Database Spotlight: 6 Tests to Improve Email Program ResultsJuly 13, 2011 By Devyani Sadh
The recommendations shown below are based on a variety of tests conducted by Data Square's clients to boost their email marketing efforts:
1. A/B and Multivariate Testing
Testing is one of the most powerful weapons in an email marketer's toolkit. Savvy marketers are differentiated from their less experienced counterparts based on the degree and type of testing they are conducting. However, the array of possible testing options can be overwhelming. If you are unsure about whether or not to embark on testing or don't know what to test first, try the hierarchical approach below that lists ways to score some quick wins. Be sure to demonstrate the lift obtained by each tactic so you can continue to fund your testing initiatives.
- Open Rate Optimization: Subject lines and "From" names, in combination;
- Readability Optimization: Preview Pane visibility, text versions, visible text when images are blocked, visibility in different email clients;
- List and Offer Optimization: Test different offers for different audience segments based on profitability. Segments may be based on lifecycle (e.g. new customers, active customers, inactive customers), purchase history, demographics, interests and preferences;
- Creative Optimization: Call to action, placement, layout, copy, image-to-text ratio, size, image type, appeal, content, emotion, etc.;
- Relevance Optimization: Testing a relevance ratio along different segmentation and personalization dimensions, such as: name, content, lifecycle, behavior, interactions, etc.; and
- Multivariate Testing of various elements in combination. For example, subject line name personalization should be tested along with dynamically personalized content based on user preferences, interests, or purchases vs. a generic communication.
Creating relevance via personalization is another powerful tactic to enhance email ROI. Personalization may be created at various levels. Name personalization in the email or the subject line is the most basic method. Progressively higher levels of personalization include those based on geography, stores visited, brands purchased, purchase amount, last purchase date, customer lifecycle, interests, preferences and demographics. Intelligent personalization designed to deliver relevant messaging to the customer can result in lifts upwards of 3x. Basic personalization (e.g. name) has also been found to show lifts.