The COVID-19 pandemic is no match for Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation, which projects that 65% of Americans plan to celebrate the spooky holiday this October 31st. That’s compared to an annual average of 70% in prior years. Not bad!
Translated into dollars-and-cents, the retail industry will see a total of $10.1-billion in revenue across the board thanks to Halloween this year. We’re talking $102.74 spent per person on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards, among other Halloween-themed favorites.
For retailers, Halloween is a lucrative holiday to take advantage of, but you’ll need to go beyond stocking your shelves with Halloween products if you want to cash in on the potential sales boost.
Do you have a marketing strategy in place to get the word out about your Halloween promotions?
In this blog post, we’ll look at the biggest industries and how they can apply these 5 fun marketing tactics this October:
● In-Store Halloween Events
● Social Media Halloween Videos
● Halloween-Themed Landing Pages
● Spooky Email Marketing Campaigns
● Halloween Product Photos for Social
Pet parents never fail to include their dogs, cats, and other furry friends in their holiday celebrations, and Halloween is no different.
Pet costume contests are sure to draw in a crowd, especially if you award bonus prizes to pet parents who also dress up.
Facebook Live and Instagram Stories have the power to engage audiences far more deeply than a single photo post alone. Throw on a spooky costume and use social media videos to tell people about your Halloween pet supply sales.
You don’t have to revamp your entire website to show consumers you’re in the Halloween spirit. Simply design and add a Halloween-themed landing page to your website. Keep the content short and sweet by only promoting your best Halloween products and the dates of your sale.
Create Halloween-themed email marketing headers, footers, and graphics using FTx AdPro, our sister company’s free graphic design software. Then, launch a Halloween email campaign to promote your in-store Halloween events and special Halloween sales.
Videos might be rising in popularity, but pictures still speak a thousand words, which is why posting photos on social media of your employees dressed up for Halloween with their pets will undoubtedly trigger a lot of social engagement. Use a creative, branded hashtag that users can follow throughout the month!
Working in the hospitality industry, you understand the importance of providing your customers with the best “home away from home” possible, which is why you don’t want to miss out on transforming your establishment into a Halloween haven that doesn’t resemble a haunted house.
Costume contests for the kids and cocktail parties for the adults are the two best Halloween ideas you can offer your guests this October 31st, just be sure to advertise each one using the following digital marketing ideas.
Your guests want peace and quiet no matter what holiday is happening, so reassure them of your policies using short social media videos, and don’t forget to mention special discounts or any Halloween events you’re planning on hosting in the lobby or restaurant of your hotel.
Delight your potential customers who are investigating your hotel, motel, or B&B online by sprucing up your Home Page with Halloween colors, like orange and black, and adding some festive pumpkin and ghost graphics.
Thanks to your CRM software, you probably have access to hundreds if not thousands of email addresses, many recipients of which might not have visited your hotel in a while. Even if it might not immediately boost reservations this month, send out a Halloween-themed email marketing campaign telling former guests about your upcoming events. Ask them to follow you on social media and to consider booking their next visit now.
Have you gotten into the Halloween spirit and decorated your establishment? Does your restaurant menu now offer Halloween cocktails and special menu items for the month of October? Take photos and post them on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
People want to look their best when they attend holiday parties, and salons and barbershops can play a big role in that this Halloween.
Run a contest for your employees where the best Halloween manicure, pedicure, or makeover will win. Customers will love being the focal point of the contests, which will boost sales. Then award the winner with a special holiday bonus.
Use time lapse video footage of your nail technicians giving customers Halloween manicures, and use the videos to promote your seasonal discounts on social media. The same type of time lapse can be posted of barbers giving haircuts to customers, just be sure your Halloween decorations are in frame to give the video a festive feel.
If you’re running a special Halloween promotion on social media or through Google AdWords, consider connecting it to a new, Halloween-themed landing page to help you track and measure lead generation.
Holidays are a great excuse to use deep discounts to boost sales, but if your customers don’t know about the promotions, they aren’t going to book appointments. Segment your email recipients and design an email marketing campaign for each group that features photos of your Halloween-themed services and a strong CTA.
