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London calling... RAAK at the Email Design Conference | Pt. 2

Last week we brought you the first part of the Email Design Conference adventure of our colleague Sybren. If you missed it, you can read his findings here. Done with part one? Then sit back for the second part and find out what he picked up about data...

Data… and stuff

To measure is to know, and that's not a lie. By measuring how your audience is responding to your emails, you might find just the right arguments to convince your boss to adapt (or rather improve) your current email strategy. My tip: try to look beyond the device your readers are using.

Testing what may result in increasing opens and clicks is a must. But if you start testing, be sure to define your objectives and set some goals for yourself. If not it will be very difficult to convert your findings into usable information. Like Tim Watson said: “email marketing is not painting by numbers.” Nothing is set, nothing is predefined. There are indeed best practices that you can draw inspiration from, but in the end, you will need to find out what is most suitable for your own clients. And that might take some time.

Source Litmus
Source: Litmus

If your brand is new to email marketing, take your time to test what works and what doesn't. Your biggest advantage is that they have no comparison to previous newsletters. You can basically start off with a blank sheet.

When you're testing, be sure that your ‘test cell' is big enough. Testing your email to a group of 100 people might not give you the results you're looking for. If you want significant results, be sure to address enough people. But if you are to test with a small list anyway, at least make sure the variations in your emails are substantial.

Yeah… but what about data?

Well data is still a vital part to an approach in email marketing. We often see these examples popping up:

Examples Popping

Data still is your primary source of information when segmenting your target audiences. Embrace that information, it might bring you some new opportunities. And certainly don't be afraid to ask your recipients for more. If giving more information about themselves results in a better return for both parties, why not ask them? Creating interaction is what it's all about. If the message appeals to them, they may even share it with their peers. It might even stir up a reaction and result in an additional sale… Imagine the possibilities!

Source Kristina

Source: Kristina Huffman & Schuyler Wareham (ExactTarget)

When you're testing, be sure to keep external factors in mind and take your time to interpret your results attentively. For instance, people also read or click on ‘unopened' mails. Those mails are not registered in your opened rate. But most importantly, don't forget that email is part of your overall communication strategy. And just like all other channels it needs to keep track of what's happening on other channels.

And by all means, always keep your eyes peeled to what your competitors are doing. It might spark some fresh ideas!


Email is still one of the most powerful channels in marketing today. It still is the number 1 generator of traffic towards websites today, but that comes with a price tag. As I mentioned before, the rules have been altered. The ‘what', the ‘where', the ‘why' and even the ‘who' have changed drastically. Knowing that now 51% of worldwide recipients open their email on a mobile device, implies that we need to adapt our strategies too. You can't keep ignoring the change, you need to act before it's too late. Learn to see mobile as an opportunity for your brand to offer a richer experience, rather than an obstacle.

Posted on
Dec 5, 2013