If there’s one thing that separates the world’s most successful with email marketing from those who’re struggling to make a profit, it’s this: tracking and testing.
Now you’ve probably heard about tracking and testing before, but maybe you’ve discounted it because it sounds like a hassle. That may have been true many years ago before tracking tools became so widely available, but today many of the bigger ESPs (email service providers) offer built-in tracking tools.
For example, these tools let you track the number of people who open your emails as well as the number of people who click the links on your emails. If you set up unique links or landing pages, you can then track how many people buy a product through your emails or take some other specific action.
Another reason that some people discount the idea of tracking and testing is because they don’t really think it’s worth the effort. However, let me give you an example…
Let’s suppose you have 1000 people on your list. And let’s suppose you send out an email that gets a 1% conversion rate on a $100 product. That means that of your 1000 subscribers, ten people will buy the product and you’ll pocket $1000.
Now imagine if you did some testing and tracking to improve the call to action, which resulted in doubling the conversion rate to 2% (which is still modest with a warm list). Now you’re making $2000 for sending the exact same email to the exact same list. That’s an extra $1000 just for doing some testing and tracking!
That may be just an example, but tracking and testing can certainly add thousands of dollars to your bottom line.
Here are some things for you to track and test with your email marketing:
Your lead page, including the headline, benefits and call to action. This will improve your opt-in rate so that you can build your list more quickly.
- Your email subject line.
- The bulleted benefit list. (When you send a direct promo.)
- Your calls to action.
- The offers you send. (Try rotating similar products to see which one gets you the highest conversion rates and profits.)
- The P.S. (As this is one of the most-read parts of your email.)
- The day of the week you send emails.
- The time of the day you send emails.
Now, the key to good tracking and testing is that you only test ONE element at a time. Sure, you might hear some people use multi-variate analysis and test multiple elements. But let me just say this: if you don’t know what multi-variate analysis is and/or you are new to testing, then keep it simple by testing just one element at a time.
Let me give you an example to clarify what I’m referring to…
Let’s suppose you’re testing your subject lines to see which of two different subject lines gets you the best open rates and conversions. What you’d do is create two identical emails, with the ONLY difference being the subject lines. Everything else should be exactly the same.
Then you’d randomly split your email list into two groups (your email service provider likely has a built-in tool for doing this), and send out these two emails at exactly the same time.
In other words, you’d hold all other variables constant. That way, if there is a difference in open rates and conversion rates, you can be fairly confident that this difference is due to the subject line and not some other factor.
For example, if you sent one of these emails in the morning and one a few hours later, you won’t have any idea if it was the time of day that created the difference in response rates, or if it was the subject line. That’s why everything should be exactly the same except for the one thing you’re testing.
If you’re not sure what to test, then start with those items that are likely to make the biggest impact on conversion rates, which includes your subject lines and the offer you’re promoting. But the bottom line is to start testing, because it will make a huge impact on the profitability of your email marketing list.