When it comes to email marketing, there are many factors that influence how well your campaigns perform. From the subject line to the quality of content, finding the perfect blend for your next big send is all about experimentation.
Improvements in email marketing are often incremental, making small enhancements to each email you send until open rates and conversions begin to rise.
Testing these changes is a crucial part of this process, but first you need to know where to aim concentrate your efforts
Email Experiments for Your Next Campaign
Depending on where you feel your business’s email campaigns could use a bit of work, take a look at these areas to start experimenting.
The first hurdle to overcome with any email is to attract attention in a crowded inbox. Your subject line is easily the most important element under your control to make this happen. Think about what drives your customer's interests; list out words that increase open rates and integrate them into your subject line. If you notice higher open rates when you incorporate certain words, there’s a good chance your customer’s enjoy the content contained in those emails.
To test the results, employ A/B testing: try a standard subject line on one half of your subscribers, while trying out a new subject idea on the other half. At RevLocal, we always A/B test the emails we send for our clients. If one subject line performed better than the better, make changes and test again on the next send to verify. If the same thing happens, roll the change out to all subscribers for your next campaign.
Format and Layout
Once you have subscribers opening your emails on a regular basis, the question becomes whether or not they like what they see. The style and layout of your emails contributes greatly to the actions that readers take, so it makes sense to switch things up here and there to see how click-throughs and conversions change.
Use the same A/B testing described above to test minor changes to format and layout. Most email marketing programs offer a variety of templates to do this, but you can even experiment with something as simple as including an image instead of a text call to action, or altering the color scheme of your email.
As there are so many potential areas for experimentation in this category, it makes sense to ask readers for their ideas on what to improve. Make a master list of the most common suggestions and test them one at a time so that you know which ones move the needle.
There are all kinds of content that could be useful to your customers, but putting it all together into a newsletter that connects is a challenge.
Try adding a new type of article to your next newsletter and see how it performs relative to what you usually send. You could include a detailed 'how-to' style article that answers a common customer question, for example, or a more humorous take on a subject related to your industry.
Most importantly, don't be discouraged when something you test fails to improve your metrics, or even underperforms against your standard results. Every experiment is an opportunity to learn more about what your subscribers respond to and what they reject, all of which is valuable information to factor into your next send.