Email marketing is the most measurable marketing medium available. Despite this, many marketers fail to take advantage of its potential. One of the frequently missed opportunities is evaluating and tuning campaigns through testing.
In its January 2005 report, “Effective Email Marketing,” JupiterResearch found that marketers using testing were almost twice as likely to attain conversion rates of three percent or better. They also achieved a 68 percent improvement in return over non-testers.
Email is by design fast, inexpensive, easy to use and exceptionally measurable. It's easy to find out which elements of your messages are more likely to work and which run the risk of being flops before your commit to a full-fledged campaign. You simply need to test them with the right tools.
What can you test?
You can test just about any aspect of a message.
- Which population groups are responding to your emails?
- Which offer drives the greatest conversions?
- Which subject line generates the most opens?
- Do your customers prefer text or HTML?
- Do they respond to a catchy subject line or are they more responsive to a straightforward promotion?
- Which of your customers are most likely to make a purchase?
In a survey reported in MarketingSherpa's "Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2006," nearly seven out of 10 marketers report regularly testing subject lines, and 62 percent test copy. Link placement, personalization and the "From" line are tested by 46 percent of marketers, while 39 percent test the offer.
Here are a few simple guidelines to get your testing program started.