As your Halloween promotions are running, take photos of your customers’ Halloween manicures, pedicures, and other services, and post them on social media with urgent, exciting-sounding captions that invite followers to book appointments.
Pet supply retailers, hospitality businesses, and salons aren’t the only retailers who can benefit from using our 5 marketing tactics this Halloween. Try using similar digital marketing ideas if your retail business falls within the following categories:
● Liquor Stores—Like all seasonal sales, Halloween-themed promotions help to move stock, and there’s no reason liquor and wine stores shouldn’t participate in the festive holiday this October 31st.
● Gyms & Fitness Centers—Fitness enthusiasts definitely show up to your gym to get their sweat on, but an enjoyable, added bonus is that your gym is also a place where members socially interact and relax, which makes it the perfect location for a little Halloween fun.
● Grocery & Convenience Stores—As the owner of a grocery store or convenience store, your shelves are probably already stocked with Halloween products, including costumes, candy, greeting cards, and decorations. All that’s left to do is transform your decor, advertise your goods, and market, market, market!
● ECommerce Retailers—This year, consumers will heavily rely on eCommerce retailers for their Halloween celebration products. Though brick-and-mortar retailers are bouncing back after long lockdowns, many consumers now prefer to shop exclusively online, which means that your promotional marketing and shipping options must be outstanding.
FTx 360 is a full-service digital marketing agency. We provide a wide range of services to clients of all industries. Our digital marketing services include consultation and management options that cover all of your business marketing needs–content writing, social media marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing, industry-specific market research, and customized marketing strategies. When you partner with FTx 360, you’re working with a branding agency you can trust.
Across all B2C and B2B industries, the average email open rate is 21.33%, according to MailChimp.com. Once emails are opened, the average CTA click-through rate across industries is 2.62%. These are only a few statistics, but they provide valuable insights about how challenging email marketing can be.
Interestingly, 49% of consumers prefer to receive marketing offers via email, as opposed to other direct marketing methods such as snail mail, in-app mobile push notifications, and mobile SMS texts.
If approximately half of all consumers prefer emails over other methods, why then do so few recipients actually open those direct marketing emails?
There are many reasons, which include the frequency of emails sent among other factors, but the biggest reason of all has to do with the email subject line.
Intriguing, personalized, and relevant email subject lines directly impact email open rates. Generic, bland, and random email subject lines are the reason emails wind up unopened in the Trash folder.
Marketers know this, which is why 87% of them prefer email marketing to any other digital marketing method. But digital marketers are skilled experts at crafting clever-sounding email subject lines with such great hooks that recipients can’t help but click.
By the time you finish reading this blog post, you will also have enough tricks up your sleeve to know how to write click-worthy email subject lines.
Here are 8 tips for creating the best email subject lines.
People are always looking for ways to make their lives easier. If there’s a way to streamline it, DIY it, or just plain simplify it “for dummies,” consumers want to know all about it!
When you include “How To” in the subject line of your email campaigns, the open rate of that campaign will naturally increase. The reason for this is because people understand that there is no downside to checking out a new way of getting something done.
How To Stretch After An Injury
This email subject line is clearly selfless. The sender isn’t trying to sell a product. Anyone who wants to learn how to safely stretch after they’ve had an injury will definitely open this email, and even more amazingly, a lot of recipients who haven’t experienced an injury will still click and read so they’re informed in case they injure themselves in the future.
Intrigue counts for a lot when it comes to email subject lines. A good hook will get just about anyone to click. But crafting a hook that truly works can be challenging.
In order to write a great hook into your subject line that is mysterious yet relevant enough to get recipients to open the email, we recommend that you first figure out the message of your email and then reverse-engineer the subject line into a relevant hook.
Does Your Dog Love THIS More Than You?
An email subject line that contains a question is naturally thought provoking, and amazingly, when the question itself is missing a key puzzle piece, the recipient will feel compelled to open the email just to find out what that missing puzzle piece is all about. In the case of our example above, the recipient will want to know what “THIS” is referring to, and they’ll also wonder if their dog could love anything more than his human-parent. By opening and reading the email, they’ll discover the full question, “does your dog love our massager-brush more than you?” And they’ll also discover how to buy that massager-brush product.
