6 Mistakes to Avoid in Email Testing
Testing is unwanted in both direct mail and email marketing. Everyone says that testing is essential, but most marketers postpone tests until some later date when they're not so busy and not under pressure to make revenue goals.
Let’s face it, testing takes time away from getting out tomorrow’s email or next week’s direct mail campaign. It requires setting up control groups that get something different from what everyone else gets. If your control group does worse than your primary mailing, you lost needed revenue.
Email marketing makes testing very simple and accurate. Best of all, results come back in 24 hours. But there are several mistakes that many email marketers make when testing. Here are six of them:
1. Making too many changes at once. When you change several items in one version of an email and test it against your control, you won’t learn much. Suppose that two versions of an email are completely different in terms of layout, promotions, copy and even products. Any one change might have helped or hurt response, but by putting them all together you can’t tell what was doing what. One change might have helped the open rate increase 10 percent, while another change in the same email might have reduced clicks 10 percent. The rule is to test only one element at a time.
2. Looking only at conversions. There's a logical sequence for email recipients: they're attracted by the subject line so they open the message; they like the way the salutation greets them when they open; the copy is interesting and the offer stimulates them; and they click on a couple of links and finally order a product. A weak subject line, bad salutation, uninspiring offer, faulty link, poor product or pricing, or confusing order form can make your email fail at any time. Which of these elements was responsible for the low conversion rate? You may never know if you look at the conversion rate by itself.
Related story: The Danger in Mailing Too Often