When setting up messaging campaigns, it’s important to run A/B tests to help determine the best approach for your customers. Some customers will respond to and convert more frequently from playful and fun messages with lots of emojis and gifs, but other customers will engage more with straightforward and professional messaging. 

You can perform different types of A/B tests:

  • Message content: The content of each message
  • Message send time: The date or time of day the message is sent

Before you dive in here, it might be helpful to first check out how to Create and send an A/B test campaign.

With A/B test campaigns, you can run up to 30 different variations in a single A/B test campaign, allowing you to test a range of different content types or message send times.

You should know

  • Sample size is key to running a successful test, so we recommend testing each variant with a segment of at least 500 subscribers. However, the larger the test group, the more accurate your results will be.
  • Although there are a handful of best practices that should be included in almost every message you send -- like including a CTA and a tracking link to your store -- different messaging strategies will work differently for different businesses. You should run a series of tests to see what works best for your brand.
  • When running A/B tests, test one thing at a time. If you’re testing image type, use the same message copy in each variation. If you’re testing tone of voice, include the same image, in the same place, in each variant.
  • Attentive has a suite of resources that can help you get off the ground with testing. Check out the following:
  • If you’re looking for inspiration, be sure to check out Texts We Love, where you can see dozens of successful campaigns from different customers using Attentive.

Content types you should test

To determine the best messaging strategy for your campaigns, we recommend running A/B tests for the following:


Do your customers prefer messages that include only text and links, or are they more likely to read and engage with messaging that includes images and gifs? Run A/B tests to see which will work better for your brand.


Image type

If you’ve learned that your subscribers are more likely to engage with messages that include images, you should next test to see what image content and which image types convert the best. Run A/B tests that use the same copy, but different images. For example, include a product close-up in one variant, an image of a model in another variant, and a lifestyle image in the third variant. You can also test if static images or if GIF images work best for your brand, too.


Emoji usage

First, run an A/B test to see if messages that include one or more emojis resonates more with your subscribers than messages that don’t include any emojis at all. Then, if you find that your customers prefer emojis, run subsequent tests to see how many emojis per message and which emojis work best.

Note though that emojis in campaign messages count as 90 characters, which may increase how much you’re billed for the campaign. For more on billing, check out Billing FAQs.


Link placement

Where you place a link to your store can have a big impact on success rates. Run tests to see if links placed at the top of your copy, in the middle of your copy, or at the bottom of your copy convert the best.



How you build your messages is also important. Run tests to see if your customers prefer shorter vs. longer messages, messages with no line breaks or many, and which words are capitalized.



While you should always include a CTA in your messaging, you should also test to see which CTA language works the best for your brand. Some examples to test for include “shop now,” “click here,” “ends soon,” and so on.


Tone of voice

Run experiments to see if friendlier and playful messaging resonates with your customers, or if they’re more likely to engage with professional and direct messaging.


Send times

Some customers are alert and ready to engage with text marketing at 8:00AM on a Monday. Others .. not so much. After you’ve found some content patterns that work well for your subscribers, run the same message campaign at different times of day and on different days to see when your customers are most active -- and most likely to click on links to your store.