As the number one form of internal and external communication in business, email has become a main driver for professional success. Many aspects of what makes communication effective in a person to person conversation can dissipate when translated over the digital landscape. Being able to effectively deliver smart dialogue to customers can be critial to the growth of your business.
You Should Know This Stuff
When managing email campaigns, following a consistent protocol can help avoid unnecessary mistakes. You should know this stuff, but it’s easy to overlook. Easy until you accidentally blast the email to the wrong client, or spell something wrong, or link to the wrong page. Easy errors such as these can show unprofessionalism and embarrassing.
- The easiest way to avoid random errors is working together with someone! Having someone to read over your emails to clients a few days before the send date can help avoid extraneous errors.
- If your email campaign is directed to a specific segmented list, double and triple-check to make sure your emails will be sent out to the right group.
Having a checking system with multiple people can help.
- A few days before the send date, send a test email to a coworker or two (or three) to see if it sends correctly.
- A day before the send date, resend the entire test email, picking two point-people for approval. You could also send a sales sending list to remove or suppress contacts.
- One hour before send, send out 10% of the list to ensure the email was sent successfully and that the sender is coming from correct email.
For ensuring the content is mistake free, it’s important to follow a content checklist as well.
- The content of your email has the correct spelling and grammar.
- The email has an accurate header, subject line, preheader, and body sections that reflect the content of your website.
- Spacing is correct and that the font and color palette is easy to read.
- Double check to see if your links are directing to the correct page,
- Formats can be read easily on all devices.
- Images are coming through properly and that if there is a download link, making sure the correct content downloads.
Even if you don’t follow the exact same procedure, establishing an email send protocol can help ensure that your email sends are as efficient and mistake free as possible.
Test them Out!
What if you have two different layouts for an email marketing campaign and you’re not sure which one people will respond to best? Or perhaps you are wondering which subject line to use? A/B tests are extremely helpful when assessing the best option. They can provide solid answers to which email layout is more attractive to your customers and improve your conversion rate.
An A/B test, (or a split test), in Email Marketing, is the process of comparing two versions of an email layout to see which one performs better. You compare them by showing two variants (A and B) to similar groups at the same time. The one that garners more email opens, link opens, increases your conversion rate or has less unsubscribes can help determine which email layout to move forward with.
You can optimize any part of your email format.
- Subject Line
- Text layout
- Closing Messages
- Special Offers
A/B Tests are a continual process. Once you identify a variable in your email format you wish to change, you can hypothesize what could be improved and test the improvement against a control layout. You can do this by randomly splitting your send list into your “A” and “B” group.
Analyze the Results
Once the experiment is run, you can analyze any aspects of your results.
- Total Open Rate
- Unique Open Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Click-through Rate
- Unique Click-through Rate
- Forward Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
It’s important to understand that the purpose of email marketing is to boost your sales. An increase in Open and Click through rates doesn’t equate to a higher conversion rate. If your “A” group has a higher email open rate but also has a higher unsub rate, then it isn’t necessarily as effective. It’s important to always track your conversion rate to ensure you aren’t losing sales.
Some Guidelines to follow when you’re running an A/B Test
- The bigger sample size, the better.
- Run your test groups simultaneously.
- Test as frequently as possible.
- Base your decisions off the data collected.
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