Surprisingly, many email marketers don’t put a lot of attention into testing, analyzing, and/or evaluating their email marketing strategies. They feel like they don’t have enough time or resources, but that is exactly why you should be testing your email marketing strategies.
Why put all the time and effort into a killer email design if your subject line isn’t enticing your audience to open it? What about your call to action? You’ve put some great content into your email, but can your recipient easily find the call to action button? Or is your call to action appealing enough? Make sure your time and money spent on email marketing is recognized and producing results.
What to Test
You’re browsing through online articles, searching for what you should be testing, but first, do you know what you are trying to accomplish? Take some time to establish some goals for your email marketing messages. These goals will determine what email strategies you should be testing:
1. Increase Open Rate
- Sender name and address
- Subject lines
- Day of the week to send
- Time of the day to send
2. Increase Click Rate
- Content types (videos, images, and/or text)
3. Increase Call to Action Clicks
- Hyperlinks vs. Buttons
- Button text vs. Image
- Location of call to action buttons
- Number of call to action buttons
4. Decrease Unsubscribes
- Frequency of Email Sends
- Messaging (salesy vs. resourcefulness)
1. Test one strategy at a time. Testing multiple strategies will cloud what actually worked and what didn’t. If you’re testing open rates for who the email is coming from, make sure you are sending on the same day/time, so you really know what is improving metrics.
2. Keep a record. Make sure you are monitoring your testing progress and tracking the results. You should be able to look back at your past testing and see what is working.
3. Utilize your tools. A lot of email marketing platforms have features that make testing and reporting a lot easier. Tools such as ClickDimensions and Dynamics 365 for Marketing have A/B Testing and Click Heat Map features. A/B testing makes it very simple and easy to test strategies on parts of your marketing lists and to automatically declare a winning email version to send to the rest of your list. The click heat map feature visually shows where recipients are clicking and what percentage of the clicks are going where.
4. Listen to the Metrics. Your audience is telling you what they want and don’t want from their behavior. For example, if you’re seeing an increase in unsubscribes, you might be sending emails too often or the content isn’t relative to them.
5. Segment the group. Having segmented test groups will make it clear what works and what doesn’t for the specified group. Make sure you include the relevant group of people to test your strategies to get the best results.
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