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Email Marketing: 7 (more) testing opportunities to generate big wins on your next email test [Part 2]

May 2nd, 2016 No comments

Does your email audience prefer short or long emails? How about images versus GIFs?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions, it’s OK. All you need is an A/B email test. 

Testing allows us to better understand our customers, and determine ways we can better engage them.

Last week, we detailed nine experiment ideas for you to try on your next campaign. If those weren’t your style, we have seven more for you — for a total of 16 testing opportunities.

Today, we’ll be reviewing opportunities in your body messaging, calls-to-action and design.

Email Body Messaging Testing

Testing Opportunity #10. Messaging tone

In this test, from the Web clinic, “Email Copywriting Clinic: Live, on-the-spot analysis of how to improve real-world email campaigns,” researchers used two treatments to increase total lead inquiries from visitors who abandoned the free trial sign-up process.

The first treatment was designed based on the hypothesis that visitors did not convert because the copy didn’t engage them enough, so it took a direct response tone. The second treatment was based on the hypothesis that visitors experience high levels of anxiety over potential high-pressure salespeople or spam phone calls. This treatment took a more “customer service”-oriented tone.

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Email Marketing: 9 testing opportunities to generate big wins on your next email test [Part 1]

April 28th, 2016 No comments

Email is a great medium for testing. It’s low cost, and typically requires less resources than website testing. It’s also near the beginning of your funnel, where you can impact a large portion of your customer base.

Sometimes it can be hard to think of new testing strategies, so we’ve pulled from 20 years of research and testing to provide you with a launching pad of ideas to help create your next test.

In this post and next Monday’s, we’re going to review 16 testing opportunities you can test around seven email campaign elements.

To start you out, let’s look at nine opportunities that don’t even require you to change the copy in your next email.

 

Subject Line Testing

Testing Opportunity #1. The sequence of your message

Recipients of your email might give your subject line just a few words to draw them in, so the order of your message plays an important role.

In the MarketingExperiments Web clinic “The Power of the Properly Sequenced Subject Line: Improve email performance by using the right words, in the right order,” the team reviewed several tests that demonstrate the importance of thought sequence in your subject lines.

Try testing point-first messaging. Start with what the recipient will get from your message and the email.

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Social Media Testing: How simple changes to Twitter copy led to a 119% increase in clickthrough

April 14th, 2016 No comments

Here at MECLABS Institute, parent company of MarketingExperiments, we never stop testing. Whether it be subject lines, email copy, Web clinic format or landing pages,  a day rarely goes by where there isn’t an experiment taking place on our campus. This culture of testing extends far beyond just the optimization team — it permeates the entire organization.

Case in point, a recent Twitter test imagined by our resident marketing operations specialist, Walker Ragland. Walker is famous around the Institute for his quick wit, strong marketing copy and love of all things Valdosta, Georgia. You might recognize Walker from last month’s MECLABS Live Optimization webinar, where he provided viewers with actionable tips on improving the performance of their site banners.

“Social media is still a new frontier for this company, so I’ve been encouraged with a generous budget to test out what works and what doesn’t work as far as different aspects of the creative of social,” Walker told me.

Armed with this healthy testing budget and a strong team supporting him, Walker has recently set out to test some of our social media sends across multiple platforms.

For this experiment, Walker wanted to test which Twitter messaging approach would work best when promoting the newest issue of the MECLABS Institute Executive Series.

“This is a relatively new product,  so I tried three different copy options with this test,” Walker said. “The first option used a quote from the piece, and it was a positive quote. The second featured a quote based on a negative point. And then the third option was just a standard offer.”

Take a look at the three approaches that he tested and see if you can correctly pick the winning treatment.

 

Version A: Positive messaging

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Value Proposition Copywriting: 5 word pictures that got more people to buy

December 28th, 2015 1 comment

Writing a value proposition is a lot like drawing a jellyfish in a game of Pictionary. Let me explain.

I was at a party recently where several people were playing a fiery game of Pictionary. One person who was particularly bad at the game started drawing a cylinder with a label on it.

Thick befuddlement settled on the guessing team.

After several wild guesses, the team rightly guessed that it was a jar of jelly. Then, much to the team’s dismay, the artist began to draw another picture. This time, luckily, his drawing clearly depicted a standard fish.

The word he held in his hand (the team finally discovered) was “jellyfish.”

Jar of jelly + fish = jellyfish

What the artist failed to realize in the heat of the game was that jellyfish are much easier to draw than either of those two things separately or together. It’s a half dome for the body; squiggly lines for the tentacles. Jellyfish. Next!

Too often, when trying to communicate something (like our value proposition) to our customers, we take the long way around. We use abstract language. We get lost in details that aren’t important.

People use their senses to experience the world. People’s thoughts are usually pictures of those sensate experiences (reality).

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Site Optimization: 2 strategies to consider when trying to increase conversion

November 30th, 2015 No comments

Online shopping is a favorite hobby of mine, mainly due to the convenience factor.

Recently, I was shopping online for a new coffee table and found myself with a dilemma. I found a website that had a great assortment of coffee tables: different sizes, shapes and every color you could think of. They had it all. After navigating through the website for a few minutes, I realized finding the right one was going to be difficult. I was having trouble sorting through the different styles and began to feel overwhelmed and frustrated.

I had great tables laid out on the page in front of me with no way to organize them how I wanted. Not only was I having trouble with the layout of the page, but there was also a pop-up continuously asking me to sign up for the newsletter and for my personal information.

I quickly became annoyed and overwhelmed, and I left the page.

This made me think of a concept that we teach at MarketingExperiments’ parent company MECLABS: the inverted funnel.

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Copywriting: 5 proven discoveries that strengthen copy

November 19th, 2015 No comments

Great copy isn’t about writing beautiful prose; it’s about knowing what to say to your prospects, when to say it and how to say it so they immediately become engaged, stay engaged and ultimately buy whatever it is you’re selling. Pretty words and design don’t matter as much as understanding what your prospects are thinking, what they expect during each stage of the buying process and then giving that to them.

That’s why MarketingExperiments has dozens of clinics focused on helping you write subject lines, headlines, body copy and more to help you achieve that. We call it “aligning copy with customer thought sequences.”

Get a condensed version of this information in the latest MarketingExperiments Web clinic. In about 20 minutes it distills more than 15 years of testing and research into five discoveries that can immediately help you write copy that sells. Watch it here.

 

Discovery #1: You have only seven seconds to arrest the attention of your prospect

That’s being generous. It’s critical to lead any copy with what the customer will value most about your product and nothing else. Show customers what’s in it for them immediately.

Version A leads with value: “Australia’s Most Trusted & Accredited Business Hosting Company.”

 

Version B doesn’t — it provides an explanation, but no value: “Business Dedicated Servers Australia.”

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