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Introducing A/B Testing: Optimize Your Post-Purchase Emails to Get More Referrals

Darren Foong
Darren Foong
August 5, 2021
2 min read
Introducing A/B Testing: Optimize Your Post-Purchase Emails to Get More Referrals

Small details matter. Ecommerce merchants understand the value of optimizing every aspect of the customer experience, from emails to call-to-actions to the discount value.

That is why we’re so excited to announce A/B Testing for ReferralCandy.

Starting today, you’ll be able to A/B test the post-purchase emails sent to your customers. Over the upcoming months, we’ll expand A/B testing to the other features of your referral program to give you more control and confidence.

We listened to feedback from our merchants, and A/B testing was a top priority. A/B testing will enable you to have more confidence and control over the success of your referral program.

Introducing ReferralCandy’s A/B Testing feature for post-purchase emails

Starting today, you are now able to A/B test your post-purchase email. You access the A/B testing feature from the sidebar menu in your dashboard.

Post-purchase emails tap into an emotional peak in the customer journey. Your customer is eagerly anticipating your product and excited about their purchase. It’s no wonder that post-purchase emails have an open rate of 40.5% and a click rate of 6%, significantly higher than other marketing emails.

Out of 10 satisfied customers, 8 of them say they are willing to refer a friend, but only 3 customers end up making a referral. Customers can get distracted or simply forget about it. The post-purchase email is a perfect nudge at the right time to encourage them to make the referral.

Sleep toy brand Riff Raff & Co sends a pretty potent post-purchase email. Right after confirming your purchase, you’ll receive this email with cute pictures of babies cuddling their sleep toys:

riff raff and co toys post purchase emails

It’s a simple email, but it’s deceptively powerful. The copy and cute images help to ramp up customers’ excitement for the product, and it works too. Riff Raff & Co boasts a referral rate of 24%, ten times the industry benchmark of 2.35% - that means that 1 in 4 customers came through a referral!

Now that we’ve seen how effective the post-purchase email can be, let’s take a look at how to A/B test your post-purchase email for maximum effectiveness.

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How to optimize your post-purchase emails in 3 steps

1. Plan your tests

With the A/B testing feature, you’ll be able to create a ‘B’ variation of your post-purchase email to test against your existing post-purchase email variation.

You can change every aspect of your post-purchase email, including the subject line, body text, and even the primary color and font of the email. However, we recommend you plan out your A/B tests before you start.

For your A/B test to be accurate, you want to only change one variable at a time. This helps you isolate which change was the most effective. We recommend prioritizing these three variables in your A/B testing:

  1. Email subject line
  2. Heading text & banner image
  3. Call-to-action button (‘Advocate Portal Link Text’ in the UI)

A subject line that stands out will help you maximize the open rates of your emails. Once your customers open the email, having an eye-catching headline and banner image can hold their attention. Finally, the right call-to-action will prompt your customers to click. You can also customize and test other aspects of your email, but we feel you should prioritize these three elements.

You should also decide when to end the test before you start the test. This can prevent you from making a snap decision based on early results. The results of your testing will be more accurate with the more emails you send.

For more information, you can check out these resources on A/B testing to decide on the parameters of your tests:

Once you’ve set up the parameters for your test, you can now set up your first A/B test.

2. Set up your test email

Selecting the A/B Testing feature from the menu sends you to the A/B Testing dashboard, where you’ll be able to see the results of your previous tests as well as start a new test. Click Create new test to start setting up a new A/B test.

You’ll be presented with a screen that allows you to compare both variations of your email, side-by-side. From here, you can edit the ‘B’ variation of your email and start the test immediately. Click the Edit button, and you’ll be able to edit the ‘B’ variation of your email to send.

You’ll be able to edit both the content and branding of your emails:

Once you’re done editing, you can select whether to start the test immediately or schedule it for a future date. Click Start Now to begin the test right away.

3. Review the results and select the winner

Once you begin the test, on average, 50% of your customers will receive Email A and 50% of your customers will receive Email B. You can monitor the progress of the test to see which variation is generating more clicks.

Once you’ve reached the number of variations you decided in Step 1, you can stop testing by choosing to Keep Email A or Apply Email B. You can also stop testing if you notice one variation is clearly outperforming the other variation.

The winning variation will become the default post-purchase email. You can then continue to test the next variable in your testing plan. You can also reach out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager to discuss what makes sense for your referral program.

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Frequently asked questions about A/B Testing with Referralcandy

Are there plans to expand A/B testing to other ReferralCandy Features?

Yes! We have plans to roll out A/B testing for other aspects of your referral program, including post-purchase widgets, friend landing pages, and referral rewards.

To stay informed about upcoming plans, subscribe to our product newsletter, or inform your Customer Success Manager to let you know when the new feature is released.

Do I need to A/B test my emails to get more referrals?

A/B testing is simply one of the levers to improve the performance of your referral program. Many of our customers get amazing results by simply choosing the right referral incentives, promoting their referral program to customers, and following our simple checklist to get more referrals.

For merchants who are used to A/B testing emails or want to maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns, A/B testing is an option.

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Next steps

We’ll be rolling out more exciting features for ReferralCandy, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, why not check out the following resources:

Also, subscribe to our blog newsletter for insights on the ecommerce industry and guides on improving the value of your referral program.

Darren Foong
Darren Foong

Darren is a content/SEO writer and product marketer. He doubled search traffic for the blog and put ReferralCandy on the front page of the Shopify AppStore.

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