Testing, testing, testing. It’s a word that every skilled email marketer knows well. The data available to email marketers means that, if used properly, campaigns can be honed and updated in real-time in order to deliver the best results.
So what are the components that can and should be tested in an email marketing campaign?
Here are the key ones to consider:
1. Subject line
It’s an obvious one to start with and possibly one of the most important elements of an email campaign. I’ve spoken previously about how to write the best email subject line, but the only way to really be sure what will work best is to test!
2. Call to action
The call to action is the component of an email that propels the recipient towards a conversion point, usually via a click-through. But which call to action works best for your recipients? Test different options to see if they impact results differently.
The issue of whether or not to include images in your email is one that divides opinion in the industry. If recipients are likely to have images turned off as standard then there is an argument for using images sparingly in your messages. However, if lots of your recipients have added you to their safe senders list, then you could get better results by increasing the number of images in your message. The only way to know for sure is to test. Don’t forget to segment your database depending on what you find out!
4. From address
The ‘from’ address is another element that can have a big effect on open rates. Is it better to use your business name as the from address or does an individual, maybe your MD, work better? A known contact can be particularly successful for B2B companies, for example, especially if you have a crazy name like ‘Tink’! Test a few different possibilities and see what gets the best results.
Personalisation is an aspect of email marketing that has been overused to an extent in recent times. This means that its effectiveness is often muted and, at worst, can look spammy. Try using different forms of personalisation to see whether it works for your recipients. Don’t just change the odd word or piece of copy, change elements of the creative as well.
6. Landing page
What happens when your recipients click through? Do they then convert or does your landing page put them off? Try alternative pages for different segments and see whether this has an effect.
7. Time of sending
The day and/or time of sending can have a big effect on open rates and conversions. B2B emails generally work better during business hours, whereas high street stores may want to send an email on a Friday to tempt buyers to visit their store the following day. For those of you who have been using email marketing for some time, the look back at your previous campaigns and see if certain sending days or times had a better result. You have probably already done some of your testing!
Every company’s audience or recipients will have different preferences or behaviours, therefore testing and segmentation really is the only way to find out what will work best for your business.