10 Things You Should be Testing…

Nov 15

We all know that we need to test our emails but how many of us have the time and patience to do everything every time… well the good news is that you don’t need to test all 10 every time.. but to smash those open rates and click through stats here are our top 10 email marketing tips….

1.  Test how your email renders in the top email clients…

If you are sending B2C campaigns then be sure to test the most popular webmail clients such as – hotmail, Yahoo, gmail amongst others.

For B2B ensure that your email looks good in Outlook 2005, 2007, 2010, Apple Mail (for the Mac), Lotus Notes and other popular business email clients.

If you are using the same template each month then the email will always render in the same way as it did the last time you tested it…  you just need to keep an eye out for the next release of Outlook or a Hotmail Live for instance to ensure that any changes do not affect your template design for it to work!

And one last warning… if your email doesn’t render correctly people wont still try and read it – they will delete it.

2.       Test your email on mobile devices…

The great news for all the iphone users is that images automatically display in proportion to the email layout and unless your creative is landscape rather than the traditional portrait then it should be fine.

For all Blackberry users it’s a lot more hit and miss, depending on their network provider, which handset and the age, your recipient’s device may not support HTML.  In that case they need a good plain text version.  If however your audience are carrying the newer handsets such as the Storm or Bold then it will work…  just without the images as just like in many email clients images may need to be loaded with permission of the user.

The thing to remember is, be sure you have a great text email to go along with your html version and where you do use images add a useful image name and description so that the email still makes sense if the don’t load.

3.       Test if you need the images!

Now this is where all marketers gasp in horror… but it is very true!  A simple and SAFE test is to resend a campaign to all of your unopened recipients from your last campaign without the images (think of it like sending them an email directly out of Outlook) – so you can keep your logo… and make all the rest of the text stand out without all the glamour of  professional design… add your links and your ready to send.  The results of this campaign will surprise you… in most cases you will get an equal to or higher open rate and click through rate than before!

4.       Test your subject line!

Does ‘October Newsletter’ really do it for you?… Why not split test your campaign to see what gives you the best result, then learn from it… a split test can be A/B or A/B/C and so on.  The only rule to remember with testing is make sure you only change one thing i.e. the subject line and see the results. By changing one thing you can see what works and what doesn’t. Our clients have seen over a 60% increase in click throughs by trying this.

5.       Test your sending name

Most people in the B2B world know someone within your organisation, so use that information to get the recipient to open your email… by changing the sender to a known person you can double the open rate!  And for all you B2C emailers – use your brand names, celebs who are endorsing the brand… keep the on and off line marketing campaign joined up.

6.       Test your content

In the same way as applying a split test to your subject line you can do this for your content and see what makes the difference… is a different font getting a better result…. does an image light email give you a higher ROI?

7.       Test your sending time

There has always been a correlation between the age group of a database and when they respond to a B2C campaign, and on a B2B campaign, the job roles determine the best time of sending.  However, there are not hard and fast rules on this. For example by testing when your customers are most responsive and taking their lead.

The best example of this is a big online brand Handbag.com who through their own testing have found that sending out their campaigns on a Friday and Saturday evening from 12 o’clock (as in midnight) they have the highest return.  The typical age group of their database is 21-35, women who have gone out for the night, returned home, check their emails and then shop online… great testing on their part!  For B2B there are numerous hot times depending on your market sector and job title of the people you are sending to. Call me and we can go through the right times for you!

8.       Test your sending day

Is Thursday the new Friday or are you catching the early birds at the beginning of the week… look at your current stats to see when people are responding better…. try each day of the week until you see which one gives you the highest return.

9.       Test your inactives

Send these people an automatic stripped down version of the email 3 days later and watch the responses… many people are not sitting by their machines waiting for your email to come in… so just because you missed the window earlier this week, try later and see how many more openers and clickers will fall into the funnel.  This bit of work should take you around 10 minutes to set up at the end of each campaign.. so what are you waiting for?

10.   Test your supplier!

Are your delivery rates what they were? Are your open rates going down? Is the pot of people who are sitting in your list not responding…if your content no longer inspires your recipients to act or you have having deliverability issues… whatever it is talk to us and we will give you no obligation free advice and help to get you on the right path (while shamelessly trying to sell you Hiya!) well we have to warn you!

Email us or call us on 0207 047 8110 for a one to one test on how Hiya can take you to the next level.


Donna McNicholas
0207 047 8111

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