Email Marketing Newsletters: Your Testing Checklist

When you have your email list organized and managed; when you think you have your email design perfected; when you think you know what day and time would work best for your specific audience…

You’re ready to start testing for these areas of your campaign process.

Testing your email marketing is crucial to determine whether your email will be well-received, especially on the various devices and browsers. It’s a great time to do A/B testing to see what approach would look best and determine what needs to change.

Email marketing testing image

 

In part 4 of this email newsletters series, I go over how important testing your email marketing is as well as what you can do to get it done right.

Each point I make comes with a real-life scenario and resources to help you further understand the subject as well as move on to next steps.

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Why is testing so important?

Sending out your email newsletter without testing each element first is like learning how to drive blindfolded. You’re bound to have problems.

 

I’ve discussed the different elements of your email, such as your subject line and preheader. You’re not going to know what works best if you don’t test different approaches first.

The most common approach is A/B split testing. With this, you choose two options and compare your results for each one. It’s by far the best way to see what works and what doesn’t.

Real-Life Scenario:

I’ve taken the A/B testing approach when I was doing email marketing for a local nonprofit. I tested for the subject line and the content design of my email.

Before I started testing, I sent emails out with the first and only subject line and design I could create. Once I started though, I realized that my best options always came after my initial ideas.

I think it’s safe to say that you can’t always trust your gut when it comes to email marketing.

Resources:

Kissmetrics gives a great introduction to A/B testing on their blog. It includes advice on how to plan your tests as well as reasons why you should test. I especially agree with their point about devoting time to testing as it is definitely a key part of this process.

Oracle has a great article titled Email Marketing: If You’re Not Testing, You’re Guessing. Besides having a great headline, this article gives you 4 steps to follow that each make a big difference. Their point about accepting the results is very important. What’s the point of testing if you’re not going to believe and implement what you learn?

New to A/B testing? This Quick Sprout article is for you. It’s a beginner’s guide to testing, including 70 getting started resources. It gives you everything you need to get started on your quest to better email marketing.


What needs to be tested?

The simple answer: everything.

Test your subject line.

Your design

Your timing

 

Test for the different browsers and email service providers.

What will your email look like in the different browsers?

See that your email opens properly in all email service providers.

Is your email design mobile-friendly? This is especially important these days with how common mobile device use is. I think it’s safe to say that many, if not most, of your recipients will look at your email through a mobile device.

Be ready for that.

Real-Life Scenario:

I once subscribed to a blog that I especially enjoyed, but there was one issue that bugged me…

Their email did not appear correctly in Gmail on my laptop. It was impossible to click on the different blog post links, making the email pretty much useless.

Thankfully, the blog owner fixed the problem quickly. However, I wonder how much damage was done from that problem.

How many people chose to unsubscribe?

It makes me cringe when I see emails that don’t appear correctly, especially when the blog owner is a prestigious influencer in marketing.

Resources:

Copyblogger has an article to check out titled: 10 Essential Tips for Creating Mobile-Friendly Emails. In it, the author explains how you can ensure your email appears correctly on a mobile device.

I learned a lot from Copyblogger’s article. In the past, my emails included side panels and menu bars. Both of which don’t work well for mobile. This article gave me the advice I needed to create better emails for those recipients who use mobile devices.

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By now, I hope you have a better understanding of email marketing testing, including:

  • Why you should test your email marketing campaigns
  • What you should test
  • How you can go about it

That’s it for part 4 of the email marketing newsletters series. Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment!