5 Rules for Conducting Email Marketing Experiments

5 Rules for Conducting Email Marketing Experiments

Any good marketer knows a little bit of trial and error is necessary to building a strong campaign, and there’s no place that’s more true than in email marketing. 

What do you mean by “experiments”?

There are plenty of studies that show different statistics “should” be true of most audiences. For example, one study might find that readers prefer the color green to the color yellow, but that doesn’t mean your audience will respond in the same fashion. You owe it to yourself to test those theories and see what’s true of your audience rather than just blindly accepting others’ statistics. 

What should I be testing?

There are four general things you should be watching in your email marketing campaigns, but Corey Eridon has a fantastic comprehensive list you should peruse. Use open rates, clicks, and bounces to determine what gets the best response.

  • Subjects: What subjects make your readers want to click? Questions or statements? Teasers or summaries? 
  • Send times: What days and times are your readers most likely to read your emails or click your links? Mornings or afternoons? What day of the week?
  • Design: Do your readers prefer emails that are more visual or more copy-focused?
  • Subject matter: What topics do your readers like to hear about and what makes them keep scrolling?

What email marketing experiment rules should I follow?

1.    Test regularly

As your audience size and demographics change, you should be conducting more experiments to make sure their preferences haven’t changed as well.

2.    Track everything

You don’t have to be actively testing something in order to read your data and make discoveries. Keep track of all your statistics and view every email as a test.

3.    Keep it simple

You want to make informed, actionable decisions that will constantly make your marketing campaigns smarter and more effective, but you’re not a research company, and that’s okay. You don’t have to churn out three-page reports in order to look at the data and be able to discover certain trends and preferences. 

4.    Separate your lists

Especially if you have a large database of emails, it’s worthwhile to segment your database and group your readers. And keep in mind that it’s possible for each group to respond differently. The more you understand about each of your email lists, the more likely you are to craft content that appeals to them.

5.    Take action

Don’t just collect data and never act on it. And don’t be afraid to change just because it goes against the grain of something you may have read. Be smart, and if something works for you, use it. 

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About the author

Autumn Nicholson.jpg

I'm Autumn Nicholson, Director of Internet Marketing. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in English and took the first editing job I could find, at a marketing company in South Carolina. I joined Farmore Marketing in 2014 to put my internet marketing experience to good use—and to spend more time on the beach. I invest much of my time volunteering for nonprofits, reading, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix. You can connect with me here:


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