32 posts categorized "Testing" Feed

4 Things to Keep in Mind When Testing

1. Be sure to send all e-mail at the same time. You don't want the day or time of the send to influence results (unless that's what you're testing).

2. Make clear notes about what you're testing and which group is getting the "business as usual" version. This makes it easy to quickly determine a winner and implement what you've learned.

3. Wait at least 48 hours before declaring a winner. Early results aren't always accurate. Often, what's ahead after an hour doesn't maintain its momentum.

4. Make sure test groups are of significant quantity. You can do an analysis to determine statistically significant sample size and margin of error. Or you can use these rules of thumb:

  • Have at least 1,000 e-mail addresses per group; 5,000 is better if your list is over 10,000.
  • If your total list is smaller than 2,000, repeat the same test over a few sends until you have aggregate results for 2,000 e-mail addresses (1,000 per each group).

Continue reading here and learn more about the most common things to test in email marketing: sender lines, subject lines, and the body of the email and the landing page.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

5 Steps For Creating Simple Tests That Improve Email Marketing Results

What if you could make a slight change to one of your emails and get a 20 percent lift in opens or a 10 percent increase in sales? You would do it in an instant. But how do you know what element to change? That's where testing comes in. Email marketing makes it easy to quickly test important elements of your email-at very little or no extra cost. With testing, you can find out what factors influence the success of your email. Follow these five steps to create an effective, measurable test.

Step One: Decide What to Test
Because testing with email is so easy, it's often tempting to test many elements all at once. You should start by testing just one. Why? If you test more than one element in the same email, it is challenging (and sometimes impossible) to determine what exactly influenced the response. Here are some easy and telling tests to start with:

  • Subject lines - Create two different subject lines for the same email communication.
  • Long versus short copy - Is less really more? Create a shorter version of your current newsletter with teasers and links to your website. Or create two versions of a promotional email. Keep one very short and to the point and make the other a little longer by adding additional, useful information.
  • Special offers - Create two different offers to see which one gets a better response.
  • Other tests could include the time of day or day of the week you send, with an image or without, types of calls-to-action, and the placement of a call-to-action button or link. I'm sure that you will come up with other areas you would like to test as well.

Continue reading "5 Steps For Creating Simple Tests That Improve Email Marketing Results" »

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

What Specific Elements Should You Test for Landing Pages and Email?

In this article Anne Holland suggests to focus on the email test that will give the biggest bang for your buck. Here are her top two suggestions for testing landing pages and email:

1) Test headline copy. And once you have picked the perfect wording for your offer or newsletter lead article headline, don't get creative with it. Keep the exact same words in your subject line, email headline, and landing page. That way the recipient's flicking, restless eye will immediately see clear visual cues that he is in the right place.

This may not be easy because you have a different amount of space in each -- especially short subject lines vs. possibly longer landing page headlines. But if you use the exact same words as the foundation of each, you'll probably get better results than if you had not.

2) Remove distractions. Pare your landing page to as few visually distracting items as possible so that each person who clicks through will focus on the path you want him to take. This may mean eliminating extra columns, sacrificing spare navigational bars or buttons, and cutting unrelated graphics. The fewer distractions, the more chance visitors will spend more time on the page.

If you have a hotlink on a landing page, an ad, or anything else that's not what the visitor clicked through to see, then it should be there for a specific reason. And if it's there for a specific reason you should be measuring its value. Does your organization make more money in the long run if that extra element is there?

Read the full article here and find out how to run these tests if your web department can't help you. She offers some really great tips (like using blogging and survey tools as low-cost alternatives)!

Source: Chiefmarketer.com

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

New Email Testing Service

SiteVista recently launched a new email testing service that will help you to be sure your emails appear correctly. The tool is very similar to Browsercam in that it will let you see rendered versions of your message as it would appear in AOL, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook.

They will be adding other email clients over the next few weeks, such as: Yahoo! Mail, Outlook Express, Eudora, Lotus Notes, Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail, Apple Mail, and Entourage.

It works by you sending an HTML email to the address they provide. For every email you send, you receive two screen captures. One of the email as it is displayed in the software’s preview pane, and one showing you the entire message once it’s been opened.

Anyone dealing with email newsletters on a regular basis will know how time-consuming testing can be - if you're spending more than a couple of hours a month on it, SiteVista may well prove to be just the solution you've been looking for.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Which Email Tests Work Best?

In November MarketingSherpa's research team conducted the largest-ever survey of email marketers in the world. One of their critical questions was: Which creative email tests give the best ROI (return on investment)?

Chart: Email Tests – B-to-C Marketers Evaluate ROI

Source: MarketingSherpa, Email Marketing Benchmark Survey, November 2006

They chose the six most-common creative tests to ask about. The biggest result: testing in and of itself increases ROI. In every case more than 50% of marketers improved ROI (even if only moderately) by testing.

The top three best ROI tests were more to do with words (copy, offer, subject line) than they were with design or graphics.

They also found out that the landing page is critical. The email department has to have a heavy hand in the Web design team's ongoing tests and decisions. Email can't be an isolated department down the hall anymore and your email analytics are not complete at just open and click, you have to include Web data after the click.

