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Email marketing. It’s the most important channel for businesses and brands to continually get their names in front of past and present clients. It’s consistent, targeted, effective, and inexpensive. More than half of the world’s population depends on email marketing as a main source of revenue.

Just how big is email marketing today? Huge. In fact, the popular marketing technique yields an average of 4,300% return on investment for U.S. businesses. Email marketing generates 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost – resulting in a 20% increase in sales opportunities.

Email should be a primary marketing technique to use now and moving forward. Want to unlock the full potential of your next email marketing campaign? The key resides somewhere between A/B testing and the principles of human psychology.

A/B Testing

Think of A/B testing as digital trial and error. It’s a powerful way to gauge what’s working – and what needs to change.

A solid A/B test helps marketers gather data on visitor behavior and gain insight based on solid evidence. It’s one of the best ways for businesses and brands to convert visitors into customers.

Even a few, subtle adjustments can dramatically improve an email marketing campaign. It’s no surprise A/B testing is the cornerstone of most conversion rate optimization strategies.

The leading Internet retailers know increased performance is a by-product of strategic A/B testing. The top marketers link button placement, copy length, and font size to engagement and purchasing behavior.

In fact, 75% of the top five Internet retailers use an A/B testing platform – and 61% of organizations plan to start A/B testing by the end of 2015.

Leading an industry is not a matter of chance – but rather an emphasis on testing results.

Human Psychology

If A/B testing is the science of email marketing, then human psychology is the art.

Marketers bombard consumers with hundreds of decisions on a regular basis – including by email. It’s nearly impossible for most consumers to read every email in their inbox. As an alternative, consumers skim and delete – focusing only on the messages that stand out.

The open, click, or conversion often depends more on emotion and gut instinct than logic. Human psychology thus plays a major role in optimizing an email campaign.

Ready to optimize your next email campaign for conversions? Here’s five ways to a/b test your email campaigns like a boss.

1. The Subject Line

A great subject line could be the only thing standing between an email open and delete. The problem? Different subject lines resonate with different people.

Knowing what someone wants or needs at an exact moment in time is tough to predict. But then again, you don’t have to – because you can A/B test.

Use one subject line and it’s possible to stumble upon good fortune. But cycle through multiple subject lines and you take dumb luck out of the equation.

2. Delivery Time

Gone are the days when consumers opened emails strictly from home or work. Mobile technology made it possible to reach consumers on the train, at the beach, or lying in bed. It also means we are opening emails throughout the day – not just before and after work.

  • Are your biggest leads sifting through email messages on the train ride home?
  • Do your email marketing campaigns reach more people on weekdays or the weekend?
  • Is your most engaged user on a smartphone while watching Shark Tank on TV?

These questions are critical – and the only way to know is to test. Optimizing your email marketing campaign is often a matter of experimenting with delivery times around the clock.

3. Email Message Length

Not everyone shares the same perspective on marketing. Half your team might insist people have the attention span of a goldfish – and recommend short and sweet emails. The other half might believe modern consumers want valuable informative in length and detail – and suggest miniature essays.

Nothing settles a marketing team argument like good old fashioned A/B testing.

How can you find the optimal number of sentences, paragraph densities, and call-to-action placements? You could research email message length methodologies, choose one and hope for the best. Or you could A/B test short and long messages to optimize click-through-rates.

4. Urgency

FoMO – or fear of missing out – is human psychology marketing at its finest. Nothing encourages subscribers to take action like missing out on a valuable opportunity.

Deadlines and “last chance” messages force consumers to make immediate judgment calls. Messages without urgency instead cause consumers to procrastinate and potentially forget about your email.

“Yes” or “no” messages are ideal for communicating urgency. Let the consumer think too long or hard and you risk losing their attention. Keep it simple – and A/B test different deadline lengths to optimize email marketing transactions.

5. Format and Design

Obviously, your target audience prefers a full-length, company-branded newsletter over a short, plain-text message. Right? Not exactly. Actually, potential customers could prefer either one.

A simple A/B test for different formats and designs eliminates the guessing game. Testing engagement helps you discover exactly the type of email your target audience wants. Track down the best format and design – and your marketing team can build around it.

Looking for more ways to optimize your next email marketing campaign for conversions? Bowen Media is an award-winning email marketing consultant and design team. We’ll analyze your target audience and build the perfect custom email template design. We can even create monthly email blasts to boost your campaigns. Contact us today to make email marketing work for you.


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