7 Things Every Email Marketer Needs to Test
Email marketing is both an art and a science. There are dozens of different ways people can consume emails and because of this, email marketers must be testing their emails to understand what affects their results.
I recommend you have a very low image to text ratio. Spam filters and firewalls look at the email's image to text ratio to determine if they should deliver an email to an inbox.
Images are not automatically displayed in most email clients, including Gmail and Outlook. Images can distort the email on mobile devices and might not load.
You should test to see if images have an effect on your open rates, number of soft bounces, click-through rate and number of leads you are trying to generate.
2. Subject Lines
Subject lines are arguably the most important aspect to any email and they must be tested. Elements of a subject line you should test include:
- Adding personalization to the subject line
- The subject line length
- Call to action in subject line
- Words used in the subject line
- Adding [brackets] to the subject line
Your email subject line should be action-oriented, compelling and short (45 characters or less). You should write your subject line like you would a call to action. The subject line should be consistent with the first sentence of the email and the call to action in the email.
3. Calls to Action
Just like you would test a call to action on your website, email marketers have to test the calls to action in their emails. The call to action in your email should be fairly consistent with your email subject line.
You can test the wording of the call to action, the placement and the style of the call to action. Not enough marketers take the time to test the call to action and by doing so, it can dramatically increase the conversion rate of the email.
4. “From” Name and From Address
You can test who and where the emails are coming from. We recommend keeping the from name and address consistent across all your emails, so send a small portion of emails from a name and address to see if it impacts your metrics.
5. Email Design
We recommend you have one primary email template and possibly have a slightly different version of the template for your email newsletter. However, you can definitely test certain elements of the design to see if it impacts your click through rate, unsubscribe rate or goal of the email. Design elements you can test include:
- Font size
- Font colors
- HTML versus plain text emails
6. Email Content
The content of your email is a great place to test a variety of things. The best way to test the content in your emails is to do an A/B test.
- Headlines: This is the first thing someone sees when they open the email. This should always be consistent with the subject line, but is a great thing to test. One experiment would be to make the headline a link.
- Placement of content: Experiment with moving the content to different parts of the email. You should always have your most important content in the beginning of the email.
- Call to action: You should experiment with your call to action in your email to determine if it has an effect on the conversion or click through rate. The call to action should align very closely with the email subject line.
- Type of content: Each email you send must have a goal so you can measure what worked and didn’t work. You can test what content will help you achieve your goals by sending different content to your email lists.
- Placement of social media links: Try placing your social media icons at the top and bottom of your emails and measure which place gets more clicks.
- Number of images (if any): Experiment with the number of images you include in each email. You might find that fewer images increases your click through rate and decreases your unsubscribe rate.
- Number of links: If you’re emails are getting a good click through rate then try increasing the number of links in your emails. Always include a link in the first one or two sentences of the emails.
- Length of email: Test different email lengths to see how much content or information you should be including in your emails. If you notice your recipients only clicking on the first link then you should shorten the emails.
Testing the timing of your emails is the easiest thing you can test. You don’t need to change anything about the email, rather decide on times that you think will be most effective to send your emails. One way you can determine timing is to survey your recipients on when they would like to receive emails from your business.
The two primary things you can test are the day you send the email and the time during the day you send the email. The other element you can test is the amount of emails you send to people during a given week or month. Studies have found that increasing or decreasing the amount of email you send can have a significant impact on click-through rates and unsubscribe rates.
What do you think is the most important thing an email marketer should test?
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