Testing Tips for Email Marketing

testingOne of the most valuable and often overlooked benefits of email marketing is the ability to collect and analyze large amounts of data. This data can help determine what is working and what isn’t, what you should keep and what you should change. It allows you to tailor your email so that it has the highest chance of being read and acted upon.

Analytics in email marketing range everywhere from the very simple to the extremely complex, but even the most basic information can be quite helpful when developing your campaign.

In this article we’re going to take a look at some of the “easier” tests that you can do on your email to discern some interesting information about what’s working for you and what isn’t. Some may seem almost too self-explanatory, while others might be a bit surprising

Timing: The timing of your emails can have an unexpectedly large impact on whether they are opened or trashed. One of the easiest ways to test timing is to run an A/B split of emails. Send one round in the morning and another in the afternoon. See where you get the most response. Then do it again and try to discern a pattern.

Text or HTML: While HTML email is almost always a little more appealing to the eye it can also have surprising drawbacks. Many modern email clients block images, and will often misinterpret HTML in a way that makes messages confusing and ugly. Try sending both HTML and text emails to test the feedback you get from each.

Resend?: Although it may seem counterintuitive (and goes against some of this authors previous advice) it is not always a bad idea to resend an email. Tests have shown that the response will often be higher on the resend or – if you’re very bold – the reresend.

Careful with Images: One image in an email is great, two can be eye-catching, but be very careful not to go overboard. Send test emails with varying numbers of images if you’re trying to push the envelope. Sometimes an email with a lot of images will set spam filters off left and right.

“Free, free, free!”: Again, you will often see this listed as a major “do not” because the word “free” is supposed to make spam filters go nuts. However, in just the right instances it can be very effective. Offering savings and special deals can be an excellent motivation tactic. Still, even if you manage to get past the first spam filter, you have to consider the spam filter between your reader’s ears. They might immediately hit delete when they see “free”.

Testing can help you gain valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t in your email marketing. By following utilizing these tips and paying careful attention to the results you will be able to tailor your email to make it even more effective.

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