Most people don’t want to take the time to test different ideas within email marketing, but some of the easiest things to test can have some of the biggest impacts on opens and clicks. Testing a few handful of new ideas with every email message can give some insight on trends and preferences of your audience. Here are three simple things you can test to improve your understanding of your audience.
From name and sender address
Think about the emails you open during the day. I’d imagine when you get an email you’re like most people, read the sender name and subject to determine if you should open/read the email right then or if the message can wait. When we send emails, we are competing for inbox space with bosses, co-workers, friends and other interests our audience have. That’s why testing your from name and address is so important. Maybe you send general messages with a more general name/email combination. But for more specific emails, maybe you can try using a specific person within the company your audience would be familiar with. Even messages that are purely texted based but from a familiar name could have a big impact on opens. Consider changing the from name/email to see how that affects your opens.
A/B testing a subject line is one of the easiest and best things you can test. Test a long subject line vs a short one, add an emoji to one. The possibilities are really endless. Let a small sample of your audience determine the winning subject line and use that information to get the most possible opens you can. Most of the time the people you are emailing are familiar with your brand and the messages you send, so you have the freedom to really try new ideas and see if your members respond to that.
Adjusting a send times on emails can really help you pinpoint the best time to send all messages going forward. Once you find a time that gets the best response you can stick with it until that trend changes. Understanding your audience and their habits can help you quickly determine where you should start. If your audience is made up of commuters that ride trains or busses maybe the best time to send is early in the morning so they can see your message when checking email on their way in. You could also split your lists into multiple groups and have multiple sends if you can determine that certain people like to receive a message at a specific time.
A/B email testing is something that should be an ongoing project. There are other things you can test like content, calls to action and color use on different parts of the email. But the three things we covered here are the easiest to try and could have the most impact on opens. The great thing about email testing is that only a small percentage of your audience will see the test, the rest will only see the winning email. I would recommend trying things you normally wouldn’t do with an email and see how the audience responds.