How to Leverage Message Testing to Save Time and Boost Engagement

There are four very good reasons for using three or more email versions in your message tests.


Data-Driven Content Strategy

We’re all familiar with B2B and B2C email marketing best practices.  For example, I’m sure you’ve heard these tips for boosting performance with subject lines:

  • Ask a question (“Are your subject lines missing this key element?”)
  • Use a specific number (“5 ways to improve Open Rates”)
  • Indicate a how-to (“How to create great subject lines”)
  • Personalize subject lines with a contact’s first name
  • Use an emoji to build a sense of rapport

Unfortunately, these generalizations won’t apply to all audiences and can lead to dangerous assumptions that flatline your engagement.  Message testing helps you test your assumptions so you can move beyond general best practices to actually understanding what works best for your audiences.  It’s a truly data-driven approach to content optimization.

Test at a Faster Pace

The idea of using Message Testing to learn about your audience may be surprising, given that the most common type of message test is the manual A/B test.  It takes a long time to learn anything concrete about an audience using manual A/B testing.  It’s like playing a meandering game of 20 questions.

“Do you like subject lines with a rocket emoji?”


“Do you like subject lines with a smiley face emoji?”


“Do you like subject lines with a cat emoji?”

“A little”

But a Motiva Message Test can be multivariate, meaning it can be configured with three or more different email versions for an exponential increase in the speed of gathering content insights from your audience.  The more variations you include in one test, the clearer and more actionable your results will be, based on the real-world responses of your unique audience.

Think of it like asking your audience a multiple choice question.

“What kind of emoji engages my audience of lab technicians the best?”

A. Rocket

B. Smiley Face

C. Cat

D. Bubbling Test Tube

When you test three or more variations, Motiva really sets itself apart.  One multivariate Motiva message test with three versions is the equivalent of three A/B tests.  And that number increases the more versions you include in a single test.


Automated to Increase Productivity

On average, it takes about 90 minutes to manually set up an A/B test.  You need to randomize your contacts, set up your test groups, build the step architecture on the Eloqua campaign canvas, and analyze results to calculate your confidence threshold and determine a winning email version.

Motiva’s automated Message Testing step does all that work for you and take, on average, 15 minutes to set up in the Eloqua campaign canvas.  Just set it and forget it while Motiva does the heavy lifting.  And the more versions you include in the test, the more hours you save.

Developing Email Versions Office Hour-1

Adaptive to Protect Against Unsubscribes

Manual A/B testing costs time as well as subscribers.  A/B testing exposes a large portion of your audience to a lengthy series of potentially weak emails, resulting in a higher unsubscribe rate.

Motiva Message Testing automatically adjusts its sending pattern to focus on the emails that are getting the best responses.  As the weaker email versions are identified, Motiva removes them from the test and stops sending those versions to your audience.

Using multivariate message testing is the most effective method of getting the clearest results. A multivariate message test frees up productive hours during the day, and eliminates the downtime it would take to design, configure, and run multiple, individual A/B tests. It automatically provides more of your customers with stronger messaging, and clarifies the type of messaging they respond to.

So get those copywriters working on multiple variations. Be bold! Try wildly diverse messages.  You never know what might resonate with the audience.

Read more Tips and Tricks for Message Testing.

Ready to see what Motiva can do for you? Schedule a demo!

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