Are You Leaving Potential Email Subscribers On The Table?

If you’re an experienced marketer, you probably have some tried and true techniques for getting more email subscribers. But you may be leaving many potential new subscribers on the table.

How can you ensure you’re accomplishing everything that’s possible? Go beyond the tried and true and test new approaches.

Split testing helps you figure out which factors of your online sign-up form are drawing subscribers and what changes you can make to draw more.

There are many split tests you can run on your web form: using inline forms vs pop-ups, including a description of your emails vs displaying a text-free form, even using a “Mad Libs”-style form vs a standard sign-up.

But no matter which test you run, there are a few guidelines you should follow to get the best results.

Choose A/B Testing Over Multivariate

With A/B testing, you create two nearly identical versions of your web form, changing only one component. Once you’ve determined which version to move forward with, you test the next component, and so on.

Mulitvariate testing is when you test two very different versions of your form against each other. Basically, you run numerous A/B tests at the same time, which saves you the time of testing each change separately.

Why choose A/B testing over multivariate? So you know exactly which change it is that makes a difference to your audience.

For example, the headline of Form B might cause a 3% increase in signups, while asking subscribers to select their country causes a 2% decrease. You’ll want to know the effects of each element  – if you test both at the same time you’ll simply see a 1% increase in subscriptions overall.

This information’s useful not only to get as many subscribers as possible through this one web form, but for any web pages, emails and other content you create in the future.

Let Your Test Run Long Enough

If you’re relying on results from a test that’s only run a few times, you could be putting faith in a fluke, so it’s important to make sure the test runs long enough.

How long is long enough? That depends on the amount of traffic your site is getting, as well as the number of subscriptions coming in.

If your site is well-trafficked, I suggest running your test for a minimum of one month. If it’s less popular, run the test longer.

Either way, you’ll need to be sure that you…

Make Sure Your Results Really Count

To be able to rely on your results, they need to be statistically significant.

This means they’re consistent enough to dispel any doubt that they correctly reflect viewers’ preferences. No sense wasting time on a test that isn’t accurate, is there?

To check the statistical significance of your test results, follow this handy tutorial.

If you find they aren’t significant, that means the change you tested won’t gain you either more or less subscribers no matter which version of your form you use. If your results are significant, then you’ve found a winning form.

Why All The Fuss? Because It’s Worth It

Yes, running your split test correctly is going to take a bit more time than running it quickly and haphazardly.

But it’s that time spent on proper planning and analysis that ensures you’ll find ways to attract more subscribers to your email lists, fulfilling your goal: marketing your brand to a bigger audience.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Email Marketing | Email Marketing Column


About The Author: is Education Marketing Associate at AWeber, the leading email marketing service provider for small businesses, where she advises business owners on how to grow their business with email marketing.

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  • ividence

    Thanks for a great article, Amanda! Email marketing has been really focused on re-engagement, but for a lot of marketers, the struggle is finding your audience in the first place. These are good tips. We included this in our round up of email marketing news at

  • Allen Matthews

    Great article! Our company just started doing split A/B email testing a couple of months ago, and it is way more useful than we thought.  We did find KPIs a bit difficult, but still, very useful.    It is amazing what the difference between two subject lines can make.  We used Contactology ( ). I like your point about running them longer, I think we may need to try it.


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