The scarcity principle works. The scarcity principle is a sales tactic that suggests to consumers that there is a limited quantity of goods and that those goods are in such high demand that soon there won’t be any left.
Whether or not goods truly are limited is actually beside the point. Using the scarcity principle to your benefit will cause your email recipients to psychologically react with urgency. They will not want to miss out on the deal, discount, sale, or item, and will hurry to buy… or at least hurry to open your email.
Only 5 Spots Left!
Assuming that the “spots” or tickets that are remaining for purchase are relevant to the email recipient, this type of email subject line can be extremely effective in terms of motivating your recipients to open the email. Scarcity emails have actually been around for a while, and consumers have become familiar with the unadvertised benefits, which can include discounts, freebies, and front row seats, among other rewards for acting fast. Curiosity alone could be what pushes your recipients to open this type of email subject line.
Similar to how the “scarcity” email subject line has the power to create a sense of urgency in the minds of recipients, the “countdown” subject line has a way of lighting the same kind of fire under your email recipients, shall we say, rear ends.
This type of “countdown” subject line works best when it’s used in a campaign series that includes no fewer than 3 emails to your recipients.
Ending in 3…2…1… Don’t Miss Out!
Based on your recipients’ familiarity with your email address and brand, they should be fairly curious about what will be “ending” and when exactly the “end” will take place. But what we love most about this subject line is how it combines mystery and urgency into one powerful CTA.
In 2021, there is so much more to email personalization than including the recipients’ first names in the subject line.
Today’s consumers are desensitized to one-dimensional personalization. In fact, some consumers have become downright jaded about it! Instead of simply using a first name, try using as much creativity as possible, like we did in this example.
Becky Loves Fiction, So This Book Is For Becky
The personalization of this email subject line goes way deeper than using the recipient’s first name. We’re willing to bet that Becky’s first reaction when she read this subject line was something like, “my local drug store paid attention to the fact that I like to buy romance novels throughout the summer?” What will she do next? Probably open the store’s email to find out the name of the book they recommend that she buys.
Using “emojis” in your email subject lines can add a touch of fun and humor, but there is one caveat. There are certain recipient email domains that automatically “flag” and send-to-Spam any email subject line that contains an emoji, so you’ll want to do your research before you try this method.
That being said, including emojis in email subject lines has become popular in recent years. The trick to using this strategy is that you must replace a word with an emoji. Meaning, the emoji can’t be decorative. It has to be practical, like the one used in our example.
May We Have This?
Why do we love it? Who wouldn’t love finding a flamenco dancer in the subject line of their email? Assuming that the recipients have shown interest in dancing in the past, when they receive an email subject line like this, they’ll definitely click to find out who is asking them to dance and the rest of the details.
How could we blog about subject line tips without including this classic idea—the “promotional” subject line? The fact of the matter is that, as a business owner, you’re using email marketing to boost sales, which means a large majority of your campaigns are going to be purely promotional.
That’s perfectly fine! Just make sure to punch up your promotional email subject lines so that they sound fun, creative, and mysterious, instead of bland.
$50 Today, $250 Tomorrow
We love this subject line because it’s both straightforward and intriguing. We would want to know about any $250 product, service, or class that only costs $50 today, and because we would definitely open that email to find out more information, we’re confident that your email recipients will, too.
ECommerce shopping cart abandonment is a part of life, which is why it’s important for business owners to have a system in place of recouping those lost sales.
This is where the “follow up” email campaign comes in handy. The fact of the matter is that follow up emails work, but only when the subject lines are eye-catching enough to compel recipients to open and read. Let’s take a look.
Psst… Did You Forget Something?
This email subject line is intriguing without sounding creepy, which is why we love it! Most consumers appreciate being reminded of things they forgot to do, and if you also include a “buy now” special discount code, your shopping cart abandonment follow up email campaign will succeed at recovering sales before that revenue is lost for good.
There you have it! Try these email subject line tips and measure which ones deliver the highest email open rate for your marketing campaigns!
