Insights First Read

Insights Blog

Utilizing Email as a Testing Tool

Email is a relatively inexpensive tool yielding a high return that companies can use to gain insights into what their audience finds meaningful. This tool can also help companies segment their lists and target more effectively, resulting in higher engagements not just in email, but across all channels.  The purpose of emails can vary widely, from spreading company news, to upselling products, to providing awareness of offers and promotions, and much more. But what if those sending these emails could get more bang for their buck?  After all, delivering high value and personalized content is the ultimate goal. 

Here, we explore various avenues of utilizing email as a method for testing and receiving useful information. 

A/B Testing Email Creative

  • Subject Lines:
    • This is the ultimate factor in determining whether or not a member of the audience will open an email. Testing types of subject lines such as ones that communicate urgency, peak curiosity, or detail the offer will help you decide which types of subject lines increase open rates.
  •  CTA (Call to Action): Wording and Position
    • If the placement of the CTA is not clearly visible or located properly the audience will not take the desired action. Testing placement (top, middle, or bottom) of the email can help to increase clicks.
    • Use copy enticing users to click on the CTA
  • Copy: Length & Format
    • It can be difficult to determine the level of detail to interject in an email. Test if your audience prefers to click through to a landing page to learn more, or if including all relevant details in the email results in higher conversions.
    • People consume information in different ways. Decide whether or not to depict information visually or type it out (show vs. tell).

New Layouts

  •  Emails are also great for testing new design ideas. If you are looking to shake up emails with a brand new format, using a sample of your list can help determine and predict future performance.
  • Testing a new design, copy style, and overall layout can impact other pieces of material on social, banners ads, and other visual marketing materials resulting in better Click-Through Rates. 


    • Surveys are a more direct method of gaining insights into the customer’s journey with a brand. There are several pieces of information a company can get feedback on, including:
      • Has a product or service met expectations? 
      • What aspects of a company does a customer value? 
      • Are there items that the customer wishes your company offered?
      • Was a customer satisfied with the buying journey?
    • Sending emails to your most engaged customers and those who have opened survey emails in the past are a great way to increase the usefulness of the information received.


      • In addition to strong subject lines, sending emails on the right day at the right time has implications for open rates and clicks. Theories on this vary wildly, so do your research
      • Test days of the week and time of day and analyze their effects on open rates and clicks.
      • Timing is also important when it comes to awareness of events of promotions. Decisions on when to send these out will help give the customer enough time to include your brand in their plans.

      Considering that almost all organizations use email as a channel to engage with customers, it is important to keep in mind how this method can be used to achieve goals. Keep in mind that testing emails should be strategic and done over a period of time. Let the Trellist Digital divison help you determine your email testing strategy roadmap to increase your engagement with your target audience. In the meantime, check out this blog post for more email tips.


      About Trellist

      Trellist is a professional services firm delivering performance-driven business solutions that are flexible, innovative, and optimized to maximize efficiency and return. The firm consults on, and integrates, data with marketing, design, technology, and digital services for clients at the global, national, and regional level. Trellist utilizes a unique approach to business—from the firm's employee-shared structure, to how it partners with its clients. 


      We’d love to have a conversation with you about how Trellist can help you engage your customers and maximize growth. Start by providing us some details in the form below.

      To see career opportunities, apply for a job, or submit your resume, visit our Careers section.