Whether you’re a small business owner, artist, photographer, writer or consultant, there’s a website builder out there for you — even if you don’t know how to code.
Well-known website builders such as Wix, Weebly and Squarespace make it easy for even a newbie to put together something polished in a relatively short time, even when they need advanced features like an e-commerce platform or email marketing. Gone are the days of needing to be a web developer with a lot of money, time and coding skills to create a simple website that looks professional.
Finding the best website builder depends on the website owners’ particular needs — the process can be overwhelming because there are so many choices from free website builder options for a simple website to e-commerce website builder platforms for a more complex business website. But the growth and complexity of the website building industry also means you have more choices than ever before, and you can easily find the best website builder tailored to your wants and needs.
It’s true that a few favorites have emerged — and those top website builder options are usually a good place to start — but even the front-runners aren’t ideally suited for every scenario. To make it simple for you, we’ve compiled all the information you need to make a good decision on the best website builder and get to the fun part of designing your own website. We took into consideration factors including if the builder offers an SEO tool, a solid customization option and the strength of the company’s customer support.
|Free trial?||Starting price*|
|Best overall website builder (and best for free)||Wix||”unlimited” w/ ads||$13/month|
|Best prepackaged design||Squarespace||14 days||$12/month|
|Easiest to use||Weebly||”unlimited” w/ ads||$12/month|
|Most customizable||Duda||30 days||$14/month|
|Best no-frills option||GoDaddy||30 days||$10/month|
|Best for writers and bloggers||WordPress||”unlimited” w/ ads||$5/month|
|Best for basic e-commerce||Shopify||14 days||$29/month|
|Best for bigger stores||BigCommerce||15 days||$29/month|
*Starting price doesn’t include cheaper plans if they are ad-supported. Some vendors offer free domain hosting for the first year on some plans as well.
To compile this list, we researched the prices, plans and features of over 12 different website builders and scoured reviews from several sites (including PCMag, Wirecutter, WebsiteToolTester, SiteBuilderReport, WPBeginner and more) to see where there might be any consensus. We also surveyed the CNET staff, and ultimately spent time building some test sites using the tools below (if we weren’t already members). We paid particular attention to the categories that not only differentiate one site from another, but that actually matter to business owners, artists and creators such as SEO features, mobile-friendly website builders, live chat options, available plugins and customer support.
If, by the end of the list, you’re still not sure which direction to go with your website building, we’ve included a guide at the bottom, including key questions you should be asking yourself as you start your online venture. Finally, if you already have a website and just need a host or you’re interested in building a WordPress site, check out our list of best web hosting services.
Best website builder overall
Wix is the clear front-runner in the race for website builder dominance. It’s the biggest player with over 110 million websites built and boasts the greatest quantity of tools, capabilities, and freedom.
Like many competitors in this space, Wix offers a basic free website builder plan that lets you create a free website starter site with ads. If you like what you see with the free website builder, you can spend up for a premium, ad-free site. Pricing falls within industry standards with a $13-per-month “Combo” plan that covers most needs for a personal website. If you need an ecommerce website builder for your ecommerce store, Wix offers a $49-per-month “Business VIP” ecommerce website plan for your online store. Those prices do not include a domain, so you’ll need to account for that separately. And if you’re interested in stats and analytics, you’ll either need to get a Google Analytics paid plan or another third-party tool, as Wix doesn’t have its own.
Despite being the clear favorite among most reviewers, Wix does have a few drawbacks. Wix was one of the few builders that has data limitations for each of its plan tiers, so if you want to upload endless photos and videos, or expect more than 5,000 visitors a month to your site, make sure you do the math before choosing a plan.
Also, the editor’s freedom and range of options can be overwhelming for folks who don’t have the time or inclination to make lots of little decisions and the web design flexibility means you’ll need to be more hands-on with the format and layout, as opposed to more structured or limited editors where you can’t draw too far outside the lines.
Best prepackaged design
Squarespace strikes us as being the cool kid in high school — flashy and hip on the surface but lacking substance underneath. We found it to be in between Wix and Weebly in terms of ease of use, though it did get consistently positive marks from reviewers for the quality of design. Where we think it really might shine is for small- to medium-size businesses who want a nicely designed page and room for e-commerce growth with lower transaction fees.
The Squarespace editor isn’t as intuitive as Wix and Weebly, requiring a little bit of work until you get the hang of it. It has a fair amount of add-ons, website templates and tools, and the universal style editor and strong photo editing are helpful. The responsive website editor means that your site will always look good on a mobile device, but you won’t be able to make mobile-specific edits like with Wix or Duda. We also found consistent high marks for helpful and responsive customer support, which should put business owners’ minds at ease.
