Get Tested: Email Marketing Checkup
Propel your email marketing program to the next level
ed note:This is a guest post from Kelly Lorenz of Bronto Software. Kelly will join us today live @ 1pm ET on eMail Radio to talk about email marketing testing!
Amongst all the shiny new email marketing trends like video and mobile, there’s an old standard that’s appropriate and recommended for every business and industry: testing. Testing is an old reliable and one of the golden tenets of effective email marketing. However, according to a 2009 eROI study 37% of marketers don’t test. That’s hard to believe with all the technology that allows us to parse out the minute details of our email programs.
Testing is vital because:
- Testing is the answer to all email marketing questions and helps move from “it depends” to “it works for me”.
Never take the “givens” for granted – test everything from subject lines to templates to landing pages.
- Don’t test just to test: always measure and have a goal in mind.
Testing just because it’s an easy way to prove movement to the C-suite doesn’t help anyone in the long run. If you don’t go in with a plan, it’ll just be a waste of time and there will be no lesson learned.
- Testing can offer ways to break the mold and not take a best practice as a given.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “We don’t send on the weekends because nobody checks emails on the weekend.” How do you know that? I have worked on several campaigns that achieve the highest ROI on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings – which we determined through testing. Testing also serves as a great tool to get buy-in from upper management that something makes sense on hot button issues like frequency and promotional versus informational mix. Make it fun and run contests to see which employee is proven correct with the test.
- Continually test.
Just because something worked today doesn’t mean it will work next year or even next month. Never assume that you’ve hit the “holy grail” and get comfortable because there is always room for improvement.
- Don’t forget the nuts and bolts.
Perform each test multiple times to confirm results and eliminate flukes, errors and external factors as much as possible as reliable tests aren’t performed in a vacuum. You will also want to ensure that your test groups and results are statistically significant. If you are measuring success based on 10 subscribers, you may want to take a step back and restructure the test.
Takeaway: Testing is extremely flexible and is one of the best ways to propel your email marketing program forward. It’s perfect for marketers at every level of sophistication and, depending on the tool you utilize, extremely easy to execute. Get out there and get testing!
With a background in Account Management and Client Services at the top agencies in the Southeast, Kelly brings both hospitality and retail experience. In her role at Bronto, Kelly guides clients to strategically optimize their email marketing campaigns and drive ROI. Kelly’s specialty in the online retail space is evidenced in her work with clients listed on Internet Retailer’s Top 500 List. Kelly has been has been featured in Marketing Profs Get to the Point Email Marketing, Retail Email Blog, Email Marketing Reports and Internet Retailer. In her spare time, Kelly can be found training for her next marathon.