5 Critical Elements to Testing E-mail Frequency

June 6, 2010 by
Filed under: Email Lists 

A/B testing is a great way to test graphic placement or call to action.

But what if you want to test e-mail frequency and timing?

With segmented testing, you divide your list into separate segments. Everyone in a group will stay in that segment or treatment throughout the life of the test.

One of the best uses for segment testing is in the product or service renewal process. Will a customer renew if he or she is contacted two weeks before the service runs out? How about two weeks after? How many e-mails should you send before the actual expiration date?

Plan your test. Are you testing timing, frequency, or both? Decide if you’re testing the entire list or if it’s just going to be people who are expiring in the next 60 days.

Remove test subjects from your general list.

If you’re testing frequency, it’s very important that no one else in the company contacts anyone in a stream for the duration of your test cycle.

Reach out to salespeople, customer service teams and telemarketers to let them know they need to keep their hands off those in your test segments.

Make sure there’s enough differentiation in the segments. If you’re testing duration, it’s not enough of a statistical difference to send one stream e-mails that are two days apart and another segment e-mails that are three days apart.

You need to really vary the timing by at least every few days. Sometimes people don’t open e-mails right away, You need to account for that.

See the test through to the end

See the test through to the end. It might be tempting to stop a test after noticing that one segment is obviously doing better than the others, but don’t.

That’s not to say that on day 45 of a 60-day test you can’t scale the test to the rest of the list—the addresses that aren’t in any segments. They can start benefiting right away from what you’ve learned.

Examine your results.

Marketers looking for additional conversions will be checking sales metrics, of course, but it’s also worth looking at other e-mail criteria to see if your tests served other purposes as well.

Were people more likely to open messages that came more frequently? Did your spam complaints increase at any point?

When you’re testing e-mail frequency, you’re going to be carefully watching spam complaints and pulling the plug on any tests that are increasing both spam complains and opt-outs.

Until next time, here is to your continued success!


DYMO Label Writer Twin Turbo The perfect printer for any small business! See why people rave about this direct mail marketing printer and why you can’t survive without it!

About the Author:

Tim G. Little has a BS in Business Administration, and has worked in the magazine publication and circulation management for the past 20 years. As an Internet Publisher and Entrepreneur, he has developed a website to help small business entrepreneurs find the best mailing list and marketing programs ps: I would like to recommend a tool to you to help find Boost Sales… Gain Market Share.. . With Focused List Selection, Tips and Tools for Finding the Perfect List. Once you e-mail segments, track how they differently they react to messaging options.

Copy the code below to your web site.


Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!