Are you new to email marketing or looking for a digital marketing agency to handle your next email campaign? Give us a call or visit the FTx 360 website to discover the wide range of digital marketing services we offer. Our marketing specialists have worked with both B2C and B2B businesses of all industries to increase customer engagement and sales, and we can do the same for your company. Contact us today to get started!
Automation is the process of replacing manual, human tasks with technologies. Setting up an online auto-debit to pay for a monthly bill is an example of automation. Instead of having to remember to pay that particular bill every month and going through the online process of electronically submitting a payment, you instead set up an auto-debit, and the online banking platform will handle the work of paying the bill on time every month.
Saving time and effort, and reducing human errors, are just some of the benefits of using automation.
Your marketing tasks can also be automated to save you time and effort, and reduce human errors. Marketing automation is defined as any technology that manages the digital marketing processes you ordinarily handle by hand. Marketing automation utilizes artificial intelligence to a degree, as well as machine-learning strategies, and can streamline multifunctional, omni-channel campaigns for you.
Implementing marketing automation at your business enables you to interact with potential customers as well as loyal customers across email, web, social media, SMS text message, and any other method you would like.
Nowadays, automating your digital marketing is typically done via a marketing automation platform.
Any online platform that offers marketing automation in the form of Software as a Service, or SaaS, is considered a marketing automation platform. These platforms provide marketers with the tools to upload, organize, and schedule all of their digital marketing content and campaigns, including automating social media posts, blog article posts, and email marketing campaigns. Marketing automation platforms also integrate with content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) software to centralize all marketing into one software solution.
In this article, we are going to focus on the two most popular forms of marketing automation that business owners like you can benefit from using, which are social media marketing automation and email marketing automation.
If you’ve already done your research and know all about marketing automation, and would like to discover the marketing automation solutions offered by FTx 360, we invite you to sign up for a free 30 day trial with our agency. You will only be asked to supply your business name, email address, business location, and telephone number. No payment information is required and there are absolutely no strings attached to this incredible offer.
Social media automation refers to automating various aspects of your social media marketing, which can include automating the publication of your posts, automating your responding comments, and automating the lead generation aspects of your social media advertisements, if applicable.
By automating certain aspects of your social media marketing, you can grow your business and optimize ROI while saving time. Social media marketing automation can also effectively support your efforts to spread brand awareness, engage potential customers, and gain social followers, all of which help promote your business.
Though there are indisputable benefits of using social media automation, many marketers believe that automating your social media marketing defeats the purpose and beauty of social media in the first place. Simply put, these marketers feel that social media marketing automation is actually anti-social, because it involves replacing human interactions with machine-programmed actions.
The social media marketing specialists at FTx 360 both agree and disagree. Yes, the beauty of social media is that social platforms enable users to socially interact with each other. But the fact of the matter is that if you want to post multiple times a day and every post generates a ton of engagement, you will not be able to keep up with interacting with every single follower. That’s just the way it goes.
You can greatly alleviate the amount of manual attention you give your social media accounts by automating your posts. This way, your social media posts will automatically publish. If you schedule your automatic posts days, weeks, and months in advance, it can free you up to spend your “social” time manually replying to comments and quickly tending to any customer service messages that come into your DMs.
To provide deeper insight regarding your social media content, we would like to introduce you to the 5-3-2 Rule. Any of the content categories we propose below can be automated. Then, as your social followers comment, reply, and interact with your posts, you can engage them further by responding.
This social media posting rule can be used as a content guideline. The types of posts you make should be diverse and surprising so that your followers remain engaged. For every 10 social posts you publish, here is the content ratio breakdown you can schedule:
● 5 out of 10 social posts should consist of relevant, shared content from third parties
● 3 out of 10 social posts should consist of original content with the exclusion of hard sales pitches
● 2 out of 10 social posts should consist of personal, opinionated, or ruminative content that humanizes your brand to help followers relate to you
As you can see, there is virtually no emphasis on using social media to make hard sales pitches to your audience. And equally important, about half of your social media posts should be shared links from other websites. That being said, you can schedule just about all of these social posts ahead of time using a social media scheduling calendar like the one that can be found on our resources web page.
