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The Importance of Low Hanging Fruit

Email marketers, from the novice to the expert, should always be looking for ways to touch their subscribers in a positive and effective way. There are a plethora of complicated and expensive ways to do this, including purchasing expensive lists and list building services, creating fancy and complex mailing campaigns, and generating robust and often overbearing reporting.

But as helpful as these higher-level endeavors might be, one should never neglect the low hanging email marketing fruit. This fruit will not only provide no-to-low cost wins, but also offer insight that neither breaks the budget nor strains the eyes.

Several simple email strategies include the following:
  • If in doubt, test it out. There are a wide variety of simple, cheap and effective tests that can and should be run on a regular basis. These include, but are not limited to subject line testing, time of day testing, day of the week testing, geo-targeting, age testing, and gender testing. These simple tests validate whether your larger, more expensive marketing plan is on the correct track or if your plan needs a tune-up.

  • Change up the format of your mailings through a creative test. If your mailings tend to be image heavy, try a text heavy mailing. If your images tend to be static, test an animated GIF. Since ISPs are more apt to block image heavy mailings, adding more text might provide your campaigns an easy and profitable lift.

  • Create a simple survey. Asking subscribers what they like and dislike about your mailings is a simple and sometimes illuminating way to obtain better insight into your customers and their needs, wants, likes and dislikes. You will never know if you do not ask. Adding an incentive (free shipping or a coupon, anyone?) is a great way to encourage subscribers to complete a survey.

  • Try a personalization test. Do your subscribers like to see their names or other personal information in your mailings? You will never know unless you run a test. Also, adding a forward-a-friend link with the option to subscribe is a great way to build your subscriber list for free.
Once you've run your tests, be sure to create a consistent and relevant plan to determine a winner. For example, you should ask yourself whether you are most interested in clicks, opens, or conversions, and then choose accordingly. The key is to be consistent when determining which tests are successful and which should be shelved for another day.

Happy testing and enjoy that low hanging fruit!

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