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3 Pro Tips to Optimize Your Emails Using Sendlane Experiments

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Imagine investing thousands of dollars into an email marketing tool and building a super long contact list… and still failing to see any results.

Frustrating, isn’t it?

Here's the thing:

Your email marketing tool is as good as the emails you send out. And the secret to creating high-converting emails is leveraging customer data.

With Sendlane Experiments, you can send data-driven emails that are proven to work every single time!

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What is Sendlane Experiments?
  • How to optimize your emails with Sendlane Experiments
  • How to set up Sendlane Experiments for email campaigns and automations

Let's dive right in!

What is Sendlane Experiments?

Experiments is a multivariate testing tool inside Sendlane that allows you to test multiple email components and find the best-performing email combination.

Compared to basic A/B testing, multivariate testing is a big step up!

While A/B testing lets you test only two versions of an email at a time based on a single variable, Sendlane’s multivariate testing lets you test up to four versions of an email with multiple variables simultaneously.

For example, let’s say you're creating a product recommendation email, and your goal is to get as many conversions as possible.

Using Sendlane, you can create up to four versions of the same email by altering multiple variables like subject line, preheader text, or email content (like CTA placement or images).

You can then send these “test” emails to a certain percentage of your audience, and the system will automatically send the best-performing email to the rest of your email audience!

sendlane-experiments-campaign

How to optimize your emails with Sendlane Experiments

Now that you know what Sendlane Experiments is, let's find out how you can use this feature to optimize your emails and boost your engagement rates.

1. Test a wide range of combinations

With Experiments, you can test up to four different email combinations at any given time for both campaigns and automation funnels.

Better yet, Sendlane allows you to test up to 12 data points for each email variation you create!

You can alter variables like:

  • Email subject lines
  • Email content
  • Images and GIFs
  • CTA placement
  • CTA button color
  • Message voice/tone
  • Number of links
  • Preheader text

… and anything else you can think of!

Keep in mind, though, that the best way to find the perfect email combination is through trial-and-error.

The more you test, the more accurate your results will be, and the better you’ll be able to understand what hits home with your contacts!

For example, let’s say you create three different versions of a sale announcement email.

You may find that altering the email background and CTA color had minimal to no impact on your engagement rate.

These are normally called “dead variables,” and you can ignore them when creating future variations.

You may also find that placing the CTA at the center of the email instead of at the bottom caused a massive increase in your click-throughs!

You could term such variables as influential, and learn from the results to create better emails in the future!

Pro-tip: We suggest testing one or two variables at a time so it’s easy to tell what made a difference. Testing too many at once can make it more difficult to identify the influential factor.

sendlane-experiments-campaign-analytics

2. Set goals and audience size

When you enable Experiments, you’re able to configure a few settings that will help the system identify the best email for you:

  • Components: Here, you can choose up to three email features that you would like to test — subject, preheader, and content.
  • Test Audience: This section lets you choose the percentage of contacts you would like to send your test emails to.
  • Winning Version: Here, you can select the key factor that will determine the best email version. You can also set the duration you would like to run the test for.

When choosing the Winning Version parameter, you are essentially setting the goal of your experiment. This goal will help the system identify winning and losing combinations.

There are three goals you can choose from:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Revenue

For example, let’s say your goal is to find an email variation that gets the most opens for your online store.

You create four emails while altering variables like the email subject line and content, and then send them to 40% of your audience.

Here’s what your Experiments configuration would look like:

sendlane-experiments-settings

Pro-tip: We suggest starting to experiment using open rate as your winning variable. Why? Because more opens = more clicks = more revenue! After you find an email variation that boasts more opens, you can start to work on your click rate, then experiment with versions that bring in more revenue. 

3. Let the system determine the winning email

Now that you’ve done all the hard work, the system will start working on auto-pilot and identify the best combination of your email that helps you meet your desired goals.

In the example above, Sendlane’s system will automatically identify the email that brings you the most revenue out of the three versions!

Let’s say you created four versions of an email, set the audience size at 20%, and chose click-through rate as your goal.

Here’s how Experiments will show you the winning email combination:

sendlane-experiments-results

Once your highest performer has been identified, Sendlane will automatically send the winning email to the rest of your audience!

Pro-tip: If your results end up being too similar, try testing with a larger audience size the next time! 

How to set up Sendlane Experiments

In Sendlane, you can set up Experiments for:

  • Email campaigns
  • Automation funnels

Here’s a step-by-step guide you can follow for each one:

Enabling Experiments for email campaigns

  1. Log in to your Sendlane account (don’t have an account yet? Start your 14-day free trial here.)
  2. Inside your dashboard, click on Campaigns on your left, and then click on New Campaign to create a new email.
  3. In the window that pops up, enter your campaign name, check the Experiments box, and set up your configurations.
sendlane-experiments-campaign
  1. Click on Next: Audience to choose the contact lists and segments you want to send this test email to.
  2. Click on Next: Content to design your email. You can create up to four versions of your email here.
  3. Click on Next: Schedule to decide when you want to send out the email. You can send it immediately, save it as a draft, schedule to send at a later time, or choose the Machine Learning Open Predictability option to let the system decide for you.

For an in-depth tutorial, check out our complete guide on running campaign experiments.

Enabling Experiments for automation funnels

  1. Log in to your Sendlane account (don’t have an account yet? Start your 14-day free trial here.)
  2. From your dashboard, click on Automations on your left, and then choose the automation you’d like to experiment with.
  3. Click on the + button to add an action, and then choose Send MessageEmail.
  4. Select Create New Email, or use the drop-down to duplicate an existing message.
  5. Choose a name for your email and configure the Experiment Settings.
sendlane-experiments-automations
  1. Click on Next: Content to create up to four variations of your email.
  2. Click on Save and toggle the Active button to begin your experiment.

For a detailed tutorial, check out our tour of Sendlane Automations and our complete guide on running automation experiments.

Get started with Sendlane Experiments today

Running an eCommerce store is competitive, and you need to make sure you’re getting enough ROI out of your marketing efforts — including email.

But sending emails based solely on intuition and guesswork is no longer an option. It’s like shooting an expensive arrow in the dark and hoping it hits the target.

With Sendlane Experiments, you can create data-driven emails that your customers are more likely to open and engage with!

Not only does this help you better understand your customers, it saves you tons of money in the long run.

Ready to find your winning email combination? Sign up for Sendlane’s 14-day free trial and take it for a test drive!

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