How to create an effective test in 5 minutes

How to build an effective test (in 5 minutes)

Everyone knows they should be doing it, so why do so few brands regularly run tests in their email marketing. It is usually down to one of the following…

‘I don’t know where to start’
‘I don’t know what to test’
‘It just takes too long’

Whilst it’s true that some brands have whole departments who do nothing more than manage testing programmes, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number or really simple tests that you can run quickly and simply and they can have a truly dramatic effect!

Here are 5 top tests that you can run today, and the best thing is that they will only take you a matter of minutes to set up…

1.) Personalise your subject line

Adding a persons name to your subject line can have a significant impact on your open rates. Try running a personalised message in your subject line like “Tom, check out these great shows today”

2.) Add symbols to your subject line

Try adding a special character your subject line by simply pasting it into TailorMail. You can find a list some useful characters here http://www.tedmontgomery.com/tutorial/ALTchrc.html. The more relevant the symbol is, the more likely it will be to work e.g. “☼ Looking for a sun break? Check out these latest deals”

3.) Test a different call to action

Even small changes to your call to action can have a big impact. Try adding one to the top of your email, or making it bold. You can also use buttons to make it more visible. For more information on building a call to action, check out this post

4.) Use a different lead image

A picture is worth a thousand words (sometimes). Test using different images in your email, it is easy to swap them in and out and they can have a big impact on what people think and do about your email.

5.) Change your offer

How you present an offer, and even which offer you choose to focus on will have a big impact on whether people think it is worth going for or not. Try using a specific end date or pricing structure e.g. “cover from £4.99 a month” vs “cover from under £60 a year”.

Now that you have some killer test ideas, the next question is how to build them into your email. The answer is – like this…

1.) Create a new email and select the ‘A/B split campaign’ tab.

[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”A/B Testing in TailorMail” title=”A/B Testing in TailorMail”]http://www.tailormail.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ab-testing.jpg[/image_frame]

2.) Select the type of test you want to run…

3.) Name your campaign and then depending on the type of test you have chosen, you will need to…

Choose the subject lines you want to use OR

[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”Subject line test” title=”Subject line test”]http://www.tailormail.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ScreenHunter_74-May.-03-13.02.jpg[/image_frame]

Choose the sender names OR

[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”sender name test” title=”sender name test”]http://www.tailormail.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ScreenHunter_76-May.-03-13.25.jpg[/image_frame]

If you have chosen a content test complete this screen as normal by naming the campaign and setting up the sender name then continue.

4.) Set the template and add your email copy as normal and then select the list you want to use and click on ‘Define A/B split’. If you are running a content test, you will need to do this twice, once for each segment.

5.) TailorMail will send a section of your list out to the test and control segments and determine which one is the most effective before sending the winner to the rest of the list. You’ll need to decide three things.

Firstly, how many people should receive the initial test, for smaller campaigns (under 300), I’d recommend using the full 25% to each. You can do this by using the slider.

Next you should choose what criteria you want to use for the test. Think about what the test is trying to achieve for this e.g. a subject line test will have the most impact on open rates.

Thirdly, How long do you want to let the test run before a winner is chosen. A default of 6 hours is selected, but you may want to leave it longer e.g. if you are releasing your email late in the day where many people won’t open it till the next day.

[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”Setting your segments” title=”Setting your segments” height=”190″ width=”400″]http://www.tailormail.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ScreenHunter_75-May.-03-13.08-e1368094127800.jpg[/image_frame]

6.) Finally, check the summary page to make sure that everything is as you expected it to before moving on to send your test emails and approving the campaign as normal.

To get the most out of testing, try to only change one thing between your emails, so you know what made the difference and then use that element again next time to build a really effective mailing programme over time.

Happy testing!