Chapter 8 – Test, Optimize & Repeat
Throughout this e-book, we’ve given you a lot of tips. Tips about growing your email list, segmenting that list, and increasing your open and click-through rate.
But here’s the thing: those tips won’t work for all of you.
Some of you will try to use polite language in your subject lines and see a decline in open rate while others will see an increase.
Some of you will get more clicks during the morning while others will get more clicks in the evening.
The truth is, your list is unique and different than everyone else’s list. And while the tips we’ve given you in this e-book are good rules of thumb, there’s only way to know whether those tricks work on your particular email list: test them and see what happens.
But how do you test?
Well, so long as you’ve chosen an ESP that allows you to A/B test your emails (check out Chapter 3), doing so will be relatively easy. Just go to your ESPs help center to learn more about how you can experiment with each campaign.
Additionally, you can use Google’s UTMs and track link clicks in Google Analytics.
Of course, your testing strategy can get about 100 times more complicated than that. But for now, that’s a wonderful start — it’ll help you understand the types of emails that your audience is engaging with and what might be rubbing them the wrong way (which is really what we’re after anyways).
So now that you understand how to test your emails…
…what should you actually test?
Anything you like!
Really — don’t be afraid to get creative and test different elements of your email campaigns, from the subject line to the header to the CTA’s button copy.
The more you test, the more you’ll learn.
Just make sure that you only change one variable with every email and run multiple tests to get the most reliable results.
If you’re still struggling with what you should try testing first, here are a few ideas…
That’s just a few ideas, but it’ll get you off on the right foot.
One final question is swimming around in your head, though: How do you decide which email performed the best? What if one email received more opens while the other received more clicks? Or even more confusing, what if one email received less clicks and opens but more purchases?
A lot of times, you’ll be able to look at the results and pull good things from each mail, creating a sort of beautiful frankenstein email that performs better than any of the others.
Ultimately, though, do whatever generates the most revenue for your business.
Most of the time, engagement and revenue will be closely related during your testing and you won’t have to choose between one or the other. But since the ultimate goal is to monetize your audience, err on the side of revenue generation if you must.
Don’t stop testing…
Your email marketing efforts will only be consistently engaging and profitable if you know who your audience is. Sure — you might strike the engagement-and-conversion lottery every once in a while if you never seek to understand your subscribers. But that’ll be the exception, not the rule.
You’ll be far more effective as an email marketer if you commit to dissecting and understanding who your audience is, what they want from your emails, and why they signed up for your list in the first place.
And the only way to find out is to keep testing… and never stop.
Whew! You’ve learned a lot in this guide.
You’ve learned why email marketing is far more powerful and more sustainable than building an audience on other platforms like Facebook or YouTube.
You’ve learned how to easily and quickly get legal permission from your email subscribers so you’re not stepping on GDPR or CAN-SPAM’s toes.
You’ve learned how to select the right ESP for your business, how to grow your list, and even which types of email marketing campaigns you have at your disposal.
Then, in Chapter 6, you learned which email marketing metrics you need to pay attention to and how you can improve those metrics in Chapter 7.
Finally, you learned how to consistently test and iterate your email campaigns to build a strong relationship with your audience and a better conversion rate.
We can honestly say, you’re ready to go off on your own.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to take the first step. There’s something to be said for learning and preparing, but at some point, you have to take action.
Let this be your call to action.
Revisit this guide as often as you need to and take it one step at a time.
You will build an email list and program that grows your business. It’ll take time and work, but you will.
You just have to get started.