20 Apr Customer Communications: 5 prioritisations for effective QA and Testing
Have you ever hit the send button on a customer communications campaign and then spotted a very obvious mistake?
Yes, mistakes happen – but the majority of the time, they are totally preventable through effective QA and testing. So, what does your process look like?
The sinking feeling you get once it’s too late to recall a campaign or customer communication is absolutely awful! Your heart skips a beat and then races as the realisation of the mistake you’ve made overwhelms.
Today, approximately 333.2 billion emails are sent per day¹, which works out at well over 3.5 million emails per second. So of course, it would be impossible for each email to be perfect. Mistakes happen! Yet, they needn’t the majority of the time and the impact of a customer receiving a mistake could be monumental. The customer could lose trust in the brand and take their business elsewhere.
5 prioritisations for effective QA and Testing
1. Responsive emails
Although the email you designed in your email marketing platform looks fabulous to you – that doesn’t mean this is what the recipient will receive. No, people receive messages in all different types of ways; desktop, tablet, phone – through a multitude of email service providers. There’s certainly no ‘one size fits all’. It is imperative that you check the design, layout and display of your email across as many options available to you. Most platforms have the capability to help you do so. There’s nothing worse than looking at an email on your phone that you can hardly read, let alone engage with.
2. A/B testing
A/B testing (also known as split testing) is a user experience research methodology. A refers to ‘control’ or the original testing variable. B refers to ‘variation’ or a different version of the original testing variable.
Many brands conduct A/B testing to determine which variant achieves higher engagement and conversion rates. Variations could include the email subject line, the body of the email, the call to action, design, layout and navigation. If you’re sending a large volume of emails to your customers, then A/B testing is certainly worth investing in early on to optimise engagement.
3. Layer of QA approval process
This is extremely important and often where things go wrong. It’s imperative that when sending out customer communications (of any sort), that there is a multi-level checkpoint. The email owner can proofread themselves, check URL links, image quality and download speed – but they’re not superhuman – often mistakes can slip through the net. Having a fresh pair of eyes to check the communications can make all the difference. We recommend having at least three checkpoint layers before hitting the send button.
4. Benchmarking performances
You learn a lot from analysing the performance of your previous email campaigns. Although Apple has made it more difficult to accurately measure open rates, there are still strategies you can use to ensure your messages are landing in your customers’ inboxes, check out our recent article ‘the significance of your email sender reputation and its impact on engagement’.
By benchmarking metrics from previous campaigns, such as click through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and unsubscribes you will get a much clearer view of what works and what doesn’t. Always conduct a post campaign analysis and learn what you could do differently or better next time.
Last, but certainly not least – privacy. The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) is the principal piece of Australian legislation protecting the handling of personal information about individuals. You must comply with the Privacy Act – always.
Ensure the right message is being sent to the right customer. When you’re managing a number of email lists, it’s possible to get confused, or accidentally select the wrong list – meaning customers receive communications not meant for them. This can have a dramatic impact on the brand’s reputation and may lead to customer concerns about how their data is being used.
If a customer chooses to opt-out of future communications, you must honour their request.
Remember, your customers are constantly receiving marketing communications from brands, not just yours. Once an email has been sent, it’s very difficult to recall. Invest the time to get the message right and optimised as much as possible to ensure maximum engagement.
If you would like to learn more about effective customer communications and how to achieve higher engagement and conversion rates, we’d love to chat. Feel free to contact one of our Customologists on 1300 264 549.