Email A/B Testing – 3 Simple Variables to Test

Email A/B testing is an important marketer’s tool when it comes to understanding what works for your brand and for your audience.  The insights gained from the testing allow you to see what your audience connects to.

With regular A/B testing, you can understand and implement the tested components that resonated with your customers. Over time, this insight could improve conversion rates, resulting in a huge difference to the bottom line.

What Components Are Available To Test?

There are endless points to conduct an A/B test.  Here are 3 easy-to-test email elements to dip your toes into:

   1.    Email Subject Line
The Test: Which subject line receives the highest open rate?
What to Test: Create 2 emails with the same copy. Use a different subject line for each email
Example: You have an email for an event and you wonder, is it better to have the event name and location in the subject line or simply the event name? Create 2 subject lines:
a. Meet us at XYZ Event in Las Vegas
b. Meet us at XYZ Event.

Which subject line performed better?


   2.    Call To Action
The Test: Which Call to Action (CTA) does better? Words or Images?
What to Test: Create two versions of your email:

  • Version 1 will have text for the CTA
  • Version 2 will have an image for the CTA

Example: You have 2 emails:

  • One version has the Call to Action (CTA) in words. For example: Register Today!
  • One version has the Call to Action (CTA) as an image.  For example:

register

 

 

Which CTA received the most clicks?

   3.    Email Subject Line
The Test: Which email template received the most desired action?
What to Test: Create 2 emails using different email templates.  Each version will use the same copy, images (if possible) and subject line.
Example: You have 2 emails each using a different template:

  • Email template A
  • Email template B

Which Email template received the highest click-through rate or other desired action?

For best results, ensure the tests are run simultaneously, only variable is tested at a time and the production schedule allows time for testing.

Regular A/B testing helps shed insights into what your audience connects to.  Conducting 1 – 2 tests per week and tracking the results will provide information that can overtime improve email metrics.

Increase ROI by Integrating Marketing Automation and CRM

If you are a marketer motivated by increased Return on Investment (ROI), you need to know how to best leverage your people, tools, and processes. Although there are many key steps to this process as a whole, integrating a full-featured marketing automation tool with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will create the foundation for establishing and reporting on ROI success.

The connection between CRM and marketing automation as a key factor in increasing ROI is impossible to ignore. Marketers that don’t have marketing automation and marketers that have marketing automation that isn’t integrated into CRM do not perform as well as marketers that have marketing automation that’s integrated into CRM. Those companies who are fully integrated will find much higher rates of reporting metrics such as performance metrics (number of opportunities, conversion rates, etc.), financial metrics, and forecast metrics.

Integrating marketing automation with CRM creates a complete picture of the revenue process. That type of continuity and clarity can be achieved only with the integration of CRM with marketing automation. This integrated foundation allows for the tracking of every lead from the top of the lead funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel.

Following are several ways to improve marketing ROI:

Focus on High-Return Marketing Programs

Marketers benefit from marketing automation as it offers proof of results and validation of decisions. By seeing clearly which programs are most successful, an effective marketing automation program helps your organization’s efficiency and money allocation. With marketing automation and the reporting that comes with it, you can now have a business discussion with proof points to focus on the high-return marketing programs.

Profile the Current Customer Base

Instead of engaging in lead generation practices that market to the anyone who has a general interest in the company’s industry, sales and marketing should together define exactly what a qualified buyer looks like. This can be done by asking customers to provide concise, relevant information that will help one understand them better. Using forms, find out which industries your prospects are in, what roles they play in their companies (sales, finance, HR, executives, etc.). For more targeted results, keep forms short and do not make them mandatory.

Target Highly Potential Leads

One of the most powerful features in marketing automation is its ability to allow you to segment at every stage of the lead/client cycle. You are also armed with the ability to score all lead behaviors and demographics to assess their qualifications. With lead scoring, personalization, and automatic segmentation, you can see how your ROI is already being improved.

Improve Conversion Late In the Funnel

Your late-stage funnel is an area of high potential and huge impact. Bottom-of-funnel content should prove the value of purchase, and explain how the products and services will be implemented within the organization. With that in mind, it should be closely aligned with product, data-driven, and challenging to buyer assumptions. Using marketing automation integrated with CRM, you can effectively nurture the experience of potential customers.

Reduce Funnel Leakage with Better Integration

With marketing automation, you are less likely to pass up the good leads. It’s valuable to take the time to map out the life of a lead from lead to close, and look at those key areas where leads are leaking out of the process. Are your warm leads getting lost? Once you understand where and why they are leaking out, you can plug those leaks with automatic nurturing through your marketing automation system, especially when it is integrated with your CRM.

Clean the Low-Potential Prospects Out of Your Funnel

Keep your leads cleaned out to see huge benefits in both ROI and marketing-sales relations. By working on data quality in both CRM and marketing automation, and instituting a highly effective lead scoring program, you can diminish the leads that act as excess time and revenue drainers. Weeding out the tire-kickers in your sales pipeline will increase your close rate, increase morale and productivity, and increase revenue.

