The Importance of Testing
Over 40% of email today is classified as SPAM. Many current and prospective customers out there are suffering from email weariness. Now, imagine what the impact of a poorly planned or executed email marketing campaign can have. Not only does the company lose the chance to gain a new customer, it also runs the risk of alienating its existing customer base.
Testing is the one tool that is guaranteed to have a positive impact on the success of your e-mail campaign. Unlike direct snail-mail campaigns, the chances of getting reliable, and timely test data is extremely cost effective. Not only can you test your message, you can test practically every portion of your email from the subject line to embedded HTML links within the message. The inherent user and email interactions, such as opening, clicking and the ability of the browser and web applications to facilitate the tracking of this information make testing a must for the serious direct email marketer.
Before sending out your test message, it is a good idea to break the test down into its components. Specifically, you should run a test for your "subject line", your "from" address, the offer, the format of the message body, and any hyperlinks in the message. Once you have developed your test messages, you need to setup your tests so that the data you retrieve is as reliable as possible. Remember, your message is comprised of more than just your subject line and the body of text. Optimizing the impact of each portion should increase the overall effectiveness of the campaign. However, when you test all these things at once, you run the risk of misinterpreting the data. Statistical analysis techniques will enable you to sift through your data effectively.