You’ve crafted a dynamite email to let customers know you now offer free delivery service. You hit the “send” button and you’re off and running (at least you hope you are). If only there was a way to be sure. Good news, there is. Here are four easy email tests you can use right now. They’ll help you learn how your small business customers respond to your emails so your message gets through.
Once you send an email, your Email Service Provider (ESP) can provide basic feedback like:
- Open rates – percent who opened your email
- Click-through rates – percent who clicked on a link in your email
- Bounce rates – percent of emails not delivered (invalid email address, the recipient’s email box is full, or the receiver’s email server has blocked it)
But there are things you can do even before your send the email.
Four Email Tests
Remember those experiments you did in science class? You’d add one chemical to see what happened, then tried another compound to see if there was any difference. You can do the same thing with your emails.
Divide your email list into two parts. Send one version of your email to the first group and the other version to the second group. Compare the results to see which email got the best response. Your ESP can report on results for each email.
Here are four elements within an email that you can test. Try one at a time:
- Subject Line – You typically get only a few words to convince recipients to open your email. So experiment to find the words that appeal the most to your customers. Here are some 2015 best practices. Stay clear of spam-like words that may get your email blocked even before it reaches their inbox.
- Send Time – When you send the email might be just as important as what you say. Is early morning or late evening better? Weekday or weekend? Do you get a better response if you send it the day before your sale or the day of? Test to see which performs best. Knowing that will help you determine when to send future emails. Here are some best practices.
- Call-to-Action – Don’t make customers guess what you want them to do with your email. Should they click for more information, register for a prize giveaway or buy now? Experiment with different phrases. For example, “order now” vs. “shop now.” Or use the same phrase but vary where it appears—at the top of the email or at the bottom. Take a look at these best practices.
- Screen Display – Are your customers looking at your email on a mobile device or at home on a PC? Are they using Google Email or Outlook? You will want to test the email before you send it so it displays correctly. There are a number of free or low-cost programs that can help. Email on Acid, Email Reach, and Litmus are a few of them.
Even though you might have the most cleverly written email, your customers may never read it. Some may not get past your subject line, were too busy when they got it or they can’t see it on their device. That’s why you want to test key elements to see which your customers respond best to.