It’s become a common practice for me to take on A/B testing of freemium (free trial before going premium) services that might benefit musicians and DIY promoters in the industry and today is no different as we go over the major perks and pitfalls of email marketing services.
Specifically I will be looking at InboxAlly in comparison to my existing experience with MailChimp. I have used and recommended Mailchimp for years as my go-to startup email service for setting up automated drip campaigns, but I have noticed over time that my open rate with them has plummeted. It seems servers have started to “tune out” the more common mail programs and their routine emails using common language often found in welcome emails and sales promotions. In steps InboxAlly who promises to intuitively “teach” the servers to prioritize your email to go straight to the recipients’ main inbox and bypass the spam and promotion filters.
To test this out I took a sampling of 100 email addresses from my closest PR contacts who understand the purpose of the testing I do and set them up in segmented lists in each platform. I built out a series of emails in each to be as identical to each other as possible to rule out any verbiage or formatting effects, and scheduled them to send on the same days each week, within the same hour. Half the list was sent from InboxAlly and half from Mailchimp.
At the end of 4 weeks I had sent 400 total emails, 200 through each provider and found that overall, the Inbox Ally recipients did in fact consistently have the higher open and engagement rate.
What I thought they could use work on is the UI… it didn’t feel as intuitive as their competitors, but when you’re counting down to brass tacks, a person who is focused on performance isn’t going to let a little interface chonkiness get in the way of a few more conversions. Overall, it’s worth a trial period and if the platform performs for you the way it did for me, then by all means, let me congratulate you on cracking the code as well!
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