Recently, I was reading some articles about William Shakespeare (stay with me here, folks!), which led to some posts that discussed whether he revised his plays, how many revisions there were, and how they evolved from first draft to finished masterpiece. Since I’m such a geek about email, I started wondering:
If Shakespeare had a mailing list, would he have tested different versions of his plays to see which one got the best response?
It may seem like a stretch to compare Shakespeare’s work to an email marketing campaign or newsletter, but when you think about it, isn’t each one of your messages a little masterpiece in itself? After all, you work hard to ensure your message is received and understood by your audience, with clear prose and crisp images. And, just like a playwright, you do all this in order to get a specific reaction from your audience (opens, clickthroughs, sales, etc.).
So how can you be sure that your campaign will hit all those marks? Test your emails!
After you create your message, you should send a test to yourself, as well as a small group of coworkers with a variety of freemail accounts, in order to see what the campaign will look like in both internal and external email clients. And don’t forget to look at the message on mobile devices as well. Seeing how the campaign displays in a variety of email clients allows you to change various components like text style, size, color, images (resolution, size, and placement), etc.
A test mail may also indicate if there are filtering issues due to subject lines, or certain types of images, links or content.
If a test mailing is filtered to your spam or junk folder, you can make changes and test again until the message makes it to the inbox. You may have to do this a few times until you hit upon the cause of the filtering, but it’s worth it considering that people can’t respond to your message unless they receive it!
So, back to my original question: would Shakespeare have sent test emails before creating his final draft? According my research, the experts say that Shakespeare never revised any of his works, and that they exist now as he originally wrote them. If that’s true, he’s an even bigger genius than I thought.
I guess we’ll never know for sure, but either way, it’s fun to think about what The Bard could have done with email!
One final note: We’re working on making email testing quick, simple and easy… Stay tuned tuned for a BIG announcement, coming soon!