Our resources web page also includes a free download of our Marketing Automation Playbook, a how-to ebook that will help you discover all the ways in which marketing automation can help you capture more leads, convert leads into customers, and increase revenue.
Whoops, we didn’t mean to digress. We just really love our social media scheduling calendar…
Another aspect of your social media posting schedule that you can automate is sharing your latest blog articles.
We all know that maintaining a blog is an excellent way to generate new SEO and attract new web visitors to your website or eCommerce site. You can maximize your business blog’s engagement factor and digital virality by posting the article links to Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant social media platforms.
Best of all, you don’t have to do this manually. Rather than copying and pasting the URL links of each blog article to your social media accounts as articles are published online, instead you can automate this process by linking your RSS blog feed to the social media accounts that you want those articles to appear on.
Depending on the blogging platform you’re using, connecting your blog feed to social media should be fast and easy. Just be sure to run a few tests to check the formatting and make certain that the article web links auto-generate the blog information that you want to appear in the social media post. Ideally, you want the article’s headline and primary image with a few lead-in sentences from the article to appear in the post itself. That way, your social followers will be intrigued, click on the link, and read the full article on your business blog. If the headline and image are thought provoking, you may discover that your social followers begin commenting right away, even before they read the article!
Automating your email marketing campaigns is by far the most popular form of automation. All digital marketers use email automation. There are many different types of email automation that you can implement, which we will cover in a moment.
First, we want to make the point that manually and personally sending out emails is ideal, but impractical. If your business is brand-new, you might be able to get away with manually sending every email and you might even love it, but composing a personal email every time simply isn’t scalable. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to implement email automation for certain workflows, and that’s okay. You can still retain as much personalization in your emails if you follow our advice.
The most helpful email automation campaigns to set up include:
● Abandoned Shopping Cart Emails
● Welcome Emails to New Subscribers
● Subscription Email Newsletters
● Promotional Emails
● Lead Magnet Onboarding Emails
● Re-Engagement Emails (After a Recipient Hasn’t Engaged for 3 – 6 Months)
By automating some or all of the above mentioned email campaigns, you can save a ton of time and effort, and that’s not all. You will also provide your visitors, customers, and subscribers with the professionalism they expect. You see, most people really enjoy receiving automated emails because these emails provide them with valuable content without the added pressure that usually comes with receiving a personalized email from a business owner.
Just remember to always include a CTA in your automated emails, no matter the reason for the email.
Then, the further along the sales funnel or customer journey someone gets, the more personalization you can give them. In fact, at a certain point in the customer journey, automation is no longer appropriate, so you should take customers out of the automation channel and email them directly to authentically engage them.
Are you convinced that using marketing automation to support your social media and email marketing campaigns will benefit your business? Good!
But how will you know which marketing automation platform to sign up for? That’s a great question. Not all marketing automation platforms are created equal or priced the same, which is why our digital marketing specialists put together a helpful research check-list you can reference while you shop around.
If, for some reason, you cannot find answers to these questions on a marketing automation provider’s website, then we strongly encourage you to call the provider and speak to a sales representative. Do not assume that the platform will meet your business needs and sign a contract before you know what features and services will and will not be included.
● What is the minimum licensing fee?
● What services are included for the minimum fee?
● How many contacts can you have for the base rate?
● What are the tiered rates and the number of contacts you can have for each tier?
● What is the minimum license period?
● Can you auto pay in monthly installments or do you have to pay for a full year up front?
● Have other businesses like yours used and loved the platform?
● Does the platform offer user training? Is training free, or does it come at an additional cost?
FTx 360 can automate your marketing activities across multiple channels. Our marketing automation services include platform selection & setup, and automation strategy & integration with your website or eCommerce store.
Our developers can assess and select the best APT platform for your unique digital marketing needs, and implement appropriate sales software such as HubSpot, SharpSpring, Salesforce, or Marketo on your business website for you. For custom efficiency, we use focused targeting, lead generation & management, and customer segmentation to keep your sales funnel organized and your leads converting. The right email marketing campaigns will be segmented, personalized, and automated when you partner with our marketing specialists.
