Chapter 14:

Phased sending

So, you just bought that marketing list of 10,000 e-mail addresses and you're totally set to send your newsletter selling snow ploughs to South America. You also might have a nice customer list and you want to approach them to vote for your new logo designs, but should you send out all messages at once and see the results later?

Why would you send all messages out at once without testing?
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The benefit with digital communications is that we can get a reaction much faster and since we have a clear call to action in our messages (right?), we can see the functionality of our sent message from a smaller sample. We don't have to worry about print fees or postage problems. If we do not see the benefit from those newsletters, our CPA is exceeded, we're not converting enough or any other reason, we should stop sending and make changes. We can even send three variations to see which works best, then just send the rest of the batch once we're sure our message delivers.

Imagine you would have to bake 500 biscuits. Would you try out with a single pan first or just start baking all of them immediately by making a huge batch of cookie dough?

What we use is our soon-to-be-famous 5% phasing rule. Take a five percent random sample of your list and do a trial. With a list of ten thousand messages, send out tests to 500 people first. You can even divide that into two sets, fixing after each round. This will not only increase the benefit for that particular batch, but it will give you great insight on what works for the next times as well. Manufacturing companies have been doing this for decades. First they have a batch of engineers and designers build out a prototype that they try to refine as far as possible. Then they take it out for some user testing, fix the errors, test, fix and then have a quality assurance team go through it once more before putting it into production.

You can imagine how much money the manufacturers put into this process. That's because it's the most important part of the process. Otherwise they would have warehouses full of returned goods and a poor reputation.

Manufacturers have to test a lot, otherwise they would be full of returns.
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We've seen people do the batches without reacting to anything. So please, don't just do batches in order to see what the result is. Save some budget to improve on the data you get and do not be afraid to cancel the whole thing if the results don't match up. No one we know has ever been fired for saving their company some money.

If you are working in an environment where you send out massive amounts of marketing campaigns, especially in several languages, you might want to have these reports checked on a weekly basis and set up some kind of threshold of acceptance. Unfortunately we have seen way too many busy middle management types who let things go out to the world when they should go back to the drawing board. These people cost companies millions and millions every month.

If you liked this chapter, please recommend it to others.

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"Data, data everywhere and yet all decisions from the gut!" That just about encapsulates why our marketing strategies are faith based, why our websites are barely functional ("the CEO loves purple!"), and why we are not making the types of profits we deserve. I love this book because Steve and Markus provide specific advice on how to unsuck our lives! Buy. Don't suck. Win.
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About the authors

We have a single goal together, to make our customers a billion euros in profit. This won't happen in one year, it might take five years, but we will not stop until we have generated a billion of provable profit for our customers.

We love meeting and talking to new people! Get in touch with us. Come have a pint with us! We are available for projects, especially in warm places with great fishing opportunities and/or great beer.

Steve Jackson

+358 50 34 35 159
Markus Sandelin

+358 44 36 99 887