Read more about this in MarketingSherpa's Email Marketing Benchmark Survey.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

5 Minute Guide To Email Testing

In its January 2005 report, “Effective Email Marketing,” JupiterResearch found that marketers using testing were almost twice as likely to attain conversion rates of three percent or better. They also achieved a 68 percent improvement in return over non-testers.

In this article Bill Nussey provides a few simple guidelines to get your testing program started:

  • Sample your list
  • Test at the same time
  • Focus on statistical relevancy
  • Maintain a control group
  • What you can learn
  • Next steps

Source: iMedia Connection

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Testing Dynamic E-Mail Campaigns

Due to the complexity and number of message variants, testing for a dynamic campaign is more akin to testing software than reviewing and approving a traditional campaign. Although this can be challenging, by drawing on the foundations of solid objectives and business rules, dynamic campaigns of enormous complexity can be successfully tested without having to review a thousand separate e-mail messages.

Derek Harding explains how to effectively test dynamic email campaigns in this Clickz article.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Use Search Engines To Test Subject Lines

I was reading an article by Matt Blumberg this afternoon on the topic of testing. In this article, Matt suggests that you could also use pay-per-click listings (like Google Adwords) to test subject lines.

Here's how: Create 5-10 subject lines for the same offer and list them all simultaneously on a search engine, using the same search term. Then simply track which one gets the most clicks. Usually, the phrase that wins in a search will be the most effective in an email.

The article offers more tips and tricks for testing and is actually excerpted from the book Sign Me Up! A Marketer's Guide to Creating Email Newsletters That Build Relationships and Boost Sales.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

A/B Split Testing: What Should You Test?

One of the absolute best ways to continuously improve the performance of your email campaigns is to use split testing, also called A/B split testing. A/B testing is a simple, scientific way to isolate and test variables in a real-world environment.

One of email marketing's greatest advantages is that it is easier (and much less expensive!) to test than any other marketing vehicle. This means with just a little effort, you can increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns and get the results you're looking for.

Testing can be as simple as breaking up a list into two parts (the proverbial A/B split) and emailing each group a unique "something."

Here are a couple of things you can/should test:

  • Subject Line
  • From name
  • Timing
  • Lead article/offer
  • Call-to-action
  • Length
  • Salutation
  • Landing pages

Tip: If you're testing more than one variable, it's critical to make sure that you test each of them one at a time, meaning one variable per test cell. This makes for more accurate results.

Sources: Maxenews | Constant Contact

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Marketers Who Neglect A/B Split Testing Are Losing Millions of Dollars

This press release was issued on August 23rd:

Online marketers routinely leave large amounts of money on the table every time they launch Web and/or email marketing programs because they rely on intuition instead of empirical testing.

That's the essence of the clarion call found in the A/B Split Testing research brief just issued by MarketingExperiments.com (MEC). The research brief is currently available for free in The Marketing Experiments Journal.

"Many of the best marketers in the world rely exclusively on their instincts," said Dr. Flint McGlaughlin, director of MEC Labs and editor of online research journal MarketingExperiments.com. "Unfortunately, those instincts are often wrong. As we demonstrated at MEC Labs in our most recent research brief - 'A/B Split Testing' - marketers who do not rely on A/B split testing are leaving money on the table every time they launch a new Web or email sales/marketing program. In fact, some companies are losing millions of dollars by not testing new marketing campaigns."

A/B Split testing evaluates the impact of a Web page, email, letter or other promotional material by creating two or more alternatives of a specific message or product to determine which is more successful in maximizing conversion, click through, sales completion or other measurable objectives. Incoming traffic among the multiple versions is divided equally. Customers' behaviors, as seen through key performance metrics, are tracked to determine which version works the best. This process may be repeated over and over until optimum performance is achieved, or a diminishing returns threshold is reached.

The research brief outlines three specific A/B split tests conducted by MEC and examines how the findings can be used to create more effective promotional materials. The results also show that the outcome of one test will tend to inspire questions that stimulate further testing and result in the best possible marketing efforts and materials. In addition to its empirical findings, MEC's research brief also discusses proper testing protocol to help beginners get started with A/B split testing within their organizations.

"We all know businesses rely on effective marketing strategies to achieve long term success," McGlaughlin said. "That's why it is so imperative that promotional materials get the messaging right; and we know that the way to do this is through repeated testing. This is why our consistent message to marketing professionals is: Take the time to research and test. It is worth it."

MarketingExperiments.com tests every conceivable methodology to determine which online strategies and tactics are the most successful to improve conversion, drive traffic and sell product. Results of its experiments are published online in The Marketing Experiments Journal.

Those interested in finding out more about A/B Split Testing in their Web and email marketing programs can visit: www.MarketingExperiments.com.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Tips for Email Tests

ChiefMarketer offers a few suggestions to making your email tests more effective. Here's a short summary:

  • The first thing to do is decide what to test.
  • Measure the click-through rates on each variation (eg. different subject lines).
  • Design two identical landing pages to measure results.
  • Make sure your results are statistically significant.
  • The timing of a rollout can skew the results.

Source: ChiefMarketer.com | Read the full article

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!