Email marketing split testing is a great way to increase your results. Send out different versions of an email and continue use the version that shows the most marketing muscle. Marketers know they should be testing and optimizing their email newsletters, but often they aren’t.

MarketingSherpa reported that 58% of email marketers don’t do any regular testing at all.

More work equals less work

If you are not testing, you will need to work harder in other areas to get the same effect. But try convincing the rest of the organization of that. One of the first barriers to overcome is to get the organization and higher management enthusiastic about testing. Explaining to your colleagues that more work (in testing) equals less work (overall).

So people often come up with all kinds of reasons why they shouldn’t test. These reasons seem logical on the surface, but actually aren’t. You can read more about that here: 99 reasons for not testing your email marketing. (and get some tips how to handle it).

To make the case for email testing, let me give you a way to explain how testing works. And how a professional marketer can promote testing without getting its head cut off in the process. I have companies stop testing, because the first test didn’t give astounding results. That is just too bad, those results could have been just around the corner.

Three levels of email marketing expertise

So it is key to explain the importance of testing, while keeping your stature as a true professional. We want to get all the email marketing testing essentials in place. No need to state you don’t know how well a variant will work. That is a given. Nobody knows for sure, but you do have the knowledge needed to move towards the best newsletter there is. This asks for some further explanation:

Level one: Email marketing basics, written in stone

A part of email marketing is actually written in stone. Don’t spam, always be recognizable as the sender and provide a reason for people to open the email. Sounds familiar, right? These basics will provide a good foundation for your email program. In other words, if you choose to ignore the email marketing no-no’s, you better well have a good reason. Because a lot of these can actually damage your email program and brand.

Level 2: Best-practices in email marketing

On top of the basics are best-practices. Tactics that have been known to – generally speaking – provide good results. But best practices often don’t work for you. Plus best practices from long ago (that don’t work anymore) can still be found on the internet. They get recycled blogpost after blogpost, handing out advice that won’t help you a bit. But the good news is, you can use these best practices as a starting point for further development. A starting point for testing. Here are a lot of Examples of email testing ideas.

Level 3: Expert level email marketing

The real opportunities of the email marketing lay in the levels beyond best practice, this is where the real experts feel comfortable going and make an email program rise above itself. Thinking up ways the emails can outperform the last version, and making it so. Of course a better email marketing split testing plan is all part of this level, as is cranking up the event driven email marketing machine.

Level up your email marketing

So the email marketing levels: basics, best-practice and expertise can indicate where you are. With incremental chances for better results each time the organization goes to the next level. You can also call them. Knowledge, Experience and Science levels or Bronze, Silver and Gold. Whatever suits the occasion. Together with some examples of changes and split testing experiments done by others, this can get your colleagues looking to “level up” as well.