Best Practices for Effective Multivariate Message Tests: CTAs

If you’re new to the idea of multivariate message testing – experiments that go beyond A/B message testing – or if you’re just looking for a few pointers on how to effectively add message testing to your email marketing strategy, you’re in the right place.

We previously looked at best practices for testing subject lines as part of your email marketing strategy. This week we’ll look at creating multivariate message tests around calls-to-action.

We went over some basic rules to follow when creating a message test previously, but we’ll briefly recap here.

The first is that you can create tests for just about every element of an email message:

  • Subject lines
  • Preheaders.
  • Calls-to-action.
  • The message body itself.

But for best results, keep your testing focused. Create a message test that focuses on just one element, so you have precise results and avoid confusion.

If you create variations that experiment with both subject lines and preheaders, and one outperforms the other, you won’t know what change made the difference.

Our second tip is to think of a question that you’d like answered and use that to guide your testing. For example, our previous article focused on the question, “What subject line tone impacts contact engagement?”

This week we’re exploring calls-to-action, so the question could be as simple as, “What type of CTA impacts audience engagement?”

Some CTA variables you can test are:

  • CTA Language: try different keywords and phrases. Maybe try words that target various potential pain points for your audience.
  • CTA Tone: Do humorous or serious tones get more prospects to click?
  • Button vs. Link
  • Button or link color
  • Button or link placement
  • How many CTAs is too many for your audience?

Once you have a few ideas for variations, build distinct email versions around them. With Motiva, you can try as many as you’d like, though depending on your audience size, you may want to keep it limited to 3 - 4.

We’ve found that using 3 - 4 email variations balances the need to accelerate your time to insight while still providing a clear idea of your audience preferences.

Motiva will send out test batches and listen for engagement signals. If it finds that a particular version lags in performance, it will automatically stop sending that variation to your prospects, ensuring that the highest possible percentage of your audience receives the most vital messaging.

Our reports will show you exactly how many of your prospects engaged with a particular email variation.

From there, you can take the winners from one experiment and test them against new variations, so you’ll either be improving your results or using those previous winners as the fallback.

And don’t forget to look at the “losing” emails in a campaign!

Obviously, not all emails will work with a general audience. But check the Who’s Responding tab in the Motiva app. You may find that a specific demographic engaged more with a less-popular variation.

You can then build a Buyer’s Persona that matches those contact attributes and target those groups with similar variations in future campaigns. It’s a great way to personalize content and build loyalty.

You're probably starting to imagine the possibilities, both in creating effective message tests and in how to use the data. Can your current martech stack do this?

For step-by-step instructions to create your first Motiva AI Multivariate Message Test, check out this article.

Want to see Motiva AI in action? Pick a time to Schedule a Demo!

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