August 11, 2009, 12:00 AM

37% of e-mail marketers don’t test e-mail campaigns

An eROI survey determines that one-third of marketers who don’t test e-mail campaigns don’t know how.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

37% of e-mail marketers don’t test their e-mail campaigns, with a third of that number saying it’s because they don’t know how, according to a recent survey, “The use of testing in e-mail marketing,” by e-mail marketing services company eROI.

The survey of 623 e-mail marketers conducted during the second quarter of this year found that other major reasons marketers say they don’t test campaigns are that they don’t have time to design and execute tests, cited by 27% of those that don’t test; and the lack of access to software that offers any testing capability, cited by 13%. Other reasons given by those not testing included having testing software that doesn’t have the specific capabilities they want, and not seeing any value in testing campaigns in advance.

Those that do test campaigns test elements spanning design, frequency, call to action and timing. Among those testing campaign content, 85% test subject lines, 55% test calls to action, 51% test designs, 49% test copy, 48% test offers and 37% test the time or day.

“Since subject lines are generally the easiest element to test, it’s no surprise that 85% of marketers eROI surveyed are doing so. However, with only 42% testing offers and 51% testing design, huge opportunities are being missed to give campaigns higher return on investment,” according to the survey report.

While the report noted that the most successful time and day to send an e-mail is always changing, this second-quarter data showed that among those marketers testing this element of their campaigns, the largest share, 49%, found that mid-day, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., was the most effective time. The start of the business day, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., was found to be the second best time to send a campaign.

The survey also determined that among marketers that test campaigns, 44% prefer to test a single element per test, 13% test multiple elements simultaneously and 43% do both.

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