Squarespace starts off with a $12-a-month Personal plan, which includes unlimited storage, bandwidth and a domain, and offers an $18 Business website plan that includes unlimited contributors, a Gmail pro account, and e-commerce store builder capabilities. If you go for an “Online Store” plan, you can choose between $26 and $40 a month, the latter of which includes a few final touches like abandoned shopping cart recovery and gift cards. It’s important to note that the $26 online store plan, while maybe slightly above the market rate for an e-commerce site, comes with no transaction fees. So depending on your sales volume on a given month, those savings for our online store could really add up.
Overall, Squarespace’s website is a good analog for what you get with its products: clean, professional and inviting design, but without the layers of design power or freedom you get from other builders.
Easiest to use
Weebly flies under the radar relative to Wix with 50 million websites created, but offers some excellent options depending on your needs. If you want a simple and easy-to-use do-it-yourself website editor, a large site (more than 25 to 30 pages), unlimited storage, site portability and affordable yet powerful online store capabilities, Weebly plays a good David to Wix’s Goliath.
The editor is one of the easiest website builder options to use and the low learning curve still nets great-looking sites. That ease-of-use means the editor is more limited in terms of add-ons and design flexibility and it doesn’t have the range of options or mobile customization that a builder like Wix has. Still, in our testing, we never came to a point where we found those constraints to be limiting. For a high-octane web designer, though, it could come up.
Weebly’s prices are similar to competitors like Wix or Squarespace, but its free plan option is one of the most generous among free website builders and for just $5 a month you can get up and running with your own domain name (albeit with Weebly ads). Its $12-per-month plan will give you an ad-free site with analytics and commerce capabilities, while the $25 plan gets you more store tools, like tax and shipping calculators, inventory management and discounts.
Weebly is a good option for those who may be more limited in terms of their time investment and its commerce options outshine competitors like Wix and Squarespace. For those who are wary of committing to a website builder knowing that you won’t be able to pick up and leave later on, Weebly also offers the ability to download site files so you can move to another host, a rarity in the site builder landscape.
Best for building a customized experience
Duda is a smaller player compared to the other builders above with around 15 million websites built and it focuses on a specific market segment: designers and design agencies. It caters to individuals and groups that make a lot of sites, but with a powerful and easy-to-use builder and a number of differentiated offerings, it’s emerged as a good option for anyone looking to develop an online presence.
Duda’s builder boasts a number of features that set it apart, including mobile site customization, detailed data analytics (e.g. advanced metrics like form submissions, time on page and bounce rate) and user personalization so you can easily display specific messages or offers to users based on the time of day, their location or their browsing history. It’s also known for its multilanguage support and a free e-commerce add-on that allows you to sell up to 10 products.
Duda’s pricing is a little bit higher than its main competitors like Wix and Weebly, starting off at $14 per month for the Basic plan. At $22, you can add up to four editors for your site (instead of only one with Basic), access advanced analytics and begin using Duda as a white-label/custom-branded builder, another one of Duda’s selling points. Its “Agency” plan at $74 per month is geared toward web designers who are building pages for multiple clients and includes eight websites and the ability to download site files for portability.
Duda is a little expensive, but fills some of the voids that the main players have, like analytics, multilingual capabilities and better personalization and mobile customization.
Best For basic, no-frills websites
GoDaddy is best known for its custom domain names and web hosting services, so it makes sense that it also offers website builder software. The name is a mouthful — “Websites + Marketing” — but it’s a similar templatized experience like the other options on this list, designed to get a basic site up and running in under an hour.
The free tier includes such niceties as email and social media marketing, PayPal payments and an SSL certificate. The $10 monthly plan is straight-up basic; $15 adds an SEO tool; $20 tacks on extended support for appointments and its $25-per-month Ecommerce plan is for online store capabilities, including some impressive product listing and shipping options for your ecommerce website.
Despite the fact that GoDaddy is better known as a domain seller, a domain isn’t included in those prices — you’ll need to add that separately. But all in all, GoDaddy’s current website creator is a nice step up from its now-discontinued GoCentral product. Likewise, by switching to a free tier, there’s no longer a 30-day timer on your experience, so you can take your time kicking the tires to see if GoDaddy is right for you.
Best for writers and bloggers
When most people talk about WordPress, they’re usually referring to the free open-source software available through WordPress.org. That’s very powerful, but it takes some time to learn and still requires that you find a website host and domain name. If you’re interested in going the advanced route of WordPress.org, we recommend you check out a tutorial or guide such as those you can find on WPBeginner or WebsiteToolTester to learn how it works.
The WordPress.com website builder is something else. It’s similar to the other builders listed above and is primarily geared toward bloggers and writers. The WordPress website editor is fairly limited compared to other services, but is easy to set up and has everything you need for blogging. We should also note that it’s not an intuitive drag-and-drop website builder like Wix or Weebly.
