How I Test Emails

I am a geek. I love business and learning new things.

I have a tech startup that I’m in the middle of pivoting in the market so for me I have a fast working style and I love to be involved with many different projects at once.

Sometimes projects don’t get off the ground the way I like them to, that’s when you have to be able to make a quick decision and pull the plug.

I like to look at the data to help make these types of decisions because sometimes my heart is still in the project and I’m setting myself up for a failure down the line.

With email, it works the same way. Every aspect of our emails can be tested and improved upon once we have access to customer data.  
Iterating quickly is key to figuring out your formula, but it’s tough to isolate what variables to work on. The way I work around this is by having a highly segmented list.

This means I can craft specific messages for each segment and because I know each segment well, I know how to communicate with them.

When I’m testing out emails I don’t change everything, I just change the bits that matter.

I like email for the same reason I like podcasts because it allows you to create a personal connection with your audience on a massive scale.  
It shouldn’t feel like you’re broadcasting, it’s a two-way communication. A lot of people worry about mixing business and pleasure, and they have two twitter feeds.  
I don’t do it that way. I use the same account to talk about emails as I do to talk about DC comics. The reason for this is if we were in a room together we wouldn’t be talking all business.

We’d be talking about our lives, movies, sports teams, all the things that make up a real relationship.

If we only could talk business it’d be so dry and we’d get sick of each other after about 10 minutes.

In email marketing, everyone is always going on about USP when it comes to products. I do agree it’s important, that’s what makes you different right?

The same thing applies to our emails, we’re all different human beings after all. Why not talk about it?

Recently, I sent out a new survey and I was having a tough time getting customer data and I mentioned in my email that it was harder than catching a chicken while training for a boxing match.

Obviously a reference to the Rocky movies. I then told my readers if they could name the character who trained Rocky then beers were on me!

I got a tremendous amount of response! So many of my emails have been met with crickets, but this one got my audience going and in a totally fun and “un-business” related way.  
It was personality based and showed that I was just another person like they were.

Now when I have in-person meetups, people are coming up to me all the time and they’re talking to me like they know me! They’re asking me about my dog and their thoughts on Batman vs Superman and we’re off to the races as friends.

A lot of people are afraid to get this vulnerable with their audiences but it makes a world of difference to reveal that personality.

Today it’s becoming harder to be “better” but you can always distinguish yourself as “more unique” and forge a connection based on that.


Action Steps

  1. Be personal when you write emails, don’t hide your likes and interests.
  2. Give your audience something they can connect back to that can also provoke a conversation. Your family, pets, sports, or entertainment are good examples.
  3. Intertwine these topics into your USP for your business.
  4. Don’t just compete on value, but also personality.


Result You Will Achieve

Emails that have more personality and connect with your audience on a personal level.

Mentor: Mark Asquith

Director of HACKSAW. Mark is an entrepreneur ensuring clients marketing objectives and implementation, speaker & host of the UK’s #1 small business podcast, Excellence Expected. His highest grossing email was an email to 180 subscribers, with a 74% open rate that generated over £14,000.

This article is based on an EHQ interview with the mentor.