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To test is to learn, and for the last 15 years people have beaten the email testing drum so hard and so many times, that it’s a lot like having echolalia.
In keeping with that beating drum of “test, test, test” here are 3 key tests to perform on your email programs today. If executed right they can provide a lift in performance, and produce a new and improved control for you to continue to test and optimize.
If you don’t have a Welcome email for your program, shame on you. Not only is this the first impression the new subscriber has with your brand (through email), but it’s quite possibly one of the most profitable in terms of Revenue Per Email. When I managed triggered and transactional email at Sears and Kmart, Welcome emails contributed around $7,000,000 a year to the program (yes…it had a discount…but we also tested a No Offer as well).
There have been numerous studies, suggestions, POVs and even best practice guides on when to send a Welcome email, and for the purposes of this recommendation I trust you have read, retained and tested all of those suggestions. To that end, no matter when you send it, have you ever thought about taking the Welcome email and skinning the creative a different way? Try testing it with some new Subject Lines as a resend to those that didn’t open and/or didn’t click?
The only word of caution I have around resends is that you start with a small (say 20%) segment. Then look at engagement/attrition of the subscriber base to see if that offsets the “cost” of an additional email.
Yes…your email list disengages and unsubscribes. I have heard that in some cases they do this at a rate of around 30% per year. However, did you know that 50% of your list can actually die during the year. Yes, die. However this test is not about seeing if they are dead or alive, it’s about all those darn inactive people.
Cross your fingers when doing all of this…but then get rid of those that don’t respond. Yes…it is ok to purge your list.
I know that this may sound silly, but do you know what email domains in your database perform the best? We have all heard of the stereotypes and personas around the users of Gmail vs. AOL vs. Earthlink vs. MSN vs. Yahoo, but did you know that you can use information gathered from a test like this for the future? For example, let’s say that you find out that Yahoo users not only engage at a higher rate than other domains, but they are in fact the most profitable. Would you treat them differently going forward or when they sign up? The same would hold true if you found out the opposite right?
These three tests are not the norm and should be treated as larger learnings tests. If you do any of these and want to share the results, please email us.