Its pricing is fairly cheap, starting off at $5 per month to remove WordPress ads and giving you 6GB of storage. From there it goes to $8 for 13GB of storage and online selling capabilities, and finally a $25 option that allows you to use custom WordPress theme options and add-ons. The $8 option seems like the best deal if you’re setting up a blog and thinking about monetizing it at some point.
Overall, WordPress caters to bloggers who don’t want or need to spend a lot of time on website design, but it feels very limited for most other use cases. That said, anyone who’s looking for more robust off-the-shelf CMS (content management systems) options should consider Joomla and Drupal. Both are arguably less user-friendly than WordPress, but offer more customization options. At least one CNET editor also felt that Drupal and Joomla also offered faster page loading speeds.
Best for basic e-commerce
If Wix is the clear favorite for most website building needs, Shopify fills that role for an e-commerce store. The platform offers an easy and user-friendly way to get an e-commerce website store up and running online, and it supports business owners throughout the process with their e-commerce tools. Shopify is a safe place to start for most “e-tailers,” though similar to Wix, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for every scenario.
Like most other commerce-focused builders, Shopify’s platform is geared toward your product and sales details. Fortunately for those without a ton of experience setting up a retail operation, Shopify’s process ensures you won’t miss an important step as it guides you through inventory, customer information, and tax and shipping rates. And if you still have a question, Shopify offers 24-7 phone and chat support and an active online community forum.
Given that its user base is fairly defined, Shopify doesn’t offer a plethora of plan options, and its prices come in above the market average. The “Basic Shopify” plan is $29 a month and covers most of the basic needs for an online store, while the $79-a-month plan offers gift cards and more staff accounts. From our perspective, it was hard to rationalize the $50 jump from basic to standard, but if you factor in the reduced transaction fees and shipping discounts, it might make sense. If you’re running a bigger operation, they also offer a $299-a-month plan.
The main drawback of Shopify is probably its pricing model. If you want the support, guidance and a builder that will take care of most of the technical details, the extra costs are worth it. And the many apps available are enticing, but can also add up if you’re using those that cost extra. If after considering the different e-commerce features you’re still on the fence, we recommend you calculate the total cost of additional add-ons and transaction fees based on your sales, and then compare with competitors like BigCommerce, which offers more product variants and combinations and lower fees.
Best for bigger stores
BigCommerce lives up to its name — it’s best for medium- to large-scale online stores that can cash in on the lack of added transaction fees and unlimited product variants. The store site builder might not be quite as easy to use as Shopify’s, but the amount of time you spend getting used to it could save you a lot of money down the road.
The editor has a lot of features and flexibility when you’re getting set up, but similar to Wix, that can be overwhelming for newcomers. If you have a little experience, however, those features and tools — like product variants and tax rates — will probably come in handy as you grow or if you’re already at scale.
BigCommerce’s price tiers are identical to Shopify’s at $29 (Standard), $79 (Plus), and $249 (Pro), but what you get at each level differs. Even the lowest BigCommerce plan at $29 gives its clients unlimited users, unlimited bandwidth and storage, unlimited products, and no added transaction fees. You can even link your e-commerce site to eBay, Google Shopping and Amazon. Where the pricing gets a little tricky is with the sales thresholds: The Standard plan only supports annual sales of less than $50,000, while Plus supports up to $150,000 and Pro up to $400,000. So basically you save a lot of money on transaction fees the more sales you rack up, but if you have enough sales, you have to upgrade to the next plan tier.
As with all the online store builders, it’ll be worth it to do a little math based on your product inventory and expected sales. No transaction fees — they even have a discount deal worked out with PayPal where you can save an additional 0.5% to 1% — strikes us as a major deal-maker depending on your size, so if you’re a bigger operation, take advantage of the 15-day trial and give BigCommerce a shot.
How to choose the best website builder
Given the wealth of options and the fact that many website builders don’t allow you to pick up and move later on, it’s important to enter the fray with a clear idea of what you need. By first establishing your priorities and direction, it will be easier to find a match for the best website builder and avoid buyer’s remorse down the road.
In terms of pricing, most builders offer two to four different price tiers, each with a different set of features. This can make comparing services difficult, since they don’t make it easy to line up apples-to-apples, but that’s a big reason why we’ve created this handy guide!
Generally speaking, you can get a good individual website built for around $8 to $10 a month with an annual subscription. Most e-commerce plans range between $20 to $25 per month, and if you need an enterprise-style plan with multiple editors and VIP-level support, prices can go up to $300 per month for a premium plan.
Storage and bandwidth are usually unlimited, but there are exceptions like Wix, which scales its storage capacity according to the plan tier. And even its lowest tier plan has a decent amount (3GB of storage and enough bandwidth to support up to around 5,000 visitors per month).
After the big questions like price and storage, finding the best website builder all comes down to what you’re looking for. Below are some guiding questions to help ensure you’re ready to shop like an expert and find the best website builder for your needs.
What is the purpose of your site?
