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Small Business Email Marketing: The Sixth Commandment

Posted by Cheri Gaudet on 7/11/11 11:45 AM

apples and orangesThou Shalt Experiment

One of the simplest ways to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns is by experimenting with split testing (a.k.a., A/B testing). Systematically varying different elements of your campaign helps you learn more about what entices your email's recipients to action, so you can improve your email marketing results now and design more effective campaigns in the future.

Many businesses fall into the trap of thinking they know what the people on their email lists will respond to, but actual results can often be surprising. The only way to find out for sure is to experiment.

How does split testing work?

Here is a simple method for split testing.

  1. Randomly choose a small subgroup of email addresses from your lists for the split test.
  2. Randomly assign the subgroup into two or more lists.
  3. Systematically vary the email content that each list receives. Try varying elements like:
    • Subject line
    • Organization
    • Call to action language
    • Specific offer
    • Date or time sent
    • Images
  4. Monitor click-through and conversion rates for each variation.
  5. Send the variation with the most clicks or conversions to the rest of your email list.

Not Test-Tube Ready?

Contact us for practical advice on how to get started with split testing for email marketing.

Topics: email marketing, advanced analytics