Are rented lists effective? What can I expect for a conversion rate on one? Are my emails even getting read when I rent a list?
These are all good questions, and the answer is…
The best we can do is look at what other people have done and try to apply similar principles to our rented email list campaigns.
With that in mind, here’s one campaign run by a company called Sermo. Sermo is a physicians-only social network that charges pharmaceutical companies for access to their audience.
It begins with a rented list from Fierce Pharma.
Sermo wanted to use some survey data that they had gathered from their audience as an opt-in offer for an audience of pharmaceutical companies.
“If you write an email like a human being would write an email, you’re going to get a better response.”
So says Nathaniel Ward, Associate Director, Online Membership Programs, The Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is a non profit conservative think tank focused on conservative policy formation and promotion.
I realize quoting a political organization of any kind is just asking for an incendiary response in today’s political environment, but bear with me on this one.
Partisan or not, they have a very sophisticated email marketing department, especially for a non profit. And Ward’s approach to email testing and messaging is critical for any organization to study and learn from.
0:27 – How the test was set up
1:17 – The results of the test
1:26 – Interpretation of the test results
1:43 – Ward’s takeaway for other marketers
You might also like…
Consumer Reports Value Proposition Test: What you can learn from a 29% drop in clickthrough
Online Testing: How a B2B SaaS nonprofit increased clickthrough on landing page by 291%
Email Marketing: Nonprofit achieves 12.5 times higher donation revenue per email than industry average
Earn a Graduate Certificate in Communicating Value and Web Conversion
Testing your email marketing can help power some pretty impressive results – like a 100% increase in clickthrough or a 114% boost in revenue.
But … let’s be real … it is harder to test your email than to just send a single version of the email idea you come up with.
One challenge with email marketing – to keep your customers clicking and coming back for more, you need to endlessly come up with new messages and ideas for every email you send or set in an automation platform.
However, when you test your email marketing, you don’t get to create just one email for each campaign, you now need an A and a B (and a C and a D … etc. … etc. … depending on how many treatments you have and your list size can support).
To give you some new hypothesis ideas for your next email test, I interviewed Mike Nelson, Co-founder and Head of Marketing, ReallyGoodEmails.com, in the MarketingSherpa Media Center (MarketingSherpa is the sister publishing brand to MarketingExperiments).
He brought examples of five key types of marketing email from his site, which is described as a “modern-day museum” full of emails.
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.
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.
There will always be new marketing technologies, strategies and tactics that promise to lure more customers than ever into the sale funnel. But here is what remains constant: No matter what tool you’re using, marketing must communicate the value that the customer wants.
This was underscored by the latest MarketingExperiments Web clinic which looked at this year’s five most important marketing discoveries. You can watch it here.
All of these discoveries make it easier for customers to understand value.
Discovery #1: The impact of immediate authority on content marketing
People always pay for your content with their money or time, and quickly decide whether it’s worth the cost. Show them it’s worth it by immediately building your authority.
This is illustrated by a diet and nutrition company that was optimizing its site for mobile. The company tested three versions of its site, each with the same video.
The Control headline orients the reader and builds the problem, but there is no connection to authority — the personal source behind the content — to motivate the reader to play the video.