Your first step should be to determine the primary goal of your web presence. Do you want to sell a product? Attract potential customers for your services? Build a portfolio page?
By first establishing your raison d’etre, you’ll be able to prioritize the tools, plugins and capabilities you want in your builder and not get pulled off track by a fancy add-on that isn’t actually helping you achieve your goal. If you’re primarily interested in racking up sales, start by looking at the e-commerce specialists, like Shopify and BigCommerce. If you’re a photographer or web designer who wants a beautiful website or portfolio website, Wix and Squarespace are good places to start. Wix might edge Squarespace if you want more control over the design, while Squarespace might be better if you just want a stylish frame for your work.
If you just want something easy to use, Weebly and GoDaddy both offer intuitive builders, with Weebly offering more features and design finesse, while GoDaddy is much simpler and more limited. If you’re setting up a site or store and you want to present a customized experience to users or you have something specific in mind for the mobile version of your site, Duda offers the most customization capabilities. And if you’re a wordsmith who can’t be bothered by design decisions and fancy editors, WordPress can help you get your blog up and offers good ways to reach your readers.
How much time do you want to invest in building your website?
This obviously will vary depending on a number of factors, not the least of which is how clear of a design vision you have and whether you have experience building a website. That being said, each site builder has pros and cons when it comes to level of usability or ease-of-use based on the features, flexibility and intuitive design of the editing interface. On one end of the spectrum you have a builder like Wix, which is very easy to use but also comprehensive — the sheer number of options and tools makes it hard to whip up a site quickly. On the other end, you have a builder like WordPress or GoDaddy, each of which doesn’t provide you with a ton of options when building your pages.
Most people will want to devote enough time to their site that it serves its purpose of representing you online in a good light, so we generally recommend you take the time to learn your editor and take advantage of the many options available.
How much design control do you want?
This goes hand-in-hand with time investment, since the more control you have, the more choices you have to make. There are builders like Squarespace that have a fairly rigid design structure, but still let you customize fonts, colors and content, and on the other end of the spectrum you have a site like Wix, that lets you place objects anywhere on your site (at your own risk!), or Duda, which allows you to customize the mobile experience or create custom user experiences based on browsing history.
How big is your site?
Certain editors are more geared toward large site structures (40-plus pages) than others, so it’s important to know whether you will have a ton of pages and sections, or whether it’s more in the realm of a glamorized digital business card or fancy work portfolio.
The number of navigation levels, for example (which you can think of like file folders (or Inception): a page within a directory within another directory would represent three levels of navigation), can be an important consideration. Most pages probably use two levels — sections and the pages within each section, but online stores and other types of sites might need more. Weebly and BigCommerce are probably the best examples of builders that support large site structures, while Squarespace and Wix limit you to two levels of navigation.
How important is e-commerce?
Every builder we researched has an e-commerce option available, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all up to the task. A site like WordPress isn’t really what you want if your plan is to sell products online, while a site like Shopify or BigCommerce is expressly focused on online sales and has lots of e-commerce features. If you really just want to have a clean and easy-to-use online storefront, one of the dedicated e-commerce builders makes the most sense, but if it’s more of an ancillary service or simply nice to have, you can go with the builder that feels the best and sign up for its e-commerce option. There are even builders like Duda, which allow you to sell up to 10 products for free using another plan.
How big is your sales operation?
Transaction fees: While we’re not small business owners, we do like math and this variable struck us as particularly important. If you sell $10,000 of products in a month with a 3% vendor processing fee, you’re spending an extra $300 every month. If you’re paying your website host an extra 1% to 3%, that’s another $100 to $300. Those numbers greatly eclipse the monthly rate you’re paying, and add up even more if you’re selling significantly more. So before you choose a builder, make sure you read the fine print about transaction fees.
Many builders don’t charge on top of the Square or Paypal rate (usually 3%), but some do. Shopify charges extra if you don’t use Shopify Payments, but if you do use its services, you can get a rate below 3%. Then there are sites like BigCommerce, which doesn’t charge extra and even has a PayPal discount, but has sales limits for each plan.
We know you’re a smart and savvy business owner who pays close attention to the books, but we thought it would still help to remind you: do the math before signing up.
How flexible do you want to be with the host?
As we mentioned at the top, many builders lock you into their hosting service, but not all. If you’re afraid of commitment or think you might want to switch as your business or services evolve, go with a service like Weebly or Duda that allows you to download your website files for easy use on another host.
The other big factor here is the free trial period. The industry standard is around 14 days, but some go up to a month, and others don’t have a trial period but will give you your money back within 30 days if you’re not happy.
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Top Email Marketing Strategies To Use For Q4
As we approach the Q4 period, it’s never too early to start preparing for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday email marketing strategy. Once Black Friday week hits, our inboxes are filled with a hurricane of brands fighting for attention, each with the ‘biggest’ and the ‘best’ offers you won’t get anywhere else.
