Why should you test your campaign emails and how?
Emails campaign testing lets you assess the effectiveness of all the components of your email and provides a springboard to get optimum results. Almost all the email campaign service providers enable users to test their campaigns before sending out. The outcome that you desire and the breadcrumbs that you leave for your recipients to follow to an action, is what plays a major role in testing your emails and fine tuning them.
Purpose of Email Testing
The purpose of sending an email doesn’t stop at “I just want to let them know about it”. It could be to get their opinion on one of your new features, or to download a case study or maybe to invite them for a conference! Some of the elements in an email that needs testing are:
· Whether the email reaches the inbox
· Call to action (Offers, a specific action)
· Landing pages
· Links provided
· Subject line
· Body copy
· Header and Footer
· Spam test
Who will receive the Email?
Categorizing target customers into lists is a common practice followed by marketers around the world. Not only does it ensure higher efficiency but also works as a backup in case one list fails to yield the results as expected. It is also recommended to have more than one test contact lists in place to assess the effectiveness of the email by sending out to these lists separately to compare outcomes. If the service that you are using to test is paid, then testing with the largest list is a smart thing to do.
· Segment list by email service provider
· Segment list by customer behavior
· Segment list by demographic
TYPES OF EMAIL TESTING
A/B testing or Split Testing :
The most commonly used testing method, A/B test or Split testing requires you to split your target list into two and test 2 versions of the email – both for each list, and analyze which one works better. By definition, this test requires a 50-50 division of the target list but to be on the safer side, 2 lists – 15% each of the main list- can be used to test the email, keeping the remaining 70% as a backup, in case of shortfalls that were uncalled for. For e.g.: You want to test which of the 2 subject lines works better and hence you create 2 versions of the same email and send it out to 2 lists separately.
Multivariate testing, as the name suggests, involves more than one version of the Email that needs to be tested among the target list of email addresses. For example, say 4 subject lines are to be tested while sending an email. Then 4 different versions for each of the subject lines is made and sent out to the target list.
Analyse and Take action
As testing involves far more parameters than the ones covered here, it is important to analyze the results based on some key indicators:
· Email performance at different times of the day (Opens and Bounces)
· Email opens that indicate a winning subject line (Opens and Click Through Rate- CTR )
· Clicks on CTA which suggest a good copy and a bang on messaging (CTR)
· Landing on the desired pages means your links are working fine
Once the results are assessed, clean up the lists to remove inactive email addresses, pick up the version that yields best results and launch your campaign when the open rates are highest. As emails are the most intimate form communication, testing them before launch is imperative. A clinical approach towards the body copy, subject line, CTA and the selected lists would prove to be helpful while launching email campaigns.
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