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  • Writer's pictureMark Robinson

Email Campaigns Part 1: Testing your Message

Many companies take valuable time to create new products without considering how they are going to actually market to their consumers. All too often an entrepreneur will think that his product is so unique that consumers will be enamored with it, which will drive sales.

However the truth is often quite different. In order for consumers to make a purchasing decision about a product they must first find that product and have an understanding of its benefits to them.

As entrepreneurs come to grips with this reality they start to ask, how do I promote my product and drive sales.?

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions about how to promote a product using email. I thought that it would be a good idea to cover some of the basics.  This is the first of a multi-part series on this topic.

The first thing you want to consider is that no one gets marketing right the first time. Every new product takes some trial and error to reach its audience. This is because there are a lot of nuances to help convey value to an audience. What appeals to one person might not appeal to another. To market your product for success, you have to consider what message is going to reach the most consumers.

To find that message you should set up a series A/B tests. An A/B test is when you send out a small number of emails in two discrete tests in order to gauge the effectiveness of your potential marketing messages. This approach helps you avoid sending out ineffective messages to your audience and burning up your opportunities to make sales.

You should focus on finding the message that the majority of your audience will respond to, and use that message to motivate them to a particular action (usually a click). To avoid burning up your email list on messages that are ineffective, you should test a message on a small number of people and determine if that message is being successful. You would do this by creating two potential marketing messages and send them out to a small number of people.

Let’s say for example that you have an email list of 17,000 names. Rather than send the same email to 17,000 names, set up two separate limited tests.  Each test should have a different marketing message, and should involve 100 to 150 recipients. Afterwards you should gauge the effectiveness of each message. If neither of these messages is effective and you didn’t get the response rate that you were hoping, you should rerun the tests with different messages.

The most common question that I get at this point is: what is a good response rate? The answer is that it varies by industry, but if you have an open rate of 20% and a click-through rate of 3%, you are in the ballpark.  According to the Mail-Chimp, this is the approximate national average for email campaigns.

The term open rate refers to the number of recipients that have opened and viewed email. The click through rate refers to the number of people who have clicked on a link in the email.

The overall email statistics from a 2014 survey performed by Mail-Chimp are as follows:

As you can see from the survey results, email response varies greatly by industry, and you should set your expectations accordingly.

It’s vital that you run an email marketing campaign using an email engine capable of tracking the results applicant. Without it you will never understand the effectiveness of the campaign, nor will you understand how you should course correct the campaign if it is not effective.

Let me know if you need a recommendation for a good email campaign service.

My next article will cover how you should compose marketing emails, and some helpful tips be a more effective campaigner.

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