To set your brand apart from the competition, it’s crucial to plan ahead. Over 60% of brands send out multiple emails over the course of the Black Friday/ Cyber Monday weekend, and it’s a perfect time to up your brand awareness ahead of the Christmas shopping season.
If you’re not sure where to start with Q4 planning or need some last-minute tips to enhance your strategy, we’ve outlined some top email marketing strategies to incorporate into your plans!
1. Send Pre-Black Friday Emails
Sending pre-Black Friday emails is great for keeping your brand at the forefront of people’s minds ahead of the big day. Not only will a pre-Black Friday email let your audience know about your upcoming event, but it will also ensure that your audience is regularly checking in on your brand throughout the Q4 period.
Additionally, sending pre-Black Friday emails is beneficial for A/B testing. Sending out different formats of emails with minor tweaks, such as the CTAs or subject lines, can help you determine what your audience is more likely to engage with so you can then tailor your Black Friday strategy accordingly.
2. Run a Lead Gen
It might seem like a given, but ahead of Black Friday, it’s beneficial to give your email list a much-needed boost. A simple but effective way to do this is to run a lead-generation advertising campaign. For example, offering your audience the chance to win a prize in return for submitting details, such as their email address, is a quick and easy way to increase your list size. Similarly, refreshing your pop-up on-site with an irresistible offer will also contribute to gaining new profiles.
3. Offer Something Unexpected
Email marketers only have 3 seconds to capture the attention of their readers, which isn’t surprising due to the amount of emails the average person will receive daily. If an email isn’t driving you to click on it, it swiftly gets forgotten about and lost within their inbox. Over Black Friday, to avoid this happening, make sure you’re offering something unexpected, whether that’s a mystery discount or a gift with each purchase!
One of the worst things you can do over Black Friday is to overcomplicate your promotions. If you’re offering multiple promotions and codes, things can get a bit too hectic. To make it as simple as possible, consider running a standard “up to” percentage amount. If you want to include a code, it helps to have this auto-applied at checkout to avoid customers dropping off if they input it incorrectly. In the design of your email, make sure the promotion is clearly highlighted within the design so it can’t be missed, and also referenced in the body copy and subject lines too!
5. Create An Effective Design
Creating an effective design is one thing, but how do you know what works? To improve your email campaigns, consider running an A/B test to pinpoint which elements of your design are improving the CTR and which are hindering it.
Highlighting metrics such as colour, font size, and CTAs can instantly impact whether people will click through or discard! If a consumer clicks on your email, you’ll have, on average, 11 seconds to keep their attention, so making sure your design stands out for the wave of other Black Friday content is key! Keep the design of your email reflective of your branding but with stand-out elements specifically for the shopping season.
6. Make Use Of CTAs
CTAs (call-to-action) are one of the most underrated parts of any email campaign, especially over the Black Friday period. They’re one of the driving forces behind making your email recipients turn into passive readers to customers. One key way to make your CTAs stand out is to make use of bright and bold colours that will attract and hold attention. Additionally, it’s important to think about the placement of your CTAs to increase your click-through rate, make sure the copy used is clear and concise (between two and five words) and use actionable language.
7. Focus On Subject Lines
Subject lines are make or break for every email campaign. Over Black Friday, consumers’ inboxes are cluttered with emails, so it’s important to stand out. It’s estimated that on Black Friday, 116.5 million emails from brands were sent out (more than any other day), and Black Friday sees the highest number of emails opened and clicked. To prevent your emails from being lost in the void, having a cracking subject line to stand out from competitors is everything.
The secret to a great subject line is to keep it short and snappy. On average, subject lines with 50 characters or less tend to get an average of 12% higher open rates and 75% higher click-through rates. Including emojis within subject lines has been seen to increase click-through-rates by as much as 28%!
Additionally, it helps to use language that will really pique your audience’s interest, stay away from any overused cliches and keep them as attention-grabbing as possible.
8. Prep for Cyber Monday
To plan an effective Black Friday, it’s crucial to prepare for Cyber events too. With Cyber following straight after, it’s easy to forget about it or not prioritise it as much as Black Friday, however, it’s still an extremely profitable day! To make the most of it, create dedicated campaigns and tailor your online sales messaging so that it focuses on driving urgency.
9. Incorporate SMS into Your Strategy
Sometimes the importance of SMS can be overlooked because a lot of brands assume that text messages won’t fit in with their brand. However, it’s a no-brainer for reaching even more customers. On average, 82% of people engage with marketing content on their smartphones, so it’s something to definitely explore, especially over the busy shopping period.
To gain SMS sign-ups, you can effectively tie your SMS campaign in with your lead generation and ask for customers to fill out their phone number as well as their email address. That way, they’ll be opted into your send list. It can also be used to send reminders when sales have launched or when offers are coming to a close.
