A couple of years ago, one of my friends had just started an online store that sells baby clothes for new parents. She experimented with a number of different marketing strategies, including email marketing. After a couple of months, her email marketing campaigns didn’t generate a single sale.
She was convinced that email simply didn’t work, but I urged her to keep trying. I showed her data that proves that email offers a 3,800 percent ROI. The trick is to keep split testing until you discover what works for the folks on your list.
Today, she generates five figures a month from her online store. The majority of those sales come from email.
Email marketing is hands-down the best medium to promote your online business. However, successful email strategies aren’t born overnight. You have to keep testing until you find something that clicks.
Ways to Split Test Emails
Here are some ways to use split-testing to find what works for your small business.
Your subject line is the linchpin of any email marketing experiment. It is the first experience your subscriber will have with your funnel. If your subject line doesn’t do its job, your subscribers will never click to read the rest of your message. It also sets the tone for the rest of your campaign, so it has a very strong impact on your conversion rates.
You should try testing many different subject lines. However, you don’t want to randomly choose them. You want to start with a hypothesis. Marketing Sherpa cited a case study on the difference between straightforward and creative subject lines. They found that the straightforward ones had a 541 percent higher response rate. Of course, that doesn’t mean your own subscribers will prefer a clear-cut message. You have to test to see what works better.
Landing pages will play an incredibly important role in the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Testing different landing pages can help you significantly improve your conversion rates. It can also be overwhelming, since there are so many different types of landing pages that you can test. Here are some ideas worth split testing:
- Long-form versus short-form copy
- Level of visuals
- Use of videos
- Multistage funnels versus direct sales
While creating new landing pages, make sure that they align with the angle of your emails. If you are creating multiple sales funnels, you need to split test a couple different landing pages for each. There are a variety of landing page builders that you can use to create your own.
The most difficult part of marketing is trying to figure out all the different reasons somebody may be motivated to buy your product. You may identify an obvious angle that you think drives every purchase. However, there may be much more compelling angles to test.
Let’s say that you are selling a weight loss product. There may be a number of pain points that you can target, such as:
- Helping your customers feel more desirable to the opposite sex
- Reducing their likelihood of having a heart attack or diabetes
- Feeling more confident when they leave the house
Test everything that you think is relevant. You never know what is going to work better.
There are different ways that you can engage with your users. One way is to spell your message out for them in clear terms. Another is to elicit their attention with questions.
Either approach can work very well, but some demographics have a preference. You should try testing email funnels that depend on asking questions and others that focus on making clear statements. You may be surprised by the difference in the performance.
Photo via Shutterstock
Split testing is necessary if you want to know which part of your sales process is really working for you. Thanks for the tips.
Also remember that you need a certain amount of traffic/data to validate the tests. Do some reading on statistical significance and get a tool to help you calculate the significance of your tests.