Fred Chapellier

Email Marketing Specialist


Email Marketing Tests that All Online Marketers Should Be Doing

E-mail newsletters are a great way to boost your site’s traffic and raise its sales. Their effectiveness lies in the fact that you are directly communicating with qualified people. After all, newsletters are sent to only two categories of people, namely new subscribers and past customers. The former have consented to receive information from you while the latter have already done business with you. Since you are dealing with such a qualified customer base, your newsletters should be able to achieve a fairly high conversion rate as compared to other forms of online marketing.

However, if your e-mail marketing campaign is still performing poorly, then you are probably doing something wrong. This is where e-mail testing comes in. It tells you exactly how you need to modify your existing strategies so that you can successfully convert your subscribers into paying customers. Hence, without further ado, listed as follows are few tests that every organization should be running for its e-mail marketing campaign -

Subject Line Testing

Many recent surveys and studies have shown that up to half of all e-mail recipients decide on opening an e-mail based on its subject line alone. This arguably makes it the single most important test for e-mail marketing campaigns. Use catchy slogans, offer discounts, tempt your subscribers with exclusive deals, evoke their curiosity and personalise your subject lines.

Basically, research various subject-lines that you want to use and start split testing with your subscribers. Make sure you test a sufficiently large sample so that you can filter out ‘true’ data from statistical noise. Remember, poorly drafted subject lines can easily derail your carefully devised e-mail marketing campaign in no time at all.

Content Testing

Even with a riveting subject line, people will simply not click on your e-mail links unless your content matches up to their expectations. This makes content testing just as important as subject lines. Furthermore, this also ensures that your e-mails do not end up in the spam folder where they shall never be opened and checked. Unfortunately, there are an infinite number of permutations and combinations to play around with when it comes to e-mail copy.

Obviously, this means that content testing is going to take a fair bit of time and effort. Start testing your sample groups with different kinds of copy. This should include promotional content, informational copy, text appealing to their emotions, funny posts, info-graphic describing and depicting your product’s benefits and so on. Apart from the content itself, factors like layout, formatting and design of the e-mail are perhaps just as important. So make sure sure to fiddle with the font, colors, rich text, plain text and so on.

Call-to-Action Testing

Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons in e-mails have a significant impact on their Click-Through-Rate, meaning number of users who click on an e-mail link and follow through with a desired action like making a purchase. Segment your subscribers and experiment with different sizes, graphical options and colour palettes to enhance the visual appeal of your CTA buttons.

Text of the buttons is equally important as its visual appearance. Do not simply stick to basic options like “Download” or “Sign up”. SEO experts unanimously agree that the best performing CTA buttons are those which establish their relevance to the e-mail copy. In other words, creative texts like “Upgrade to…” “End your Hassles” have a much better outcome than the traditional “Download” button. In any case, test out different versions of your CTA buttons so you know what works best for your organization.

Day and Time Testing

Value of day and time testing is a controversial topic to say the least, but it would be factually incorrect to claim that the day and time that you send your e-mails do not affect their open rates.

So let us begin with the bare basics. For e-mails directed at businesses, you should set your mails to arrive during working hours on weekdays. However, this is a lot trickier when it comes to emails directed at customers. So let the test results speak for themselves. Identify specific time-zones of your customers in a given sample group and send them e-mails at various times of the day. You would do well to remember that sometimes, in cases like this, the test results are truly random. Hence, test a large enough sample group and have patience for data collection.

Experiment with Personalization  

Personalized e-mails have a much higher click through rate as compared to generic e-mails. Given their potential to convert your e-mail subscribers into paying customers, getting personalisation right is invaluable for your business. Nevertheless, it is difficult to predict what works best for a given business without split testing.

There are several options at your disposal that you can tweak including brand loyalty point schemes like special discounts and personalized recommendations among several others. Making your customers feel special can have a major impact on your web traffic which effectively means more sales.