EmailRadio: Testing, Testing, Testing

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Really good show this week, especially as I missed most of last week’s due to late call from @profaniti who is awesome by the way and forgiven after buying me beers.

The main gist of this week was purposely improving and growing with what you’ve got.

VeticalResponse’s Kim Stiglitz was well clued up on creative testing:

Here is what I took away:

Have a good idea of what you want to achieve and what you expect to change before you test and then compare the result to what you expected – a hypothesis. I Haven’t used that word since science class at school.

Don’t test too much at once, you can’t measure what works if there are too many variables.

Subject lines, 50/50 split is good. Most decent ESPs will do that for you, some can even chose the best one after an hour.

Peheader text: elaborate on the subject line for the snippet text; about 2 years ago I called it trust earning text: it sometimes appears under or next to the subject line in the inbox to add more weight to it. Also it is the first thing a reader will see of your email and when the images are blocked, it can be vital for getting them loaded or the email loaded in a browser.

When testing different preheaders, monitor the open rate just like you would with the subject line.

You can also experiment with different links in the top, like your call to action- Mark Brownlow has also mentioned this on more than one occasion, hopefully he’ll read this and let us know which of his posts is best.

Also you could try anchor tags and see if that got more clicks from links lower in your email. I my opinion, if your email is so long that you need anchor tags – your email is too long.
Kim also let us know that button links for your call to action get better clicks that text links, that is definitely worth testing!
The guys also pointed out for some great ideas and real life examples. It can show how easily our own perceptions can be wrong when tested to the masses.

I also like the Post-Click / Conversion tracking from your call to action. All you need to do is know what you need to achieve: it could be money, sign-ups, downloads. Make sure you know what you want to measure makes is connected to what you want to achieve. Most good ESPs have the capability to track a recipient further into the web-site to a goal.

John Cadwell called in to say: “The best benchmarks to measure against are your own”. Fair point,  There are so many different categories if you spend time looking at what other people are doing you’ll forget to make your self better. Look at how you are doing and then chose what you want to improve.

The Email Guide guys said that if you’re getting less than 10% opens, start there and get that up.

I concur. I say aim for 20% if not already there. From that point onwards need to see why other people are not opening. You may find that there is a massive chunk of that list that has not opened in a long time, take them out straight away. You can target them differently once or twice more to see if you can wake them up.
Measure your clicks as a percentage of your opens. If you get a lower click through than opens not everyone is clicking through. That is a different problem mainly with your content and calls to action. That really depends on what your email is for:
Are you expecting people to click through or is most of your content in the email and any click through is a bonus?
Do you have a single call to action where it all should go through?

Unfortunately I didn’t really hear much from Poppy Thorpe, there didn’t seem to be a lot of call ins for the social side. However as an expert on the name Thorpe I can tell you that it’s Viking for Village. Her ancestors would have been founders or leaders of settlements!

In the chat room it was quite action packed:
With Peter in the chatroom @allwebemail had the sponsorship for the show with a couple of adds popping up. One with what sounded like a banjo in the background, kind of made me think of the theme tune to deliverance. I have since got a tweet to let me know it was apparently a mandolin or violins! Who’d have thunk it!

And I forgive which ever one of you swore.
Or ‘swar’, as I spelled it at the time, unfortunately my spelling guru was Dennis Dayman who wanted a “Bat Signal for every time a marketer did something stuipd” and thus fulfilled his own self fulfilling prophecy 🙂

The next shows also sound awesome, with DJ Waldow
This was said in the voice of a Circus Ring Leader introducing the Magician who’ll cut someone in half: “The Amazing DJ Waldow” – maybe you had to be there? and if you weren’t, why not, you should have been 🙂

Also mention of (Dr) Mark Brownlow soon too. Exiting times

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