Presentation: A/B Testing in Library Emails

Email is not dead — in fact, your library’s emails are delivered to your patrons’ inboxes more than 90% of the time while Facebook continues to diminish how many of your followers even see your content. The trick then is to get your patrons to open your emails and then interact with the content in a way to drive value for your library. At Darien Library, we are using A/B testing to discover how to design email newsletters that get opened and acted upon. Our most recent test of changing a subject line generated 10% additional opens. Then by adding a digital service to an email, we increased usage of the service by 151%. In this short session, Amanda will go over some of the metrics you can test for in your email campaigns. She will be focusing on MailChimp, but other email campaigns also offer insights on how your users interact with your library’s emails.

~User Experience Interest Group at Midwinter 2015

I was fortunate enough to present these slides to the LITA UX IG on Sunday, February 1st in Chicago. The main takeaways are that:

  • It’s difficult to know why people click on things from A/B testing alone
  • Multiple tests are needed to try and narrow down results
  • A/B testing is fun

My favorite question from the audience was how does email analytics work — how can you know someone opened your email? I got to explain about the invisible pixel that is downloaded when an email is open. However, Apple and now Gmail skews the data since they auto-load images while Outlook does not.

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