Email marketing is a simple and inexpensive way to connect with consumers and foster long-lasting relationships. It’s cost-effective and returns the highest measurable ROI of any marketing channel. Crafting an email full of engaging content that intrigues your target audience boosts customer retention and satisfaction.
But, when you create an email marketing strategy, the work is not done as soon as you hit send. Analytics play a critical role in helping you determine your campaign’s engagement and effectiveness at a particular point in time, but they do not give you insights into which parts of your email worked as well as possible and which parts didn’t. The way to acquire this information is by conducting regular and consistent variable testing.
The digital world is always changing and that includes email marketing services. You can’t assume there will be nothing new to consider between campaigns, as often what worked three months ago may not work now. Along with every well-crafted, strategically-distributed email comes the need for proper testing. Email marketers who test regularly and effectively will consistently have higher open, click-through, and conversion rates.
So what do you test? After the initial campaigns are set up, the following variables should be regularly tested:
- Subject Lines
- From Name
- Calls to Action
- Delivery Schedule
- Email Format
Only test one variable at a time. This is critical to having results that are not skewed. Once you have determined which variable you would like to test, follow these simple steps to find out what is working and what isn’t:
- Create an objective — Decide what you specifically hope to achieve for this campaign.
- Predict possible outcomes — Make an educated guess as to what factors may influence whether you reach your objective.
- Determine how to segment your lists — Choose who to send which email version to.
- Create your test — Test one thing at a time.
- Perform analysis — Measure results and compile stats to prove or disprove your predictions and pull insights from the numbers.
- Make at least one change for your next campaign and continue to test it over time.
Testing needs to be an ongoing and integral part of every email marketing campaign. Run A/B split tests in almost every campaign and be committed to making changes in your program based on the results of the tests. Working together with an email marketing service can make setting up campaigns easy, and a digital agency like Gate6 can assist in each step as you develop effective, successful, and measurable ROI from your email marketing efforts.
If you are getting started with your email campaign on your own, remember these tips for effective and proper testing:
- Make initial email tests very simple with a limited number of variables
- Create test groups that are truly random
- Repeat tests over a set period in order to prove results before you draw conclusions
- Commit to making necessary changes across future campaigns once you have a consistent set of results
- Continue testing on an ongoing basis
Following these steps will help you find out what is resonating the most for your consumers so you can consistently provide it. If your customers know they can get what they like from you, they will keep coming back.