Just because an email strategy works for one company—even one very like yours—that doesn't mean it will automatically work for you. "This is due to different cultures and expectations," says Debra Ellis in an article at MarketingProfs. "The only way you will know the best strategy for your organization is to test." Sure, "test and test again" has gained cliché status in the industry, but that's because testing works.
Here's a sample from Ellis of an easy A/B test that can produce great data. With your next email, she advises, send your "A" group the original version of your message. For your "B" group, though, make only the following changes:
- If you normally use a generic corporate address (eg, firstname.lastname@example.org), switch it to the name of an actual person whom most customers will recognize (eg, email@example.com). Though you can create an inbox specifically for this test, many of Ellis' clients channel replies to the individual sender's actual account.
- Open the message with a short, personal note from the sender that includes the customer's name in the salutation and closes with the sender's signature.
"Keep everything else the same," Ellis says. What will this accomplish? It will help you "[c]ompare your open, click-through, and response rates" using simple personalization elements.
The Po!nt: Being testy can be a good thing. "The best email strategy isn't created," says Ellis, "it evolves. Test something with every mailing."
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