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  Importance of Testing Email  
 
E-mail marketing is a highly effective way to increase sales and market to existing customers and other members of your e-mail database.  If you are going to take the time and utilize the resources to create an e-mail marketing campaign you want to make sure you do it well.

Testing e-mail messages before sending them out to your full distribution list is a great way to maximize the impact of your e-mail marketing efforts.

What to Test

You should start with the basic e-mail you want to distribute.  It should have your core message including promotions, etc.  Once you have this core e-mail together you want to make a few variations of it.  You can use different images, e-mail subjects, highlighted text, fonts, colors and text.

Try to place things in different places of the e-mail so you can see what placement is most effective when you run your e-mail tests.  

This is also a good time to test different promotions.  You will want to see what promotion speaks to your customer base the best. They can include things like a certain percentage off; free shipping; Buy 1 Get 1 Free; Free Gift with Purchase, etc.

After you run your e-mail marketing campaign over a period of time you will already know what promotions work the best and will not generally have to test this aspect much more.

You want to send the e-mail variations to at least 25to 100 people on your e-mail list.  This means you will be sending one of the versions to 25 to 100 people.  Do not send multiple versions to the same people.

You need to monitor the results of the e-mails and see which are the most and least successful.  Once you have identified the most successful e-mails you will want to see what is similar about them so you can pinpoint what is working best.

This information should help you make your final e-mail to be distributed to the remainder of your list.

How Often Do You Test?

You do not have to test every e-mail message you plan to send but you will want to test the most important ones or the e-mail messages that will be the basis your overall Internet marketing strategy.
Take the time to test different e-mail messages and you will benefit with a higher conversion rate which is the key to succeeding with an e-mail marketing campaign.