Testing and Best Practice for Campaigns

Campaign Best Practice from the eCellar experts! We've helped clients send thousands of email campaigns for marketing, wine club, allocation, reservations and so much more.  Following these techniques will help you maintain high quality email campaigns and ensure metrics and results are consistent and valuable. Below are the four most important methods to help achieve the optimal campaign experience.

MOST IMPORTANT: Test! Test! Test!  We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to test your campaign before sending it to your customers.  After using the preview tools, every campaign should be launched first to an internal test group. The preview functionality is great for editing and tinkering with layouts; but if the campaign has merge fields, an allocation auto-login link or any other actionable hyperlinks or imbedded images, then a live test launch is required to fully test the campaign components.  Set up customer target groups that include only you or you plus your team.  Launch the campaign to these groups as if it were to be sent to your customers.  Hyperlinks and merge fields are only functional in a launched campaign.  When testing the content of a test launch, click every image and link so you can be confident that all links in the campaign are accurate.  And if you find issues, you'll be able to address them prior to launching to consumers.

How to Create a Test Group

-- A Test Group is a static group used for testing launched Campaigns.  For example, you may have a test group with everyone on your DTC team or Marketing team, or maybe the entire staff. It's a great way to expose your outbound marketing to other collaborators.  Another Test group would be to use several different email addresses, to test how a campaign displays in various email clients like gmail, outlook and apple mail. 

-- To create your test group, search for each (internal) customers eCellar ID number. Take note of it. Once you have the eCellar ID's for everyone you'd like in your test group then do a customer search separating each eCellar ID by comma only (no spaces) and select 'Show Customers' and select 'Save Search.'  

Proof your content. Asking a co-worker, friend or even by reading aloud can help eliminate those pesky spelling and grammar errors. It also helps to ensure the content is worded-well and makes sense for your readers. 

Test launch to various email hosts.  For the most accurate test of how your campaign will render within your customers' Inbox, test with various email hosts and devices.  Each email client renders HTML differently, and the appearance of your campaign may not always look the same in every email program.  Be sure you're confident with the appearance of each campaign in Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and other email services before you launch to a target recipient group.  No surprises!

Blocked by spam filters?  If your delivered emails from a campaign launch are going in to a spam folder, there are several factors to consider.  Most importantly, review the subject line and content of your campaign.  Spam filters look for long lists of criteria to decide whether an incoming email is junk/spam.  Things like bold, all caps, and special characters can be considered spam/junk.  If an email has too many points, then it becomes spam.  A passing spam score is determined by individual server administrators, so it’s impossible to determine why one inbox would accept, and another would move to spam/junk. And, it could be different for each email sent. 
The eCellar bulk mail server maintains a very high Safe Sender score to ensure the best delivery possible.  If campaigns are filtered into a spam, clutter or junk folder, this is outside the scope of our campaign services.  Each recipient's email service determines the spam rating of an incoming email, which can lead to a broad spectrum of results.  To keep the delivery of your campaigns in inboxes as much as possible, take a some time to review tons of handy information on the internet.  Our favorite resources can be found using a google search for: "getting past spam filters."

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