Test for the Best in Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Email Marketing


According to recent data from Marketing Sherpa, email is the top channel that marketers track. A full 63% of the marketers surveyed indicated they are currently tracking email marketing data.

I first wondered about the other 37% and what they are doing… but then I got interested in exactly what email metrics marketers track.  My sense is many are tracking open rates, click rates, and that some are also looking at relevant segments (geographies, personas, buying behavior, etc.).

But I wonder how many marketers continually examine the data and re-examine their assumptions. It can be too easy to hold on to a fact or number, and then never go back to it for re-examination. For example, in PR it is often said Tuesday is the best day for a press release.  This could be totally true for some businesses, but maybe not for yours.  I think it is valuable to have a good process in place so you feel comfortable with benchmarks and your organization’s progress.

In that vein, here are four considerations to get better results from your email programs.

1. Use a technology that makes it easy to measure and visualize data

It is important to make sure you have a system that enables you to accurately track and measure data. Having tangible metrics vs. guesses really enables you to optimize your efforts for every email marketing campaign. For example, in Marketo you have the choice of viewing basic email results and helpful visualizations.  The heat map below is used to help users identify the best time of day for an email send.

2. Make sure testing is part of your DNA

Make sure testing is part of your day to day processes – like brushing your teeth; you just need to do it.  Testing does not have to be daunting in nature.  It can simply be A/B subject line tests, including graphics or not, testing times or days of the week, offer, etc.  If you are running paid emails, some vendors will work with you on A/B tests as well.  As a reminder, not all tests will be mind-blowing, but overtime you will learn the variables that are most critical for your team to test.

3. Make decisions and modifications based on the data

The worst and saddest thing ever is when a marketing team collects data and it just sits somewhere in an Excel file collecting dust.  Do something with your data! Implementing your changes can make a significant difference in results.   For example, with events do a test with your pre-event  email campaign – see what messaging most effectively.  You then can use these results to inform your post-event email follow-up.  Check out some of our results in this blog post The Secret to Successful Email Marketing: Testing.

4. Re-examine urban myth data – know what works for your industry and business

You may have some report from 2011 that cites that a good email open rate for B2B businesses is 30%.  It is critical to make sure you reference current data, and more importantly know what a good benchmark is for your company.  It is important to start collecting and analyzing your marketing metrics and see how large industry events, seasonality, or other factors influence your results.

Hope these considerations are helpful!  More email tips can be found in our recent ebook 10 Tips for Successful Email Marketing Campaigns.