A good email can have a profound, almost immediate impact on your audience. It builds trust, generates a relationship and forces them to keep you in their mind for weeks or even months after that initial contact. It’s a lifeline in the Internet marketing industry and a tool that anyone with a website should have in place.
But, out of the box, a good email marketing campaign is not always perfect. It might not convert as well as you would like. It might have a high bounce rate or complaint rate. Maybe people don’t even open those messages. So you need to be constantly testing – checking for elements that can have a positive impact on those statistics. Here are three things that should be in a constant rotation for your testing.
Test #1 – Headline
The headline is the subject of your email. That initial burst of text that the prospect sees when they open their inbox and see your message. Are they going to open it? The subject line is the ONLY way to encourage them to do so.
When you are first starting your list, headlines are hit or miss. You might have a plan in place, but there is no way to know for sure if people will click where you think they are going to click. They might have no interest in doing so whatsoever.
So, you start testing. Segment your list, test different subject lines on different groups of people and check to see what works best. Curiosity, scarcity, honesty, or something ridiculously silly – they are all good methods, but one will probably work better for your readers.
Test #2 – First Line of Text
The next thing a reader sees is the first 35-50 characters of text. Gmail shows this text in a snippet after the subject line (some others do too) and if they are intrigued by the headline, that snippet should close the deal and get them to open the message.
Avoid generic openings like “Hi Tom, I wanted to write you today because….”
Use something more engaging and exciting like “This is the first time I’ve ever told this to anyone….”
Use a strong hook – something that people cannot help but want to read and then follow through on it in the content you provide.
Test #3 – Call to Action
Finally, split test your call to action. Whether your open rates are through the roof or you’re having trouble getting people to click anything, this is a very important part of your messages.
That final line of text, in which you tell them to buy a product, visit a review, read more on your site or follow you on Facebook or Twitter is extremely important. If it doesn’t exist, you won’t convert that traffic to anything. And if it’s not very good, you won’t do much better.
So test it. Test different calls to action. Test different ways of wording your calls to action. Test the style and tone of what you say. It’s all up for grabs – keep testing until you find something that works…then keep testing still.