Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One Fish, Two Fish

Welcome to my blog and my first post.  I am not exactly sure where this blog will go week to week but my main goal is to spread some of the tricks of the trade to channel marketers.    I am very open to feedback and to hear your thoughts on anything I post.  So here goes!

We all think we know what we are doing.  Whether we have been marketing for 2 minutes or 20 years we tend to think that if we are getting leads, we are doing it the best way.  If we are not getting any leads, we tend to stop doing and move on to the next thing.  What if before moving on, we just did a better job testing different methods of what we are doing.  Or what if we could get MORE leads or better yet, better qualified leads.  Remember, quality over quantity!

Have you ever tried yoga?  If not, you should, it's amazing!  But back to my point. If you do yoga, you know that sometimes you are in a certain pose and the instructor will come over and move your hip barely an inch and it changes the stretch you feel drastically.  It's kind of amazing.  What if you did the same with your marketing?

Let's say you are sending an email for a white paper or event.  Your subject line might be the title of the event or paper you are promoting.  What if you added the name of the customer who is presenting at your event or what you will learn in the white paper to the Subject Line?  Will that get you a better open rate?  You won't know until you try it.

Here is a test I tried last year:
  • Subject Line A - New White Paper:  Successful Manufacturers Are Turning to Reliability Software to Ensure Product Success
  • Subject Line B - Successful Manufacturers Are Turning to Reliability Software to Ensure Product Success

All I did was add the words "New White Paper" to the subject line and I received a 2% better open rate.  This led to 31 more people opening my email and 10 more people clicking on the link in the email.  Not bad for 3 extra words.  Kind of like that inch of movement in yoga.

So, how do you set this up?
  1. Split your email list into 2 lists - even, random split down the middle.
  2. Send 1/2 the list one subject line and send the other 1/2 the other
  3. Track your open rates
  4. Did one email get a better rate than the other? 
    1. If yes, try using this method with other emails.
    2. If it performed the same, you tried something new and it didn't hurt.
    3. If it performed worse, now you know. 
  5. Test something new next time.

My theory is to test everything.  Test your messages in various social media outlets, test new advertisers, test a new list, test a new message.

Have you done any tests lately?  Please share!