Picture it: you get to pick 10 individuals at random, plop them down in front of a computer, and ask them to reply to a marketing email within 60 seconds. If they don’t hit the mark, you blast them with a bunch more emails until they do. It’s a scenario we’ve all seen in a movie or two, but for the average person, having a working email address is like having a library card – it’s convenient, but not necessary.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get in touch with potential customers without going through a third party (read: email service providers like MailChimp, HP Mail, etc.), you’ve come to the right place. We’ll teach you how to create an email testing campaign that’ll help you get in touch with the right audience, and teach you to rely less on outside entities.
Set The Scene
To get started, it’s important to set the scene. What are you trying to achieve with this particular email test? Are you trying to target younger generations? More affluent demographics? Long-time customers who’ve grown weary of your company and want to explore alternatives?
Think about what you want out of this campaign, and what you’re trying to avoid. Do you want to simply verify opt-in emails so you can move forward with marketing? Are you looking to learn about customer behavior and determine how to improve future communications?
Create A Purpose
One of the best things about science is that it’s helpful and self-correcting, which is great when you’re learning, but also when you’re trying to accomplish something. The same can be said for market research. Since you’re not just randomly choosing these people, you have a purpose for doing this – be it to verify opt-in emails or gain valuable insights into your customer base and improve your product or service. Whatever your reason for creating an email test, have one.
Know Your Audience
If you’re looking to test the efficacy of a marketing campaign, you need to first determine who your audience is – take some time before the start of the email test to think about the demographics, psychographics, and digital behaviors of your ideal buyer. Don’t just take our word for it – ask your customers what they think, or look them up on social media and see what’s being said about your brand.
In addition to the who, what, and why of your target audience, you need to look at the mechanics. How are you going to reach them? Where are you going to send the email? When?
You may decide to send the emails via disposable email addresses (like BlueMail). Or you may want to use a tool like GetResponse to create email campaigns. With GetResponse, you can build automated emails that will follow a series of steps – like having the emails opened by a person, clicking a link, or filling out a form. You can also set up email campaigns so that each email is sent at a different time to optimize open rates.
Choose The Right Outfit
Now that you’ve got your audience and mechanics taken care of, it’s time to pick your outfit. First off, you want to stand out from the crowd, so don’t go for the cheery smiley face tweeter – play with the fonts and colors to make sure your email looks unique. If you’re getting started with email marketing, design a simple but elegant logo that won’t break the bank. Remember: you’re using a disposable email for this campaign, so keep it simple.
With your logo in hand and your purpose written out, it’s time to move to the critical part: the execution. What are you going to do once you’ve got your 10 random participants replied to the email? How are you going to know if this was actually accomplished?
You may want to follow up with an email thanking them for participating, reiterating the key points from the landing page, or even just sending another copy of the email. This is a critical point to make: running a marketing experiment is only useful if you can follow up with a clear action item. People hate completing pointless surveys and then being unable to follow up, so make sure you have a concise way of tracking the results of your email experiment.
Less Is More
When you have a lot going on, you run the risk of confusing or losing your readers. It’s easy for the contents of an email to blend together, and for the sake of expediency, many marketers will over-write. Using a tool like MailChimp, it’s easy for you to keep track of all the individual emails you’ve sent out, as well as the open rates and the like. Through this, you can easily determine which campaigns worked and which ones didn’t, and make alterations accordingly.
Through testing and learning, you can grow your business and become a better marketer. If you want to run an email test for the sake of learning, don’t just expect the results to be “good” – make sure you measure them accurately and take the time to analyze the findings. By understanding your audience’s behavior and working to improve your game, you’ll be able to tailor your efforts and increase your conversion rates.