email testing

Why you should test the layout of your emails

Think about the last time you visited the supermarket. Did you just pop-in to grab something? Or go in with a long shopping list?

Either way, there’s a good chance you came out with something you didn’t intend to buy. That beer you like that was on special offer. A chocolate bar from near the till.

Of course, supermarkets are deliberately designed to entice you into making impulse purchases. From the floor layout, right down to the placement of items on the shelves.

Supermarket planning is handled by experts with a solid understanding of psychology and consumer behaviour. Different layouts have been tried over time to find out what works best.

But it isn’t just in the physical world that you can experiment with layouts to improve success rates. If you regularly send email newsletters to your contacts there are some great opportunities to test the layout of your content.

Email frequency: how much is too much?

How much email is too much email? That is the question.

Marketers need to strike a fine balance between staying top of mind and relevant to their customers without overwhelming them or coming across as spammy.

The frequency in which companies send email messages varies depending on the industry, business model and time of year, and should also be influenced by targeting and segmentation.

Ultimately each company will have their own formula for email marketing, but there are still some useful case studies available that can act as a starting point for testing new campaigns.

One that recently arrived in my inbox came courtesy of insurance company Aviva, which achieved a 48% increase in the number of car and home insurance quotes requested by prospective customers after adopting a ‘send more email’ approach.

Six case studies and infographics on the optimal time to send emails

Email has the potential to deliver a strong ROI for marketers, though the precise response rates depend on a number of factors including the subject line, type of offers and the time of day the email is sent.

Obviously the only way of accurately finding the optimal time of day to send your emails is to run tests, and you also need to take into account fluctuations around pay day and annual events such as Christmas and bank holidays.

There is even a way of running tests using Google Analytics, which we blogged a few years ago.

According to the Econsultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census 2013 only half of businesses (49%) are currently testing the time and day of their email messages, so either the other 51% already know the optimum time or they’re working off a hunch.