Despite having only 160 characters to work with, SMS campaigns are longer than recommended email subject lines, so it can be just as, if not more effective than email marketing campaigns.
Mastering Email A/B Testing for Mobile Apps: The Ultimate Guide
Welcome to the world of email A/B testing for mobile apps!
Here at Favoured, we’re all about delivering the best results for our clients, and that includes mastering the art of email marketing. In this guide, we’ll take you through the essentials of A/B testing your email campaigns to achieve maximum success for your mobile app.
What Is Email A/B Testing?
Email A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a method used to compare two or more variations of an email campaign to determine which one performs better. The goal is to identify the version that resonates most with your target audience, ultimately leading to higher open rates, click-through rates, and overall engagement.
In the context of mobile apps, email A/B testing can be particularly valuable, as it helps you fine-tune your marketing messages to drive user acquisition, engagement, and retention.
Benefits Of Email A/B Testing
There are numerous advantages to incorporating A/B testing into your email marketing strategy for mobile apps. Some of the key benefits include:
- Improved open rates: By testing different subject lines, you can identify which ones capture your audience’s attention and entice them to open your emails.
- Increased click-through rates: Experimenting with various email elements, such as CTAs and layout, can help you determine the most effective ways to encourage recipients to take action.
- Enhanced engagement: A/B testing allows you to create more relevant and engaging content for your target audience, resulting in higher conversion rates and stronger user relationships.
- Data-driven decision making: With A/B testing, you can make informed decisions based on actual user behaviour, rather than relying on assumptions or gut feelings.
Key Metrics To Track
When conducting email A/B tests, it’s essential to track specific metrics to gauge the success of your campaigns. Some of the most critical metrics to monitor include:
- Open rate: The percentage of recipients who open your email. This metric can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your subject lines.
- Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of recipients who click on a link within your email. A high CTR can indicate that your email content is engaging and relevant.
- Conversion rate: The percentage of recipients who take the desired action after clicking a link in your email, such as downloading your app, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter.
- Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of recipients who opt out of receiving future emails from you. A high unsubscribe rate may suggest that your email content is not resonating with your audience.
Understanding the basics of email A/B testing is the first step towards optimising your mobile app marketing campaigns. By grasping the concept, benefits, and key metrics of A/B testing, you’ll be well-equipped to make data-driven decisions that drive real results for your mobile app.
Setting Up Your Test
Defining Your Goal
Before you start setting up your A/B test, it’s crucial to determine the primary objective of your test. Having a clear goal will help you focus your efforts and make data-driven decisions based on the results. Your goal should align with your overall mobile app marketing strategy and be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Examples of goals for email A/B tests include:
- Increasing the open rate by 10% within 30 days
- Boosting the click-through rate by 15% within 60 days
- Reducing the unsubscribe rate by 5% within 45 days
Selecting Variables To Test
Once you’ve set your goal, it’s time to choose the variables to test in your email campaign. The variables you select should have a direct impact on your goal and be something you can measure. Here are some common email elements to consider testing:
- Subject lines: Test different wording, phrasing, or personalisation techniques to capture your audience’s attention.
- Email content: Experiment with different content styles, lengths, or structures to see what resonates with your recipients.
- Call-to-action (CTA): Try various CTA placements, wording, or button designs to encourage users to take the desired action.
- Images and visuals: Test different images, colours, or visual layouts to determine which one drives higher engagement.
- Personalisation: Compare personalised content, such as using the recipient’s name, to generic content to assess its impact on your metrics.
Now that you’ve chosen your variables, it’s time to create the variations for your email campaigns. Keep the following tips in mind when crafting your variations:
- Limit the number of variations: While it may be tempting to test multiple variations, it’s best to limit yourself to two or three, so you don’t dilute your results or prolong the testing process.
- Make distinct changes: Ensure the variations are different enough to provide meaningful insights. For instance, if testing subject lines, one could be a question, while the other could be a statement.
- Keep other elements consistent: To ensure accurate results, only change the variable you’re testing and keep all other elements the same across variations.
- Consider your audience: When creating variations, take into account your target audience’s preferences and behaviours to craft relevant and engaging content.
Setting up an A/B test for your mobile app’s email campaigns is an essential step towards optimising your marketing efforts. By defining your goal, selecting the right variables to test, and creating effective variations, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your app’s performance and building stronger relationships with your users.
Implementing & Analysing Your Test
Test Duration & Sample Size
Determining the optimal test duration and sample size is crucial for obtaining accurate and reliable results. Here are some factors to consider when deciding on these parameters:
- Test duration: The length of your test should be long enough to gather sufficient data, but not so long that it delays your marketing efforts. Generally, a test duration of 7 to 14 days is recommended for most email A/B tests.
- Sample size: Your sample size should be large enough to provide statistically significant results. Use an A/B test sample size calculator to determine the appropriate size based on your desired confidence level and the expected difference between variations.
