The Science of Email Testing
The science of email testing is an area in which a lot of retailers struggle.
A Place for Mom knows these email marketing struggles. An online resource for connecting seniors and their families to the right care, A Place for Mom emphasizes testing different elements of its emails.
In fact, A Place for Mom won last year's WhichTestOne silver award and two more awards this year: gold and best-in-show. The fact that the company has walked away with awards two years in a row is a testament to its faithful email testing.
How and Why to Test
Before we dive into three email testing case studies from a Place for Mom, let's quickly address the reasons marketers should be testing:
- You're not your audience.
- You can create program-specific benchmarks.
- Grow engagement with subscribers.
- Grow your return on investment.
A/B split testing is the standard because it's versatile. Use it to find the best subject line, layout/design, copy, call to action and "From" name. Also test the best day and time to send, as well as personalization elements. So much testing is possible with just one tool!
Let's dive into the experiments. I highlight three email tests A Place for Mom has implemented.
Test No. 1: From Field
The From field is one of the most basic tests you can perform, and it's easy to set up. Don't neglect the low-hanging fruit!
In this example, A Place for Mom tested From fields for its B-to-B newsletter. The winning From line, "A Place for Mom," had a 23 percent higher open rate than the weakest From line, "Senior Living Insider."
Unique open rate was the right metric to measure in this case because the From field is something users see prior to opening an email. Generally, you use open rate to measure the success of From and subject lines. Content is better judged by clickthrough rate.