March 31, 2008, 12:00 AM

Putting Pitches to the Test

(Page 2 of 2)

In late February the retailer created pitches for a week on individual products and product lines but reoriented in the body of the e-mails other links targeting other offerings and different areas of the e-commerce site.

“Usually our e-mail offers had an offer summary and then a list of wines in the offer, but in the test we included at the top and to the right of the summary Did You Know, which usually runs on the bottom, which highlights other wines,” Blatt says. The A/B test split the entire e-mail list. “That increased revenue by 20% overall during the test week.”

But in the end, there’s one factor in e-mail marketing that may override all the technology a retailer can muster: gut feelings. If plenty of time and thought have been put into a pitch but test results come back nominal, a marketer has a decision to make: to send or not to send.

“The people on our list are not there to be inundated with e-mails. Not everybody needs our products two or three times a week,” says Edelman of Wine Enthusiast. “Frankly, occasionally there may be a week where we feel we do not have something interesting enough, so we just won’t send an e-mail. We have put some e-mails all the way through the process and I ultimately just said this is boring and a waste of somebody’s time, so let’s not send it. I could be totally wrong, but I follow my instinct as to what’s interesting enough.”

Click Here for the Guide to E-Mail Marketing Products & Services

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