Once you’ve got the basic art and science steps of e-mail marketing down, it’s time for the most powerful word in e-mail marketing: testing. Testing (called split testing, A/B testing, or multivariate testing) is all about discovering the most effective way to meet your organization’s e-mail marketing goals.
Testing is vital for both e-mail marketing and PPC ads. Before sending out the final message, it’s important to know which elements will be the most effective. It’s kind of like when you were fi rst building your website and couldn’t decide on the color scheme. Success depends on having the goals clearly defined (traffic, leads, branding, sales) and a comparison set (Message A or B, Image A or B, Offer A or B).
Common variables to test include:
- Subject line
- Offer Call to action
- Time/day of week sent
- Creative copy/layouts (button vs. text, wording, position, size, color, repetition)
- Landing pages
- “From” address
Results to measure include:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Conversions rate
- Value of conversion (items purchased)
While testing sounds like a lot of needless work, it is the very essence of what makes web marketing so effective. Testing allows you the opportunity to use e-mail to achieve your personal best on whatever goals you are tracking.
The simplest way to test is to send one message to half of your list and another message to the other half. But to get more bang for your buck, take the two versions of your e-mail and send them to a smaller subset of your e-mail list, perhaps 10 to 20 percent. Then take the winner from that contest and send it to the remainder of your list.