First up you need to create an automation (or open up an existing one). Then all you have to do is click on the ‘+’ icon where you want to add a new A/B split testing step.

A MailerLite workflow editor in which the 'plus' icon has been clicked, displaying the workflow step options including the A/B split testing step.

Then choose whether you want to A/B test an Email or a Delay step, and give your A/B test a name.

A MailerLite workflow with an A/B split testing step named 'Send-time A/B test'

You can use the slider to determine what percentage of subscribers you’d like to receive each version, and click the ‘+ Add path C’ button to add a third variable.

Then use the following ‘+’ icons to add each variable. In this example, we’re trying to find out the optimal send time for our automated email.

A MailerLite workflow in which the first step is an A/B split testing step. One variable delays the email step until 09:00 and the other delays the email untile 16:00.

Once your automation is set up and running, you can track the status of your A/B tests by opening your workflow editor, clicking the A/B split testing step and checking the progress in the sidebar.

A/B split testing step sidebar settings with the test stats and 'Choose the winner' button highlighted.

This is also where you choose a winner. When you’re ready to end an A/B test, simply click the ‘Choose the winner button’ to select the final version.

You can also track the status of your A/B tests on your automation’s overview page. If you have multiple tests, they will each appear in their own tab. (This is where properly naming your test comes in handy).

The automation overview of an example workflow, highlighting the split testing section that displays split test data.

Head over to our knowledge base to learn more about A/B split testing for automations.

With so many possibilities, it’s easy to get excited about testing your automations. Which means it’s even easier to get carried away. Keep these best practices in the forefront of your mind while you’re implementing A/B split testing in your automations.

Clearly define your goals

Clearly define what you want to achieve with your A/B test. Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Test one variable at a time

In each A/B test, focus on testing one variable at a time (e.g subject line or CTA). This allows you to clearly determine what factors affect the outcome of your test.

Make sure your test runs for long enough

Run your test for a sufficient amount of time for reliable results. Generally, you should test for at least one full business cycle, which could be a week, a month, or longer depending on your business.

Don't stop after one test

A/B testing is an ongoing process. After your winning variation has run for a bit, continue testing to find further optimization opportunities.

Keep track of your test results

Keep track of your A/B test results so that you can learn from them and apply your discoveries to future tests. This’ll help you continually improve your automations and increase your conversions over time.

A/B split testing never fails to satisfy. Use it to find out the best time to send your emails, discover what makes subscribers click and uncover the secrets to high engagement, fine-tune your email automations, and clear a path to email marketing success. 

Want to test every stage of your marketing funnel? Get more subscribers with form A/B testing and learn how landing page A/B testing guarantees you more conversions. Then follow our ultimate guide to A/B testing email campaigns to learn what kind of content drives engagement. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out these 12 A/B testing examples for emails, landing pages and more.