Mar 30, 2010

Inbox Roundup: To test or not to test?

Clearly, as an email marketer for 7 years, I firmly believe in the medium.  Email is the epitome of direct marketing - incredibly customisable, timely and measurable.  And it's also incredibly simple to execute.

This power and simplicity is obviously a recipe for disaster.  In a matter of seconds, you can not only make your brand look silly, but also cause PR nightmares (or dreams, depending on how you spin it).

I think there's really no reason to send your email campaign without testing it - aside from laziness.  Maybe when people think email testing, they think about the more complicated optimisation excercises such as A/B split and multivariate testing etc and their eyes glaze over.

But here all I'm going to focus on is something far more fundamental and simpler to understand.  The layout and design.

With the plethora of tools available online such as, Litmus and Return Path, to name a few, it's a wonder that things like this from Wotif can still make it through to my Inbox.

Clearly someone hasn't bothered to take a look at this in Gmail and see that it's all over the place.  A quick look points to the fact that someone wacked in a extra vertical blue border to the right of the banner which has blown everything else out.

Using one of the tools above would have identified this very quickly and not made the Wotif people look silly.

To test or not to test?  Is that really a question?