Marketing automation helps companies save time and increase leads and conversions through personalization and enhanced reporting. One feature of marketing automation that should never be overlooked is testing, especially when it comes to emails. Most companies agree email offers good to excellent return on investment, HubSpot reports, but even seemingly minor mistakes in emails can turn off your customers.
If you’re not testing your emails before scheduling them and sending, here are some important reasons why you should be.
A Single Error Can Impact Everything
An error as simple as adding an extra word or forgetting to add an essential word can alter the meaning of the entire email. You should definitely be checking for spelling and grammar errors (at AlphaMind, we recommend using Grammarly), but you should also be reading every single word.
You might want to read your email out loud, too, to make sure it all makes sense and you’re not missing any crucial info.
Your Email Client Design Support Could Change Without Warning
If your design team has painstakingly taken the time to create templates that you now rely on for every email, their work may actually not be working if your email client changes design elements it supports and doesn’t notify you.
This means emails can look strange or appear like you left users hanging when you designed the email. It doesn’t matter how big of a hit a template has been for however long. Each email deserves a test.
First Impressions Are Everything
The from field, reply-to field and subject line are the way you make a first impression with users. They could make or break a recipient’s decision to open your email. Your business may use multiple email addresses in your marketing automation and accidentally send an email from the wrong one.
This means, the recipient at your business may just delete replies or ignore them, leaving customers hanging. Errors in the subject line can turn users off or discredit your brand, too.
Links May Be Broken or Invisible
If you’re using hyperlinks in your email, you want them to show up so users will click on them. You must test your hyperlinks for several reasons:
- To make sure they’re visible in the email
- To make sure they open to the correct landing page
- To make sure they don’t open to a 404 error page
Maybe you included hyperlinks, but they’re on a blue background, so they’re unreadable. Or your customers might read your email and click to purchase, and you frustrate them with bad links or say to “click here” when there is nothing to click to.
Pages That Are Linked May Not Be the Right Ones
Speaking of bad links, part of email marketing success is to optimize the entire journey, including the pages users click over to. You must make sure that any page that is hyperlinked goes to the corresponding page you tell users they’ll be visiting.
If the call to action for the link is to purchase, and the page features products but no way to purchase, customers may bounce.
You May Be Missing Alt-Text
Not every email client supports images, GIFs and videos. Alt-text tells the person what the media depicts, so they understand the context even if they can’t see the asset on their email.
Without alt-text, an email may be full of blank boxes that decrease the appeal.
Templates Aren’t Foolproof
Templates are great to use with email marketing because they can be used over and over again for similar types of messages. They help to unify your branding, and they’re easy to populate.
With some email clients, though, a single change to the template will affect all emails that use that template. If multiple people at your business have access to your email marketing tool and have the power to affect a template, there may be changes, even accidental ones, that have been made that you won’t discover without testing.
Get Multiple Eyes on Every Email
A single email may look drastically different across various email clients on multiple devices. When you test an email, send out the test to as many people as possible. Ideally, you want to be able to view the email on as many email clients and devices as possible. Litmus names the top email clients as of July 2018:
- Apple iPhone
- Yahoo! Mail
- Apple iPad
- Apple Mail
- Samsung Mail
- Google Android
- Windows Live Mail
Make sure people on your team have a presence on all these sites, so you can make sure an email looks great on each one.
Create Better Emails
A study by McKinsey found email is nearly 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined in helping businesses acquire new customers. It should be part of your marketing strategy, but it needs to be done right. That includes testing.
If you’d like a free consultation on your email marketing strategy, contact us.