A/B testing your email campaigns can take the form of testing copywriting, images, call to action prompts and more. It is a powerful way to drive conversion rate optimization that can be used to justify decision making around enhancing marketing content for your email campaigns. It can be used to test anything from completely different designs to slightly different shades of blues; A/B tests help objectively define whether any given element has an impact.Make the most of your email campaigns by testing out what works best for a particular audience and type of email. Here are some tips to get you started.Make a planTo make your A/B test the most effective, decide what you want to test before you begin. You may have the urge to test a number of things in one campaign, but resist! Only test one thing at a time to get the most accurate results. Testing one variable at a time is the only way to truly determine how effective that variable is. Variables you may consider testing:
Subject line - Example: “25% discount on Product XYZ” or “Product XYZ on Sale”
Call to action - Example: “Sign up now!” or “Learn more”
Layout of the message - Example: single column vs. double column or different placement of different elements
Images - Example: test one image against another or one image against no image
Keep in mind that depending on what you’re testing, changes will affect different parts of the conversion process. For example, if you’re concerned about open rate, testing subject lines will directly impact the performance. On the other hand, your call to action will directly affect how many people make a purchase or click through to your landing page. Think about what issue you’re trying to address or solve and test based on importance. For example, if not many people are opening your emails, then test on subject line first. Then, let the other variables follow.Statistically significant dataSo you finished your A/B test, but can you trust your results enough to make changes in your email strategy? You can if they are statistically significant. Statistical significance is a way to mathematically support that a certain statistic is a change beyond what can be attributed to chance. There are a number of accurate confidence level calculators you can find on the internet to help with this calculation. The stronger the result, the more confident you can be that the factors of the test are a reason for a change. Test and test againContinuously challenge results with new tests. Just because you did a few tests doesn’t mean you should stop. As your audience’s preferences change and markets fluctuate, you’ll need to continue to adjust and test your theories. Always try to think of new aspects to test and creative ways to do so. For example, look at your subject line. There are several variables within the subject line that can be tested - length, mention of a promotion, urgency, recipient name, among others.In conclusion, A/B testing can be very powerful. A well planned and executed A/B test can make a positive impact on your email marketing numbers. The biggest benefit is that it gives you the power to make educated decisions based on the results. Read More...
Email has come a long way. The evolution of this media channel over the past 42 years has turned email into one of the most cost-effective methods of direct marketing. However, the evolution of email still leaves people with misconceptions about this tool. Fallacy #1: Email is not as effective as social media.While social media has become the shiny new object, revenue from email traffic still outperforms “likes” from social media followers. In some instances, email is significantly more effective when it comes to reach. Over the past few years, the organic reach has declined to reach about 6% of your fan base according to a 2014 study by Social@Ogilvy. This means if you send 3,000 emails and also have 3,000 Facebook fans, only 180 Facebook fans will see your post, whereas 651 people will open your email. With the decline in organic reach through social media platforms, companies are spending more and more on paid advertising to get their content seen. Email traffic is not only more affordable, but it also offers an impressive 4400% return on investment or $44 for every $1 spent. Fallacy #2: Consumers don’t like promotional emails.It’s true that email marketing is widespread and consumers are increasingly leery of promotional emails. However, MarketingSherpa conducted a study and more than 91% reported they liked receiving promotional emails from companies they do business with. They also reported that 61% said they wanted to receive these types of emails at least once a week. Remember that your customers have given you their email address, which suggests that there is something about your business that interests them. Fallacy #3: The best day to send email is on Tuesday at noon.You may have read or somewhere that Tuesday afternoons are the best days to send emails. Or maybe it was Thursday mornings or Wednesday afternoons? Although there has been a lot of research done in this area, there is no magic day or time to send an email because it all depends upon your industry and audience. Understanding your subscribers and reacting to their preferences will help you define your best day and time along with testing and optimizing your campaigns - not by applying what best practice you heard or read about on the internet. ConclusionAs you can see, you can’t believe everything you hear or read. Every business is different and therefore, there’s no one way of doing email marketing. Base your email marketing strategy on your audience, the message you’re trying to get across and your past experience.
When many email marketers think about lists to use for suppression purposes, it often starts and stops with users who have opted out of receiving future messages (i.e. your unsubscribe list). Clearly, if a user has opted out, you want to remove them from future mailings within the legally appropriate time period - 10 business days after receipt of the opt-out request, according to the CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. While this is an absolutely vital step to complying with CAN-SPAM, it is far from the only list that marketers may want to suppress from various email campaigns.
Advertisers with extensive experience in email marketing will often leverage multiple suppression lists as an aspect of their overall audience targeting strategies. In these instances suppression files become negative targets that should not be mailed. Why would a brand want to exclude a recipient from an email campaign, other than due to a prior opt-out request? Here are just a few suppression strategies that different companies employ to enhance the performance of their email programs - both those managed in-house and those undertaken by third-parties (such as affiliates) on their behalf.
1 - Suppressing Current Customers
As consumers, we are all familiar with receiving marketing messaging touting special introductory offers, extreme discounts, or other deals especially for to new customers. Companies have used aggressive promotional offers as a way of attracting new customers since the invention of marketing. But, another aspect of the aggressive customer acquisition offer is that it is typically not available to current or past customers. Plenty of people have had the experience of seeing an ad for a cable TV package that is far less expensive than their current subscription. Then, when they call the company to request the lower rate, they are told it is only for new customers. What’s the end result here? A marketing campaign has created an unhappy current customer, who just might go shopping for an alternative from a competitor. Many companies take steps to ensure that customers are not exposed to offers for which they don’t qualify. While you can’t be certain a current customer won’t ever see an acquisition offer, you can ensure they don’t receive an email about it from you or anyone mailing on your behalf. This is done by adding your current subscriber list as a suppression file for your acquisition email campaigns.
2 - Suppressing Various Customer Segments
Similar to suppressing all current customers, you may find that excluding only certain customer segments from acquisition email campaigns can be advantageous. Perhaps you have a range of products for sale on your website. Some are complementary and buying one product may make it likely a consumer will purchase another related product (the tried-and-true upsell/cross-sell model). In other cases, buying a particular product may actually make it unlikely or utterly improbable that a different product will be purchased by the same consumer. This second scenario presents a great opportunity for the use of suppression files for negative targeting. This is especially true if a company is using third-parties to mail on their behalf. In this case you can use a suppression list made up of customer addresses whose past purchasing behavior makes them highly unlikely to respond to a particular email campaign.
3 - Suppressing Recognized Recipients
Consider an example of a campaign where you may want to focus only on net new prospects who have never been a customer and never received an email offer from you in the past (this would not necessarily mean they never received an email from a third-party mailing on your behalf). In this case, you could leverage suppression files of all current customers, past customers, and all prior internally driven acquisition campaign recipients, to focus the new mailing entirely on unrecognized or net new recipients.
These are three simple ways to use suppression files to more effectively target audiences within email marketing campaigns. However, you are really only limited by the data at your disposal and your imagination on how to leverage it to drive performance.
Tom Wozniak - Executive Director of Marketing - OPTIZMO Technologies, LLC
Madrivo empowers advertisers to effectively grow brands online and enables publishers to optimize online media and to leverage customer acquisition channels.
In the constantly evolving and incredibly fast-paced digital era, Madrivo is an integrated online marketing agency that develops efficient marketing solutions, unifies customer acquisition strategies, and develops tactics to successfully move traditional operations to the Internet. The team at Madrivo guides companies, large and small, globally, to establish the most cost effective online presence.
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