Part of a building a great email program is creating a framework for testing to uncover what works best. However, email testing often falls to the wayside particularly in organizations with limited email resources. Yet, strategic email testing can help you yield far better results for your email program if you take the time to include in your marketing efforts. To get you started, here are three quick testing techniques that will help you optimize your email program on the fly.
- From line: This might be one of the most important aspects of your email program. Before you open mail, what is the first thing you want to know? Who is it from? Recognition is half the battle when trying to get someone to actually “open” and read your email. If you are using your company’s name in the from line, try testing it with a person’s name instead. Depending on the nature of your business a sales rep might be a good choice, but whoever it is, make sure they are comfortable with people responding to them.
- Subject line: After looking at who the email is from, people want to know what your message is about. Therefore, you subject is super important in driving an action. Even if they don’t know who you are, they might be driven to act based on what you have to offer inside. Test short messages vs. longer ones. Test generic messaging vs. specific messaging. Test brand name usage vs. not. See which combination yields the best results.
- Call to Action: Once you get your reader to actually open the message, you’ve got a lot of work do to get them to take yet another action and respond to your offer. There are lots of elements you can test inside an email and the choices can make you batty, but start with one thing first – the call to action. Test buttons vs. text links to start, then play with phrasing and colors of the buttons to find the winning combination.
The easiest way to start is to perform simple A/B tests. Simply divide your list in half and deploy the different versions. Another option is to send your tests to a small sample first, then send the version that performs best to the remainder of your file. This takes a bit longer, but is a good strategy for optimizing your overall campaign. Just remember, keep it simple. Testing can get a bit crazy if you don’t have the time to focus so don’t overwhelm yourself. Take it one step at a time.