Daniel Burstein

Email Marketing: Using A/B tests to challenge your assumptions

Dan Ariely has a Ph.D. in business administration.

He also has a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology.

I can think of no better description of a high-performing marketer. Someone who understands management and organizations, yes, but who also can provide unique insights into mental processes (i.e., the mind of the customer).

We were honored to have Dan as a keynote speaker at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014. While there, he stopped by the Media Center to discuss email marketing, human intuition and rationality (or the lack thereof) with MarketingSherpa Reporter Allison Banko.

 

As Dan discussed, if we approach marketing as a three-step process …

  1. Doubting ourselves
  2. Having a bit more humility
  3. Testing

… we can use email marketing as a quick feedback loop to gain a deeper understanding of the cognitive psychology of what headlines, subject lines and offers will get a customer to act (and which ones will not). By doing this, ultimately, we can improve business results.

“You have to try things that you think won’t work out,” Dan said. “If you try only the things you think will work out, you will never learn.”

This is a perfect explanation of Web optimization, which is the focus of our next Summit.

At Web Optimization Summit 2014 in New York City, one of our featured speakers will be Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, a colleague of Dan. They conducted research together on The “IKEA Effect”: When Labor Leads to Love. They discovered a cognitive bias in consumers – people tend to place a disproportionate value on products they help to create.

That bias prevents you from seeing the marketing campaigns and landing pages you create the way customers experience them. You helped create it, so you place disproportionate value on it.

But as we’ll explore at Web Optimization Summit, A/B testing is helping marketers see with new eyes –the eyes of the customer.

 

You might also like

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 Wrap-up: 5 takeaways to transform your email program [Event wrap-up]

Email Summit 2014: Top takeaways from award-winning campaigns [Webinar replay]

Digital Marketing: Stop ignoring data and start learning [More from the blogs]

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Categories: Analytics & Testing Tags: , , , ,



  1. April 25th, 2014 at 09:43 | #1

    I always talk to people that make a lot of marketing assumptions before ever trying anything. I think every business should try things they are doubtful about because you never know how things will pan out. Internet marketing can often be a trial and error process. Some marketing efforts are always going to work better in certain industries, it is up to you to identify those and focus on them.

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