I came across this great article while I was researching email testing techniques. It’s from Clickz and it’s called 6 email tests to try. They suggest that you test the From line, the Subject line, Mobile versions, Data Security, Opt In processes, and SMS functionality.
Here at Jericho we have the responsibility to oversee some of the most beautiful and effective email campaigns in our ‘hood. To ensure consistent quality, we have built in our own comprehensive testing procedures and have created check-lists such as this Jericho_Email_Campaign_Checklist which we run through for each and every single campaign we do, which includes the following checks:
- Subject Line
- From Name
- From Email
- Reply Email
- Pre-header copy and links
- URL Links
- Mailto Links
- Text Only Version
- Unsubscribe Link
- Preference Centre
- Links to Forms/Surveys
- Social Sharing Links
- Refer a Friend
- Forward to a Friend
- Data /Segmentation/Audience
- Google Analytics Tracking Codes
- Links to Landing Pages
- Footer information and links
There are some fundamental basics in here and there are some features that only some campaigns will include but all these things need to be checked to ensure they are working before you deploy. There are also a host of other things to check beyond the parts of the email itself, such as:
Internal Testing – Have you tested to yourself? Your colleagues? Have you done a test of the emails with your subscribers data to ensure it all looks right and all the data is pulling through correctly? When you have looked at something 100 times, the best thing you can do is have another set of eyes review it before you push send.
Litmus Testing – Have you tested the email across all devices and email clients? Does it pass all spam filter tests? How does the subject line and pre-header look in the preview pane of the inbox? Doing a litmus test allows you to see how your email displays across all email clients and devices and identify if there is any content likely to cause it to get caught up in spam filters.
Mobile Optimised Version – Do you have a mobile optimised version of your email? Have you tested the mobile optimised version on all different mobile devices? If you have a responsive design that is great. Hopefully you at least have a mobile optimised version of your email as about half of all email opens now happen on mobile, and if it doesn’t display correctly, and instantly, most people delete the email.
Subject Line – We find the best subject lines are between 5-12 words long, the best of all being under 35 characters long so it fits on the mobile preview pane. Make it catchy, attention getting, funny even, just make sure it says what the email is about. My favourite subject line? ‘Fresh Daily Visual from Visual News’. (5 words and 35 characters long exactly) Just be sure to check the subject line before you push send!
The key thing is to test what is important or prominent for your campaigns and your communication streams. Some people might be comparing send times, while others are testing subject lines, while another might just want to send out a link to a survey – so that link has to work! If your emphasis is on social sharing, make sure the social networking and sharing functionality is a shiny beacon of enticing fun and technical perfection. Just make sure you make time to test all the basics that we should be getting right by now, and then feel free to freestyle from there.
We are looking for the best and worst testing success or failure stories ever! Send them through!