Creating a seed or test list correctly can either speed up your approvals process or slow it down. That’s why we’re discussing the dos and don’ts of test lists in this issue of Top 5 Tips for Campaign Success. Enjoy!
We invite you to follow along and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments section.
What is a seed (or test) list and why do you need to create one? A seed list is simply a list of people who will receive your email during the testing phase, and it is an integral part of the testing process. Anyone who needs to approve of your company’s email before it is sent out to a 3rd party audience needs to be included on the seed list.
When it comes to including the right team members, you need to channel your inner Santa Claus – make a list and check it twice. You definitely don’t want an important stakeholder to be left off the list! In addition to providing a comprehensive list of emails for the seed list, it’s also important to include versioning information such as ZIP, phone number, offers, etc. Make sure your file includes all the dynamic information that is populated in the HTML file. Be sure you build your list so that every variation can go to the people that need to approve each of the different versions.
Timing matters when it comes to sending test emails to your list. You’ll want to make sure that all preliminary testing has been done prior to sending to the seed list so that you’re sending your approvers a clean version. The cleaner your test email, the more likely that it will be approved. If you send emails to your seed list too early, you may get stuck with numerous revisions that slow down the process.
Give the recipients on your list a heads up! Make sure to notify your approvers when the tests are delivered and provide a timeframe for feedback. If your approvers don’t know they’ve received the test or don’t know when their feedback is due, it can hold up the process. If an email campaign has many approvers, overlooked emails or late feedback could delay the project a significant amount of time (and money).
In addition to getting the approvals you need in a timely way, emailing to individuals on a seed list also tests the email’s performance on a variety of email clients, browsers, and internet service providers. You want to make sure that your email doesn’t get flagged by spam filters and that no one receives an email with broken images or links. Think of your seed list as a safety net. If the net is well constructed, then you can be sure that your emails will arrive in your customers’ inboxes safe and sound
Join us next time for our final installment of our 5 Tips for Campaign success for a closing discussion on CAN SPAM. We’ll see you then!