Email A/B Testing straight from the hip

October 5, 2006

Harte-Hanks  announces the latest release of its Postfuture® e-mail messaging platform, Postfuture Enterprise Edition, Version 5.0. Harte-Hanks Postfuture Version 5.0 provides more than a dozen new or enhanced e-mail capabilities based on marketplace best practices, with the newest functions addressing e-mail testing, analytics and behavior-based targeting.

“This particular version is an analytics professional’s best friend when it comes to sizing up e-mail messages and campaigns,” said Brad Sanders, managing director, Harte-Hanks Postfuture. “Based on dialogue with our clients, and thousands of campaigns we’ve managed, we have built in automated campaign testing and best practice-driven analytics that make it routine for marketers to measure and optimize their e-mail marketing results.”

For testing, Harte-Hanks Postfuture Version 5.0’s Automated Campaign A/B Testing allows a marketer to create two or more competing e-mail versions, send them out to a portion of a list (such as 5% each), track response during a testing period, and then automatically send a composite of the best subject line and message copy to the remaining audience. Since the entire process is performed without further manual intervention, marketers readily can employ “champion-challenger” testing to maximize e-mail marketing open and click-through rates when an e-mail message is sent.

In addition, the campaign reporting function within Postfuture Version 5.0 has been completely reworked. The Postfuture campaign tracker now incorporates an automated “report writer” that groups, sorts and formats reports on e-mail metrics using an easy drag-&-drop user interface. Based on more than 64 standard reports and charts, marketers can add their own calculated fields, customize report appearance and select from an array of two- and three-dimensional chart formats to create e-mail reports that are readily understood.

number of unique “Best Practices Analytics” enable Postfuture Version 5.0 to help marketers optimize campaign performance. A marketer’s own results can be compared to a set of “best practice” metrics for best day, best time, best campaign frequency, best campaign link count, sales conversion reporting, third-party deliverability analysis, lifestyle/demographics profiles and industry performance benchmarking against the Postfuture Index™, an aggregate report on e-mail delivery in 13 vertical markets. These analytics are cataloged in a white paper available from Harte-Hanks titled “Best Practices in E-mail Marketing.”

Behavior-based e-mail targeting and personalization also are incorporated in Harte-Hanks Postfuture Version 5.0. “Marketers will be able to combine user-specific Web site click-through data across one or more campaigns, and use this information dynamically to construct up-sell and cross-sell offers to recipients who have demonstrated an interest in specific types of products,” Sanders said.

“Overall, Postfuture Version 5.0 is extremely user-friendly and intuitive,” said Sara Rountree, marketing operations manager, ProFlowers. “Our team learned the tool in record time and is excited to stretch it to the limit.” Rountree noted that Postfuture’s abilities to automate campaigns, conduct polls and surveys, handle send-to-a-friend, and manage preferences are features she finds most appealing.

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