More than once you are likely to have heard the phrase “unless you are moving forwards, you are moving backwards”, and this applies to your marketing efforts just as much as anything else.
The needs and habits of your customers are always changing, so your marketing efforts should always be changing to meet those needs. Although I’ll be focussing on email, much of this advice can be applied to any way in which you communicate with your customers, from your website to SMS or even Push messaging.
To test, or not to test… That’s not even a question!
Should you be testing your emails? The simple answer is “Yes”. No ifs, ands or buts. From subject lines, to calls to action (CTA) almost everything can be tested, and should be tested, to help boost your key metrics. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some things that you can test:
Subject lines - length, personalisation, emoji use
Send times - frequency, day of the week, time of day
Call to actions - style, placement, wording
Testing needn’t be testing
Testing doesn’t need to be difficult or stressful, you just need to keep a few things in mind:
Create a testing schedule so you know what is being tested, and when, well in advance
Be clear on your goals, don’t test randomly, come up with an idea and see how you could test for that result
If a test doesn’t create the desired result, don’t worry, you’ve ruled out an option and are just getting closer to your goal, try something else
The key is only testing one variable at a time to ensure that you are producing usable results. For example if you shortened your subject line, and included an emoji, which one of those factors scored you that whopping jump in open rates?
Be honey badger brave
I’ve stolen this title from a new campaign that we are currently running about Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), as the same concept applies to your website as it does to your email. When testing, be brave!
Granted not every test will be a hit, but Rome wasn’t built in a day (unless you own this game and have too much free time). Keep things simple at first, then progress to more varied and complex things as you grow in confidence. Maybe you test whether a CTA button gets more clicks if it’s red, rather than green. Then you try testing where it’s positioned within the email. Then does using multiple CTA’s work better than using just a single focus? Does a three column template produce better engagement than the two column template that the business has used for years?
The world is your oyster when it comes to testing. Anything and everything is fair game, and even when you think you’ve cracked it and optimised the “perfect” email, chances are that your subscriber’s habits have changed too so you’ll need to test something new.
The end may not be in sight, but don’t let that deter you! Be bold, test regularly and enjoy the glow of satisfaction when your metrics start to rise.