If you’re wondering how effective your email marketing campaign will be, why not test it to determine how it might be optimized? Multivariate (or more basic A/B) testing can help you ascertain optimal conversion and click-through rates for your website, landing page, banner ad or email campaign.

Let’s say you want to determine which of two versions of an email has the more effective subject line. Variations can be dramatic or subtle, have completely different subject lines or only a one-word difference. By testing all the fundamentals of a prospecting email, you can land upon the ideal combination of variables.

With multivariate testing, you can use only a small portion of your email contact list (say, 10 percent) to gather results. If campaign A were to yield an open rate of 20 percent and 10 clicks, while campaign B yielded an open rate of 25 percent and 14 clicks, you could select the superior version to send to the remaining 90 percent of your email list.

Multivariate testing allows you to optimize their email marketing campaigns to ensure optimal effectiveness, from subject lines to calls-to-action to content density. By testing before you deploy your email marketing campaign, you can continually measure and refineyour content until you hit upon the most effective approach.

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Alan Blume is an author, and as founder and CEO of StartUpSelling Inc., he works with small businesses on lead generation, sales, marketing, website design and branding. For more information, go to www.StartUpSelling.com.