Is email marketing dead? With the number of channels to reach consumers, it seems that email marketing has become irrelevant for businesses. However, statistics have shown otherwise; emails are still an important tool to reach your customers. So how can you make it work for your business? At Villa-Bali.com, we have been through probably all challenges that you are facing – lukewarm responses, declining open rate, low click-through rate and whatnot. However, after plenty of tests, we have managed to make it work for us. Here are our key takeaways.

  1. Clean up your list

Before sending tests, clean up your database. Remove inactive members and segment them into relevant categories. If you conduct the tests before cleaning up the list, the result may not be precise as elements such as genders, locations affect consumers’ habits and hence alter your test result. Therefore, to avoid wasting time and effort, clean up the list before you start testing.

  1. Know why you are testing

More often than not, you find yourselves doing meaningless tests. Email marketing tools nowadays give you the ability to test anything and everything you can possibly think of. While it’s tempting to go into the tiniest details, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself, “What does this test mean?” For example, if you decide to test two sending time slots, one at 2pm and one at 3pm, what is the purpose of the test? What is the assumption that makes you decide on these slots? What can you conclude from the result? Indeed, you can test as much as you want, but that may risk declining your open rate even further before you find that sweet spot. Therefore, make sure that you each test is meaningful.

  1. Choose the winning determinant well

Open rate may not always be the best way to determine the result. In general, the winning variation is chosen based on either open rate or click-through rate. It’s important that you choose the determinant carefully, especially when you plan to test on only a part of the entire list and automatically send the winning version to the rest afterwards.

  1. Test methodologically

Organise and keep a record of all your tests. If you don’t, you will find yourself losing track of past tests pretty soon. Create a simple find where you note down your assumptions, variations and results. This is extremelyuseful when you want to compare different tests to draw actionable insights.

  1. Fine-tune smallest details

In general, you can test these areas:

  • Subject line
  • From name
  • Time
  • Content

However, for each one of them, there is plenty to test on. For example, should you mention customers’ first names in the subject line and the content of the email? What is best to be put in the “From name” field? As long as you have a reason for the test, do it to refine future campaigns.

There are still plenty of opportunities for marketers to make use of email marketing. Through A/B testing, you will find out what works best for your business and your customers. All the best!