August 01, 2014
Here are three email tests to help you start optimizing your program today.
Time of Day: A quick glance of my inbox shows that many senders continue to send weekday mornings. In contrast, most studies on shopping show that most people buy in the evening after work or on weekends. If it’s been a while or you’ve never tested time of day for email sends now is a good time to start testing. Start with general day parts (morning vs. afternoon and morning vs. evening). If you see an uptick for a particular day part, then try expanding testing by breaking that day part down to hourly increments to fine tune.
Mobile vs. Traditional Email Designs: Need to prove the case for more resources to move to responsive design templates? Or perhaps you would like the creative team to design mobile friendly layouts but need proof to get it approved. Start by creating a mobile friendly email and then test it against your current template. Some marketers segment and limit the test to mobile subscribers, however, marketers that send the mobile email to the full list often find that mobile design out-performs the traditional designs regardless of whether the subscriber uses a mobile device to read emails or not. If your initial tests show a big uptick in response when limited to only mobile subscribers, try expanding the test to your full list for more insights. If your full list responds favorably to mobile friendly emails, review what differences in the design made the most impact to incorporate into appropriate templates.
Frequency testing: How often should I contact subscribers? Testing frequency can provide answers. For those sending less than once a week, test double your current frequency (send twice a month instead of once, send twice a week instead once, etc.). For those sending weekly or more, test an increase of one vs two additional emails per week. Higher frequency senders can also segment results by day of week for additional insights to fine-tune their deployment schedule.
One or two test results are not a large enough basis for changing your email program, so you’ll want to repeat tests several times and find similar results across several tests to discover true insights. Over the summer, before the rush of the holiday season is a great time for testing new ideas that can improve your program. If you’re not testing, it’s never too late to start.