by Beth Johnson, Communication Manager, Salsa
This is probably not a surprise to you- humans are visual creatures. About 60% of our brains are dedicated to visual process. This means we more easily believe the things we see and we better retain those things as well.
If you attended the first Seeing is Believing webinar, hosted by Resource Media, you probably remember that people’s decisions are driven more by emotion than reason. Combine that with the power of visuals, and it makes sense that images make us feel instead of think and can have a very strong impact on our desire to act.
Bottom line here? Visuals are key. So, to use Nicole Lampe’s words, “Stop wordsmithing and start visualizing.”
But how do you know what visuals to use? Ah. The million dollar question. And it was covered in part two of Seeing is Believing, Choosing the Best Visuals to Inspire Supporters.
The answer- test. And when you’re done testing, test some more.
One great way to do that is to use A/B testing in your emails. Many systems, like Salsa, will allow you to send different version of your email to a small portion of your audience and let you see which one performs better before choosing the version you want to send to your full list.
The key to A/B testing is to only test one thing at a time. Perhaps you’ll want to explore one of the following:
- Do photos that focus on the problem or the solution get a better response?
- Will text overlay call to action garner more clicks?
- Which size photo and placement are most effective?
The technical side of testing is explained more in the webinar, but here let’s focus more on what you can learn from the testing. Here are a few things to remember and consider:
- Make sure you only change one variable at a time
- To improve open rates (and get better data on the visuals in your emails), experiment with subject lines, timing and the “from” field
- Test images using large segments of your audience and look at click through rates
- Test multiple times to truly notice trends and vet your hypotheses
- Use a combination of tools to get the best results- a/b testing, social media
The truth is, no one can tell you what visuals will work best for your audience. You have to try some things, test some things and over time, find out what your supporters respond to the most. Good luck and keep us posted on your success!