Blog

5 Email Testing Ideas To Try out This Year

Perhaps no question gets tossed around more in the email marketing space than, “What can I do to improve my email program?” Our answer virtually always begins the same way.  Email marketing is about continuous, incremental improvement.  Continuous in that email marketing is a constant process; incremental in that there are no quick fixes.

Successful email marketing requires persistence and patience. You must always be testing and trying new ideas in pursuit of what provides your company with the highest return on investment. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic button that can transform a mediocre email marketing program into an award winning ROI machine overnight. (We’re working on it!)

In the meantime, we have some ideas you can easily implement into your email program to yield immediate results you can take action on.

Which emails should I test?

In a perfect world, we would advise you to perform tests on every email that you send.  However, we understand that the email marketing world is far from perfect. We know firsthand how scarce an email marketer’s time and resources are. In many cases, testing every email just isn’t an option.  If you are in a similar situation, at a minimum, perform these tests on your recurring emails and any high-volume emails you are sending.  This way you can maximize your return on investment with the least amount of effort.

What can I test?

It’s possible you’ve heard marketers talk about these email testing ideas before. Well, there’s a good reason for that: they’re good ideas! Try testing one of these suggestions out with your next email campaign:

  1. The double send.  It usually takes more than one person to execute any given email, which translates into heavy resources.  Get the most out of your investment by resending the same email twice.   Remember, it might be an “old” email, but it’s still new to non-openers!
  2. The short and long of it.  For some audiences, longer content results in higher digital engagement. Others prefer short and sweet content. Once you develop your email, consider developing a shortened version of the same email.  Tighten up the copy as much as possible, remove images, or even delete all but your strongest sections. Test to see which email length results in a higher click-through rate.
  3. It may be time for a change.   When the world had fewer options, we all gathered to watch the 6 O’clock news. This is no longer the case. There isn’t a single best time or day to send emails. Every industry has different peak open times, and despite what the benchmarks say, your audience might even have their own time that they prefer. Test not only days of the week but various times of the day as well to see what works best for your brand.
  4. What is your best subject?   You almost have zero excuses not to perform subject line testing.  This is one of the easiest things to test and can often have one of the largest impacts. Test whether subject line length affects your open rates, or see if your audience responds more when you include particular words in the subject line.
  5. A picture is worth a thousand words.  Create your email templates where you can easily swap images to see which perform the best.  This becomes even more important if your email marketing program is global, as certain images can have vastly different implications across cultures. If you use an image for your CTA, trade them out to test which one gets the higher click-through rate.

Remember to Use A/B Split Testing to test your emails and select a winner.

  • Test different subject lines, friendly “from” names, and/or pieces of email creative.
  • Once you’ve created the A and B versions of your emails, reserve a portion of the selected mailing list for testing purposes and conduct the test.
  • Send the winning email combination to the remainder of the mailing list after a specified time period.  Determine the winning combination by analyzing the following metrics.
    • Opens
    • Clicks
    • Shares and Likes
    • Referred Clicks

Email testing can do wonders for your marketing program, but only if you act on the data! Need help determining the next step for your email program? Feel free to get in touch!

Shelly Alvarez
Director of Client Services, PostUp

View All Resources »