Keep in mind that these recommendations may vary depending on your specific circumstances, such as the size of your email list or the frequency of your email campaigns.
Launching Your Test
Once you’ve determined the test duration and sample size, it’s time to launch your A/B test. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth test launch:
- Segment your email list: Divide your email list into random, equal-sized groups to ensure a fair comparison between variations.
- Send your variations: Schedule your email campaign to send the different variations to the corresponding segments of your email list.
- Monitor the progress: Keep an eye on the key metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, throughout the test duration to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Analysing Results & Drawing Conclusions
After your test has concluded, it’s essential to analyse the data, draw conclusions, and apply your findings to future email campaigns. Here’s how to go about it:
- Review the data: Examine the key metrics for each variation and compare them to determine which one performed better.
- Check for statistical significance: Use an A/B test calculator to ensure the differences between the variations are statistically significant, indicating that the results are not due to random chance.
- Draw conclusions: Based on the data, determine what you’ve learned from the test and how it can inform your future email marketing efforts. For instance, if a specific subject line format led to higher open rates, consider using a similar approach in future campaigns.
- Apply your findings: Incorporate your learnings into your email marketing strategy to continually optimise your campaigns and drive better results for your mobile app.
Implementing and analysing your email A/B tests is a critical step towards optimising your mobile app marketing campaigns. By determining the appropriate test duration and sample size, launching your test, and analysing the results, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions that enhance your app’s performance and foster stronger relationships with your users.
To achieve long-term success in email marketing for mobile apps, it’s crucial to make A/B testing a consistent part of your strategy. Regular testing allows you to:
- Continuously optimise your campaigns: Stay ahead of the curve by continually refining your email campaigns based on data-driven insights.
- Adapt to changing trends: Keep your email marketing efforts relevant and up-to-date by adapting to evolving user preferences, industry trends, and market dynamics.
- Validate new ideas: Use A/B testing to validate new marketing concepts or tactics before fully implementing them in your campaigns.
Avoiding Common Pitfalls
As with any marketing endeavour, there are potential pitfalls to watch out for when conducting email A/B tests. Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Testing too many variables at once: Focus on testing one variable at a time to ensure accurate results and avoid confusion when analysing the data.
- Ignoring statistical significance: Make sure your test results are statistically significant to avoid drawing conclusions based on random chance or insufficient data.
- Focusing solely on short-term gains: While it’s essential to optimise for immediate results, also consider the long-term impact of your email marketing strategy on user retention and lifetime value.
Utilising Automation & Growth Hacking Strategies
Leveraging automation and growth hacking techniques can help streamline your email A/B testing efforts and drive even better results for your mobile app. Consider the following strategies:
- Email automation: Use email marketing automation tools to schedule and send your A/B tests, track key metrics, and segment your email list efficiently.
- Dynamic content: Implement dynamic content in your email campaigns to personalise messages based on user behaviour, preferences, or demographics, and A/B test the effectiveness of various personalisation techniques.
- Multivariate testing: Once you’re comfortable with A/B testing, consider using multivariate testing to assess the impact of multiple variables simultaneously and identify the best combination of elements for your campaigns.
Mastering email A/B testing for your mobile app is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort, learning, and adaptation. By following best practices, avoiding common pitfalls, and utilising automation and growth hacking strategies, you’ll be well on your way to achieving long-term success in your email marketing campaigns.
As a data-driven full-funnel marketing agency, Favoured believes in the power of optimising every aspect of the customer journey, and that includes email marketing.
We’re dedicated to helping businesses drive real results, and A/B testing plays a crucial role in this process. Reach out if you want to supercharge your email campaigns with us. Happy testing!
The Untapped Power of Email Signatures in Digital Marketing
Digital marketers are continually scrambling to unearth the latest SEO techniques, social media trends, and pay-per-click strategies. However, there’s one tool that is often overlooked, gathering dust in the corner, while holding a significant amount of untapped potential. This unassuming powerhouse is none other than the humble email signature.
This tiny parcel of real estate at the end of your email, which is often given a simple cursory glance, can be a significant part of your digital marketing arsenal. So, before your eyebrows disappear into your hairline, let’s delve into why you shouldn’t underestimate the might of a well-crafted email signature.
Understanding the Basics of a Professional Email Signature
A professional email signature is more than just your name and job title (or at least it should be). It’s like a digital business card – concise, informative, and, if done right, memorable. Here are the fundamental elements of an effective email signature:
- Your name and title: This is not the place to be mysterious. Make sure your full name and your position in the company are clearly stated.
- Contact information: This typically includes your work phone number, email address, and possibly a physical address if relevant.
- Company logo: Adding a company logo increases recognition and adds a visual element to your signature.
- Social media icons: Provide links to your professional social media platforms. This bridges the gap between email and social networking, helping to increase your followers.