Marketing automation and CRM are complementary tools that only reach their full potential when paired together. By using marketing automation synced with your CRM, you are best able to analyze your performance metrics and pass along properly assessed and highly-qualified leads. Developing the scoring and routing criteria together as a team, sales and marketing can create funnel logic they both trust and believe in. The end result is a system based on clear metrics that help determine the most successful programs and leads to fit your organization’s goals. The integration of CRM and marketing automation is a critical step to your increased marketing ROI and top performance.

7 Secrets to a Successful Scoring Model

Lead-scoringLead scoring is a valuable system to make the sales team more efficient through pre-qualification and prioritization, and if done right, can be an unfair advantage in your market. It’s critical to get your scoring model off to a strong start and to develop its accuracy over time.

Following are key steps for successful scoring:

1. Gather intelligence from Sales regarding the typical makeup of a qualified lead.

Sales and Marketing will need to work together to define the profile of the ideal customer. Sales needs to buy into the scoring system and trust it, so it’s important to include all parties from the onset.

2. Establish Demographic and BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline) scoring formula.

These set criteria might include company size, industry, role, and product/service interest and are often assessed through website forms.
Caution: Beware of false positives from website window shoppers and exaggerated BANT responses.

3. Consider content assets and lead behaviors to better define your ideal customer profile.

In a department store, you can watch a potential buyer take clothing off the rack, look at the price, hold it up, and try it on, then the salesperson can see clearly when to approach. We also have to assess online behaviors and apply the score values for prospects who register for webinars, download post-session materials or whitepapers, express interest at a tradeshow, or watch videos or demos. Who clicked through on a call-to-action or viewed pricing? These behaviors might weigh differently from each other, but each tells a story of the potential prospect and suggests when to “approach.”

4. Determine where the prospects are in the marketing funnel by using scoring to evaluate the stages.

A scoring system can set the lead status in the funnel. For example, a low scoring lead might be an Inquiry, while a higher scoring counterpart would be a Marketing Qualified Lead and is ready for sales.

5. Take necessary steps to move qualified leads to opportunities.

Depending on where leads fall in the marketing funnel, scoring can help in the lead flow as ownership, activities, and role are defined by business rules, assessed through scoring, and moved around depending on their activity.

6. Prove or disprove the success of your lead scoring model.

Lead scoring is successful when leads with higher scores convert into closed/won business more often than low scoring leads. Analyzing velocity and conversion-to-revenue rates is also critical to measuring successful scoring. Lead scoring is generally proven not successful if metrics related to lead scoring are trending negatively. In that case, you would need to identify points of failure and make the necessary changes.

7. Optimize your lead scoring for continued improvement.

Even the most successful lead scoring models receive ongoing auditing and fine-tuning. Changes and adjustments will only help to create more reliable and sales-ready results.

It’s important for organizations to remember that lead scoring won’t predict if a deal will close, but it will help prioritize who sales should engage with first. Lead scoring is often implemented, yet rarely fully leveraged. If your competitors are using lead scoring models as well, make sure yours is fine-tuned, fully-utilized, and ever-dynamic.

Why Lead Scoring is the New Opportunity Stage?

 

lead scoring

Lead Scoring

Gone are the days, when simple marketing plans were effective enough for lead generation. Today, the advanced technologies have brought in so many sophisticated marketing means that marketers need to be very careful while targeting the audience. The consumer buying process has drastically shifted from traditional means to new means, where they carry out enough research, before buying a product or service. They are already leaning towards a particular vendor, but still visit others for attractive offers. Hence, marketers need to come up with robust strategy, depending upon the consumers’ needs and requirements.

One of key areas that have turned out to be a great new opportunity is lead scoring. It is a method that is used to rank prospects against a scale. This ranking is based on who they are, what they do, rather than what they are saying. Lead scoring is in fact the integral part of modern day lead management that ranks prospects on the basis on their behavior and web activity. It helps marketers determine the level of interest through their engagement and interest, depending upon demographics. These factors, when combined together can turn qualified leads to sales.

Lead scoring can be used to measure the effectiveness of investments in the marketing campaigns  and lead generation programs. It helps you identify sales ready leads from inquiries and focus on converting them to customers. Marketers can effectively use these means to rank their prospects and improve their sales, thus enhancing the return over marketing investments. Looking into the number of advantages, marketers can now use different lead scoring software to analyze their needs and make the right judgment. Another important benefit is that it reduces sale cycle duration for qualified leads and improves upon the conversion rate, thus increasing sales productivity and effectiveness.

If you want your marketing campaign to be successful, you need to understand lead behavior and identify serious buyers. Later on, you could focus on good relationships to improve the stats. Hence, it is important to keep a track of the buyer’s needs and behavior to know about his or her intentions. Though it could be challenging, it would get you an honest representation of leads’ objectives, helping you know whether they are actually ready to buy or not. Prioritizing the prospects, could further help you make initiatives to improve upon the conversion rate and your chances to convert the lead into a customer. Hence, lead scoring is definitely a new opportunity stage for marketers.

So, what next? Have you scored your leads? Don’t you want to improve upon your conversion rate and sales figure? Do adopt these advanced tactics in your marketing methodologies to enjoy better returns.