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10 Quick Wins for Email Marketing - Testing

Barry Stamos
10 Quick Wins for Email Marketing - Testing Barry Stamos
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Are you making objective (data-driven) or subjective (opinion-based) decisions? Most marketers are relying on their gut to make changes to their email program. The majority are doing no testing whatsoever. Stop gambling with your email program profitability. Test, test, test, to get smart on what works and what doesn’t-- and remember, you are never completely "done." It’s also important to refresh your creative on a regular basis. What worked well for you last year might not work now. Testing to optimize your email campaigns controls risk and maximizes returns. However, cracking the code on the best combination and variation of success factors requires real science. How basic or advanced is your use of the email channel for testing and market research? Do you include a control and run A/B split tests in every email campaign? Some of the most sophisticated and successful marketers are exploring multi-variable testing methodologies, which can simulate thousands of A/B splits simultaneously that statistically identify the best combination of variables to increase conversion rate. Testers achieve significantly higher open and clickthrough rates, and most importantly, higher conversion rates.


Seeking ways to boost your open, clickthrough and conversion rates? Redesign your email templates based on proven email marketing best practices. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much simple creative tests can lift response. Upgrade the subject line, from line, photography style (hero shots), layout, headline, copy, call-to-action buttons, text links, icons, testimonials and footer. Additionally, be sure to incorporate multiple points of personalization on all outbound email communications. Invest in the formal redesign of your email template and watch your metrics go from ugly ducklings to swans overnight.


Example: StubHub!, a leading open marketplace dedicated to tickets, engaged in a extreme makeover of their its campaigns to realize a three-times increase in open rates, 35 percent lift in click throughs, and 110 percent boost in online ticket sales conversions. Learn more by attending their LIVE case study session at ad:tech San Francisco on April 27, 2006.


Show up


Most companies offer a variety of activities to engage with colleagues and upper management; some are social, and others are purely informative. Show up for all you can. Be present and make an effort to genuinely get to know people with whom you don't typically work (and don't fear the higher-level executives -- just read body language and don't badger them). Ask them what they're working on and liberally ask informed questions.


Anyone can be an influencer, partner, and advocate for you. If you made a good impression in these situations, as they ascend, they may take you with them. Or, worst case, you might learn something or make a new friend.


The side benefit to all of this is that you are advertising for yourself. It shows you are engaged and that you care. Eagerness is inspiring.


Articulate the win-win between you and the company


When it is "go-time" for that conversation with your manager, make sure you have the right words prepared. If you want a promotion, you are going to need to prove specifically that you have earned it and will continue to earn it. What have you done to improve yourself? What will you do for the company that will add value commensurate with your pay increase?


It is okay -- in fact, it is probably best -- to highlight past mistakes and how you've permanently learned from and corrected those mistakes. Reflect on past feedback you've received and how you've responded. That means that, along the way and throughout the year, you need to soak up as much feedback as you can take, reflect on it, respond to it, and document your reaction to it.


This is at least how you begin to build your case. The other half is in the opportunity you see ahead. If you've done a good job of asking questions of those around you, you probably have some ideas about what you might tackle first in your new role.


Make others around you look good


Anyone who regularly watches sports knows that there are some players who, wherever they go, make others better. Smart executives know when a teammate makes those around them look good and perform better.


Make it your quest to support those around you and be the person who makes everyone better. It could be as simple as offering frequent encouragement, or sharing tools and tactics that worked well for you to help them learn. For those senior to you, keep them informed so they can better react to the dynamic environment and then make it easy for them to deal with you. In other words, come prepared, ask if there are better ways that you can communicate with them, and anticipate needs.


If you are that person who makes others look good, everyone is going to want you around, and often that includes promoting you in order to keep you.

Care about the details


Once you understand the greater context of the business, you need to then get to understand the details of the business that matter the most. Once you have a handle on the details, you can make an informed case for why certain things should change. Usually, there is some detail in the business that everyone hates, complains about and ultimately lets slide every once in a while, but actually matters a lot to the business.


In the agency and professional services world, an example is timesheets. No one likes them, but they are a critical aspect of running many of those businesses. It is one detail that, if you want to ascend, you should understand the purpose behind them, and then be sure that you follow the company's process.


The fact is, it isn't just about timesheets or other seemingly little things. By getting small things right in your job now, it shows the company that it can trust you with big things later. Don't let the little things trip you up or become excuses for upper management to deny you a promotion.


Securing a promotion isn't just up to your boss or the other influencers in the decision-making process, nor is it about doing your job and biding your time. If you want to make the most out of your career and push into the highest ranks of your organization, there are little adjustments that you can make to help you to get where you want to go. In most cases, if you are fueled by a true desire to contribute at a higher level and to the organization as a whole, you can make some of these subtle habit adjustments to develop your career into the one you want. Good luck!


Reid Carr is the CEO of Red Door Interactive.


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"Image of businessman with suitcase" image via Shutterstock.

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