Email Marketing and the Importance of Testing

Last Updated April 1st, 2011

Testing – who has time for it? Who wants to write four different subject lines for a segmented email deployment? Who wants to create three different templates for the same email? Who wants to parse lists of email addresses into segments based off of criteria that may or may not spark interest on behalf of the recipients? I do, but I’ll tell you I’m not the normal run-of -the-mill gut-check marketer. I work off of historical data, industry data, campaign data, spread sheets, etc.  This isn’t typical, most marketers need more time and less things to-do; testing variates in this environment can be more stressful than productive. Email marketing for quite a few businesses can be a step-child effort because it appears cheap and easy to accomplish – this is the wrong way to approach email marketing.


Throwing minimal effort at email marketing is like paying market price for a printer to draw an ad in crayons and print it on loose-leaf notebook paper.  Essentially, it’s getting the job done, but that doesn’t mean it’s a ‘good’ job. Likewise, over-analyzing minutia can just create an overly complicated campaign that produces minimal results. It’s testing the right variables that make the big differences. That makes testing fun, because seeing the larger leaps in success are exciting.


So, what are the right variables?


I’d be lying if I said I could tell you in this post. However; I do know that it’s closer to you than you think. Part of showing big gains in interest, revenue, or metrics is perspective. It’s removing the perspective of your company and your marketing team and applying the perspective of your customers to every email that goes out.


  1. Why should they care?
  2. How does it benefit them?
  3. You’re asking them to spend time with your email. What are you offering them in return? (DO NOT SAY “INFO” – We all get plenty of that)
  4. Do they leave your email with something that was memorable or actionable?
  5. Etc, etc, etc.


You’re getting ready to tell me; these aren’t variables. I know, but watch. Take these two subject lines for a quick example.


“Spend $50 and Save 15%”

“Spend $50 and Save $7.50”


Which one moves you? These two perspectives can affect how well your email does. It’s that simple: One email template, two subject lines, and one list in two segments.


Here’s another simple test:  Try BombBomb, use the video component and see if that raises the response of your email campaigns compared to what you have going now. I’ll bet it will.


Viva la Email.

Ethan Beute | About The Author

Marketing, branding, content. Writer, producer, editor. Photos and videos. Building campaigns. Tracking results. Background in local television station marketing and promotion. VP, Content and Communication, BombBomb. BA, University of Michigan. MBA, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.