Having worked in both marketing and user experience functions, I can attest to the fact that marketing professionals and user experience designers have much in common. You can find examples in the types of questions they ask. User experience professionals want to know which designs are most effective and email marketers want to know which alternatives of copy and content are most effective.
Just as designers often need to conduct quantitative user tests on variations of their workflows or visuals, email marketers should take the same approach for their content. What may be perceived as a slight modification – personalizing an email’s subject line in different ways, choosing the right email message, sending in the morning or in the evening – could have significant impacts a campaign’s response rate. The best way to squeeze a better response rate out of your campaign (i.e. make more money) is to test out the alternatives on a sample of the larger segment population before you send the best performing email content to the remaining population. (Note: In some cases, you may learn that these modifications may not have any significant impact. But those insights are best made through testing and careful interpretation of the results.)
While this might be obvious to those email marketers who already use A/B testing, Emailvision research indicates only a small percentage of email marketers actually use quantitative tests to determine the content that will elicit the best response rates to an email campaign. This is unfortunate -- gut feel is no way to manage a successful email marketing campaign.
For the last month since the Shanghai release, the new Multivariate Testing (MVT) workflow – redesigned and renamed from the “split testing” functionality available in previous Campaign Commander Email and Mobile versions – has been available in Campaign Commander. We’re starting to see an uptake already in the use of this feature.
For whatever reasons email marketers were not using MVT before, it’s no longer because of usability. Campaign Commander’s MVT is now incredibly easy to use: Define your tests including the content to test in a matter of minutes and even automate the sending the winning design to the remainder of the population.
Since Shanghai, there is absolutely no excuse for making assumptions about which aspect of a message may work best for reaching the desired behavior in your targeted user segment.
21 May 2012