15 Things to Test in your Email Campaign

Email open rates and click through rate have both declined over recent month as reported by eMarketer (Avg. Open rate is 11.2% while Avg. CTR is 1.6%).

This seems like a bad news for emails. What is going on? Is Social Media responsible for this decline or are there other reasons?

Who knows what the future holds for email marketing but for now email is alive and marketers can improve both the open rates and click-through rates by just doing a little bit more than they are currently doing.

The key to email success is giving customer what they want and in a format that they want. Nothing revolutionary but something that’s often forgotten in email marketing.
All this boils down to

  1. Segmentation and Personalization
  2. Testing

To address the first point, read my blog post “ 7 Ways to Create Relevancy in Emails.
In this post I am addressing the 2nd point i.e. Testing. Below are 15 things that you should test in your email campaign.

Open Rate Improvement
Below are the 5 things to test to improve the open rate of your email newsletter.

  1. From Email Address
  2. From Name
  3. Subject line
  4. Day of delivery
  5. Time of the day

Click through Rate Improvement
Below are the 10 things to test to improve the click-through rate of your email newsletters.

  1. Layout of the newsletter e.g. 2 column v/s 3 column
  2. Colors e.g. background color, side columns colors, colors of different sections and links
  3. Fonts and formatting of titles, text etc.
  4. Images – e.g. size, placement of hero image (main image)
  5. Images along with stories v/s stories without image
  6. Article length – how many words should you show in the newsletter article summary before you make the users click to your site
  7. Above and below the fold content – test if moving content above and below the fold impacts the click-through rate
  8. Left and right placement of the links, stores etc.
  9. Anchor text length in links – Do people click on longer links more than shorter links?
  10. Action words v/s non-action words in hyperlinks e.g. Does “Download Now” works better than “you can download the whitepaper”?

Keep in mind that if you don’t give customer what they want then it will first show up in dropping click-though rates, leading to lower open rate and finally resulting in unsubscribes and demise of your email marketing.


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