- A call-to-action (CTA): This could be anything from ‘Book a free consultation’ to ‘Check out our latest blog post.’ A compelling CTA can drive traffic and conversions.
How to Build an Effective Email Signature
Building an effective email signature is more art than science. It requires finesse, creativity, and the ability to condense crucial information into a compact, engaging package. The following steps should serve as your roadmap:
Keep it short and sweet: Though it might be tempting to include every detail about your role or your company, remember that brevity is key. Your email signature should ideally be no more than three or four lines of text. In this small space, you need to convey who you are, what you do, and how the recipient can connect with you.
Choose the right information: Prioritize what information is most important for your contacts to have. Beyond your basic personal details, consider what would serve your audience best. Would they appreciate a direct line to your desk phone? An invitation to connect on LinkedIn? A link to your latest insightful blog post? Tailor your content to your audience.
Make it mobile-friendly: In today’s digital era, it’s a given that many people check their emails on their mobile devices. Therefore, ensure your signature is easily readable on smaller screens. A stack, rather than a horizontal layout, typically works better for mobile viewing.
Design for clarity: Select a simple, professional font and stay away from ornate or stylized choices that might confuse or distract the reader. Ensure there is enough contrast between the text color and background so your signature is easily legible. Also, resist the urge to overuse color. Stick to one or two brand colors to maintain a clean, professional look.
Include a call-to-action: This is one of the most underutilized aspects of an email signature. It’s an opportunity to direct the recipient towards something specific – a new product, a whitepaper, an event, or even a survey. This CTA should be updated regularly to keep your communication fresh and relevant.
Use appropriate visuals: If there’s space, consider adding a professional headshot or your company logo. It helps to humanize your emails and boost brand recognition, but remember to keep the file size small to avoid issues with email loading times.
Add your signature to your email client: After crafting your compelling and concise signature, it’s time to bring it to life. Different email clients have their own methods for adding signatures.
- Outlook: To add a signature in Outlook, click on ‘File’, then ‘Options’, followed by ‘Mail’. Navigate to the ‘Signatures’ button where you can create a new signature and assign it to your desired email account.
- Gmail: If you’re a Gmail user, click on the gear icon in the top right corner of your mailbox and select ‘See all settings’. From there, go to the ‘General’ tab and scroll down to ‘Signature’. Here you can create a new signature and format it as desired.
The Benefits of a Professional Email Signature for Digital Marketing
Harnessing the power of a professional email signature can provide a treasure trove of benefits for your digital marketing strategy.
Enhances Brand Awareness
Each email you send is a branding opportunity, a chance to visually etch your brand into the recipient’s memory. With a consistent, professional signature, you reinforce your brand identity with every correspondence. Over time, this repetition builds brand familiarity and keeps you top-of-mind for potential clients or collaborators.
Promotes Brand Consistency
By using a standardized email signature across your organization, you can maintain brand consistency. This professionalism doesn’t just look good – it fosters trust and credibility, which are invaluable in any business relationship.
Drives Traffic to Your Website or Social Media
Strategic links in your email signature can guide your recipients to your website, blog, or social media platforms. It’s a simple yet effective way to increase your overall web traffic and boost potential conversions.
Those strategically placed links can also contribute to your SEO efforts. While they won’t have a massive impact, every bit helps when you’re competing in the digital marketing arena.
Adds a Personal Touch
An email signature, especially one with a professional headshot, adds a human element to your communication. This touch of personality can help to build trust and foster relationships, particularly important when connecting with new contacts or maintaining existing relationships.
Reinforces Your Professional Image
The simple act of including an informative and professional signature can heighten the perception of your professional image. It shows that you pay attention to details and respect the recipient enough to provide them with important contact information.
Provides a Low-cost Marketing Tool
Unlike other marketing tactics, email signatures cost practically nothing. However, with careful crafting, they can yield considerable returns. By leveraging the emails you already send out every day, you’re utilizing a space that would otherwise go to waste.
Offers Additional Contact Points
Including different contact methods in your signature gives recipients more ways to reach you. By offering various channels – whether that’s a phone number, a LinkedIn profile, or a direct email address – you make it easier for the recipient to choose their preferred method of communication. In turn, this can lead to increased interaction and engagement.
In the constantly evolving landscape of digital marketing, it’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of new trends and tactics. Amid all this change, however, don’t forget about the unassuming power of the professional email signature. Though it may seem small and insignificant in the grand scheme of digital marketing, it can act as a silent yet potent partner in your marketing endeavors.
With its potential to enhance brand awareness, drive web traffic, offer a personal touch, and provide a cost-effective marketing tool, a well-crafted email signature is a hidden gem in the digital marketing toolbox. So, don’t overlook this valuable space. Make every pixel count, and let your email signature do some of the heavy lifting in your digital marketing strategy.
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