If the results of a recent Forrester Research Study are accurate, email marketing in the United States is expected to reach $2 billion in 2014. It’s easy to understand why email is one of the preferred tools of the day given the economic climate of the last year. It’s cost-effective and delivers a high return on investment.
At Hammock, we not only advise our clients on their email newsletter efforts and are involved in their development and execution, but we also have our own monthly email newsletter about the work we do for our clients.
Here are five testing tips that we use each month to make sure our latest issue is ready when we hit send:

  1. Turn Your Images Off
    It’s important to have an alternative text-only version of all of your emails. Test all email campaigns in both an images-on and an images-off setting. So many recipients are viewing their email on mobile devices where images are turned off, it’s critical that these messages come through perfectly — so make sure they do.
  2. Create an A/B Split
    Pick one element to test in each email newsletter. Examples to test include the email subject line, sender, time of day and day of the week. You could also test a very image-heavy email against a text-only email.

    Use your analytics to help refine your strategy, so that you aim to increase your open and click-through rates with each additional email campaign.

  3. Recruit a Group
    Don’t have the small person who writes the content or creates the email campaign be the only one to proof the email. Just like with a print product, you need a few sets of eyes on the creative to make sure everything is correct.
  4. Think of Everyone
    Images and text can render very differently, so be sure to review your campaign on a Mac and a PC, in the most popular browsers and email service providers.
  5. Make it a Priority
    As instantly as email can be sent and delivered, it’s easy to understand why some organizations don’t spend the time each and every month (or week or day depending on the frequency) to test their campaigns. This is a huge mistake because your credibility can be quickly destroyed when an email with an error is sent. It’s easy to do, and even with a testing process in place sometimes items can be overlooked. The lesson is that if you have a testing plan that you follow step by step each and every time, you are a lot less likely to send out an email with an error.