Test Your Email Marketing and Track Your Results

In marketing your art, there are no absolutes. Everything is a test.

Is it better to send your newsletter on a Tuesday or on a Friday?
Will you get better engagement from posting to Facebook at 7:00 a.m. or noon?
Are your Instagram followers more likely to engage with you once or twice a day?

Kandy Cross, Southernmost Happy Hour
©Kandy Cross, Southernmost Happy Hour. Watercolor on paper, 32 x 25.5 inches. Used with permission.

In this article I’m going to focus on email testing. Next week we’ll look at social media testing.

You’ll get a host of different answers if you Google “best time to send an email.” Test them! Track them!

In order for you to understand what works best for you, you have to track your results.

I’ve been testing foods lately to see what is right (and wrong) for my body. I track my weight, basal body temperature, sleep, water intake, and more to see what causes inflammation for me.

Yep, it’s a lot of work to track all of this, but the payoff of optimal physical and mental health will be worth it.

Likewise, your email marketing goal is optimal results for your efforts. You’re looking for more sales, sign-ups, registrations, click-throughs, or engagement. You might also be seeking a higher open rate.

If you want the most accurate read on your marketing results, change only one thing in each email test. Only then can you point to a clear winner and be certain. In my food testing, I only introduce one new food with each test.

It’s difficult for most people to “split test” their email marketing because they lack the fancy, expensive tracking systems. Split testing involves sending out the same email to two or three segments of your list simultaneously – with only a single difference between each one.

Don’t spend too long worrying about not having this capability. Roll up your sleeves and get to work because there’s plenty to learn by making a simple change with each email sent.

Lynn Payne's Beach Talk
©Lynn Payne, Beach Talk. Oil on canvas, 37 x 31.5 inches. Used with permission.

Here is a list of elements you can alter in each email (and then test!) to optimize your results.


  • Change the background color.
  • Use a banner at the top.
  • Remove the banner from the top.
  • Rotate the image at the top of each email.


  • Link text either within the text body or only below paragraphs.
  • Type out full URLs instead of linked text.
  • Change the color of your links.
  • Use buttons instead of linked text or URLs.


  • Add a different photo of you each time.
  • Remove the photo of you.
  • Feature a single image of your art.
  • Show two or three images of your art.


  • Write longer, juicier articles.
  • Tease with only an excerpt of the article with a link to the full article on your blog.
  • Include only a few short sentences along with your images.


Megan Carty, Cundy's Harbor
©Megan Carty, Cundy’s Harbor. Acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas, 12 x 20 inches. Used with permission.


  • Use your name in the subject line.
  • Repeat the same subject line each time.
  • Make the subject line unique with each email.
  • Vary the day of the week you send.
  • Experiment with the time of day you send.

Remember: Don’t change too many things at a time. Try to limit your testing to one or two changes per email.

Create some form of tracking system that will give you proof of what works best for you.

Your Turn

How do you get the best results for your email marketing efforts?

Are you testing and tracking? What do you use to record your results?

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6 thoughts on “Test Your Email Marketing and Track Your Results”

  1. Thank you, Alyson and Mesa for including my ‘Southernmost Happy Hour’ in today’s
    Art Biz Blog. It was Alyson who started me on my journey eleven years ago at a time when there wasn’t much of a connection between business and art. Now we as artists are fortunate to have tips such as these provided for us in our careers. I look forward to implementing the strategies discussed herald in upcoming articles.

  2. You are so good at getting me to switch things up and think different…so I really appreciate this week’s ideas list … plus it’s fun to continue to experiment and change…

    thanks Alyson!

  3. Thank you once again for all the great information. So glad to hear you are visiting the west coast. Healdsburg is a great town especially for shopping. I will be involved in a residency so I will not make it to your event but would love to connect with you some day. You have definitely changed my world!
    Melinda WS Plank

  4. Great list Alyson! I’m going to experiment! I get ‘above average’ open rates and reasonable click through rates but not enough action! Let’s see if something off your list can spark a change 🙂 Mailchimp gave me free split testing but I’ve never tried it. Might be the time 🙂

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