How happy are you with your newsletter KPIs? Most of you will probably not answer this question with a straightforward and convincing VERY HAPPY – the more, the better. Unfortunately, there is no patent recipe for optimizing your newsletter results, but today we are dealing with one of the most important elements: newsletter tests – in all different variations.
Once you decide to conduct professional newsletter tests, there is a wide range of possibilities. The best way to start is to decide what you really want to achieve with the test process and how to measure success. In short, which newsletters KPIs do you want to improve and how? As soon as you decided your goal, you can work on the appropriate adjusting screws. Here are a few examples of how the respective key figures can be influenced by targeted measures:
- Opening rate: subject, sender, send time, etc.
- Click rate: relevance of content, segmentation of target audience, use of image, etc.
- Conversion rate: call-to-action, length of text / newsletter, link density, etc.
- Unsubscribe rate: send frequency, structure of the newsletter, etc.
Beginners vs. experts
The great thing about it is that some of the mentioned measures can be turned into a significant A/B test with just a little effort. For example, consider the subject for optimizing the opening rate. As part of an A/B test, you will compare two different versions of a subject for your email campaign to find out which one is better for your target audience. Basically, you provide two test groups with different versions of your subject. Professional newsletter tools like mailworx help you to choose the winner automatically and send the better performing version to the majority of recipients. Similarly, the process also works with the sender address. Instead of the anonymous company name, you can send your mailings with the corresponding customer advisor of the recipient.
Staying at the topic of opening rates, also the dispatch time of your mailings plays an important role for the success of your campaigns. Testing this aspect is a bit trickier but the impact of the results is really great. In the first step, create a plan by specifying which campaign should be send on which day and at what time. Follow this plan and view the analytics at the end of the appropriate test period. For example, the use of an Excel data sheet can be helpful for this. Compare the different key figures such as opening and click rate. Sometimes it’s important to test the different sending times more than just once and calculate the average of the results – just to avoid outliners in the statistics.
No matter which area you choose for a newsletter test, you should always keep in mind a few important basics:
- Determine a specific goal for your project.
- Decide on one item you want to test.
- Create a plan to conduct your test.
- Split the recipient list randomly and work with similar audiences.
- Evaluate the results and asses them objectively.
- Develop concrete conclusions and measures.
Success factor analysis
Planning and executing email marketing tests is one thing, but you should not forget the importance of the analysis. To make a valuable contribution to the future, you need to evaluate your findings. Decide on the basis of the specific goal, whether a meaningful statement about the success of the one variant over the other can be made. In addition, think about what this means for your future campaigns and take concrete actions.
By the way: You do not have to start from the scratch. The results of past newsletters can already provide important insights. Especially when it comes to measurements in the area of the dispatch time or the content of your mailings, you can use past analysis as well. Based on these results, the possible test elements for the future can be easily defined. Testing is also a continuous process. You have already found the best subject line and delivery time? Move on to another element and find out, for example, which call-to-action button is most effective. Simply follow the motto: After the test is before the test.