Test your email marketing strategy

1. Use a platform like Campaign Monitor to find out what your email marketing KPI benchmarks are.

The benchmarks you should look at and record are industry open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate and conversion rate. These will tell you how your email marketing is performing compared to competitors.    Take note of metrics where you fall short of the industry average. For example, if the industry average open rate is 20% and your average open rate is 9%, you need to investigate why your results are falling short. Is it your subject lines, your sender reputation, send time?

2. Create a testing calendar and outline which aspects of your email marketing you'll test on which campaigns.

This can be based on deficits in your metrics compared to your industry’s benchmarks.  Start with the biggest problem areas and test each aspect across several campaigns. Most common areas to A/B test for open rates are subject line, sending time and from name. For click-through rate, consider testing different creatives, calls to action, email layouts, and products included. When testing, ensure every other aspect of your email remains constant, so you are only testing one variable at a time.

3. Using the benchmarking metrics, pick one aspect of your email marketing to test according to where your metrics fall short.

For example, if your open rates are below the industry average, split test subject lines over the course of at least 5 campaigns. Implement the results of these tests for future campaigns. It’s not only the subject line that affects open rates; sending time can have a huge effect on open rate. Test different sending times to determine the optimum time for your customer base.

4. Change your marketing strategy using practices that delivered the best results.

For example, if you tested different product types in your email and one type out performed the rest, ensure future emails include more of the popular product type.

5. Test and experiment with your sending frequency - increasing or decreasing campaigns - to get more revenue out of your email channel.

For example, if your open rate and click rate are at or above the industry average, you may want to increase the number of campaigns you send. It’s essential your metrics are at least as good as the industry benchmark before you start to change your sending frequency. If your metrics start to drop after you’ve increased frequency, adjust and reduce once again, or you risk database fatigue.