When it comes to running an email marketing campaign, you have to be extremely lucky to get it exactly right first time and even the best performers in this sector will need to tweak and amend their emails to make sure they achieve the results they are looking for. The thing is though, the people at the top of their game with respect to email marketing understand that there is a need to test and evaluate their marketing, and they are more than happy to do so because it gets results. People who don’t understand the importance of email marketing also don’t likely understand that there is a need to test and analyse your results, and this is just one of the main factors in why some people and firms achieve with email marketing campaigns and some people don’t.
If you want to be in the group of people that succeeds, and you really should be, it is important that you understand the benefits that can come from a simple a/b test. Testing is how you manage to improve your open rates, improve your click through rates and it is how you make conversions, which is something that we should all be looking for. Even if you think your know your audience inside out, there is a lot to be said for carrying out tests and making sure that you know exactly how you should be communicating with your audience.
The Testing should be a simple process
The testing process is simple and it is genuinely a case of testing one option to a random selection of your database and testing a different option to another selection of your database. You then review the results you get back and you see which one performs better. The concept is very simple, which is important if you are looking to achieve success, but split testing for email campaigns need to be carried out in the correct manner.
While it is possible to carry out split testing on your website, and it is commonly used for landing pages, you will find that using it in an email campaign is the most effective way of testing because it ensures that you can keep control of everything. Visitors can stumble on test pages at your site which may skew your figures but when it comes to email marketing, you should be able to stay on top of all of the recipients and participants.
There are also a great number of things you can test in your email marketing campaign but be sure to only test ONE THING at a time. If you have changed two elements of the campaign, how can you be sure which element is the effective part of your campaign? It may be that the two elements have an opposite effect and that the results are skewed and lacking in proper benefit. You need to make sure that you test on one element and these are some of the elements you should be looking to test on:
- Your subject line
- The day of the week the email is sent on
- The time of day the email is sent
- The content of the offer or email
- The layout and design of the email
- Whether an email is text based or HTML
- Whether you have headlines within your address
- What “from” address you use
- What sort of personalisation you use
- What sort of tone you use in your content
Once you have tested your email marketing campaign, you need to know what to do with the results. Data and information by itself is of no real benefit to businesses, you need to know what the information means and how it can be used by your business to make improvements. By noting the elements that perform best, you can start to build up a profile of how and when to reach out to your audience. You should realise that this sort of activity is an on-going process but you should place a great deal of importance on your email marketing campaign and it is worthwhile following up on what is working or not.
Form this; you should be looking to create a best practice guide for your email activities, which will definitely help you to make the most of your communication with clients.
If you are going to undertake email marketing, and you really should, you should be looking to do it right.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 8 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.