A/B Testing, also called Split Testing, is a digital marketing method that uses two different versions of a single campaign to determine which content version performs better in terms of increasing social engagement and improving conversion rates online.
One version of the campaign content, called the A group, is the “control,” and the other version of the campaign content represents the B group, which contains the variation content.
Testing differing campaign content in this manner can inform a marketer like you or me which campaign version we should focus on and invest our marketing budget in.
A/B Testing is most often used for email marketing content and social media ad campaign content, but of course it can be used to test any digital content campaigns you wish.
An example of using A / B Testing in a non-marketing scenario would look something like this:
A 4th grader named Tommy has a hypothesis that a plant that receives adequate sunlight will grow faster and appear healthier than a plant that does not have access to sunlight. In order to test his hypothesis, Tommy buys two plants of the same species and size. The plants have been potted with the same soil. He places one potted plant on the windowsill where there is direct sunlight. He places the other potted plant in his closet where sunlight will not reach it. Every day for two weeks, he waters both plants with exactly five ounces of water.
The result that he discovers confirms his hypothesis. At the end of two weeks, the plant which received adequate sunlight grew significantly and now appears healthy with bright green leaves and flowering buds. By contrast, the plant which was kept in his dark closet looks nearly dead.
Since the only differentiating variable between the windowsill plant and the closet plant was the presence or lack of sunlight, Tommy is able to confidently conclude that plants that receive adequate sunlight will grow faster and appear healthier than plants that are deprived of sunlight.
Sure, this example might seem overly simplistic, but the big takeaway that you understand from the A / B Testing of the two plants is that with the exception of sunlight every single variable was the same, i.e. the species of the plants, the quality of the soil, the amount of water used daily, and even the indoor air quality. The only difference between the A plant and the B plant was the sunlight variable.
In the world of digital marketing, an example of an A / B Test could look something like this:
As an adult who waxes nostalgic for the career he almost had in horticulture, Tommy now works as a digital marketer, has an overwhelming mortgage, and often contemplates whether he should yank his children out of public school. He also has a hypothesis—the email marketing campaign that he’s about to launch, which includes a paid subscription sign-up CTA, will perform better if the email includes an incentive offer associated with purchasing the subscription.
The goal of the email marketing campaign is to convert recipients into paid subscribers, and Tommy needs as many new paying subscribers as he can get, because he has that mortgage and those kids to think about….
So, he creates a copy of his email campaign, naming the copy “Test B” and naming the original “Test A.” The only difference between the two email campaigns is that the A Test (original) does not contain an incentive offer, whereas the B Test includes an incentive offer.
Tommy composes a sentence regarding the CTA incentive offer, which happens to be a free ebook download, and plugs the sentence into the B Test email template. Concerning the B Test email, anyone who signs up for a paid subscription will have access to a download link to receive the free ebook.
He launches both email campaigns, the A Test and the B Test, and waits… for two weeks.
Low and behold, at the end of the trial period, Tommy checks the performance of his A Test versus his B Test, and discovers that the B Test, which contained the free ebook incentive, resulted in almost 300% more paid subscription sign-ups than the A Test.
Tommy determines he will enroll his children in the nearby Montessori school that he passes every morning on his way into the office.
As the two examples demonstrated, A / B Testing is a scientific method that’s used to compare two different variables for the purpose of determining which variable will perform better and yield a desired result.
In the world of digital marketing, the desired result is usually conversion, whether it be converting website visitors to newsletter subscribers, newsletter recipients to monthly subscription customers, or monthly subscription customers to brand ambassadors who use word-of-mouth marketing to successfully refer their friends and family to sign up for monthly subscription packages. You get the idea.
A / B Testing is also used in digital advertising campaigns that appear on Facebook & Instagram, Google AdWords, and other online platforms.
A / B variables can be as simplistic as the color of a CTA button, or as complex as whether the CTA is a lead generation form versus a Shop Now button.
When used to compare digital marketing advertisement versions, the A / B Testing stage can last a few weeks to a few months, and the investments for both test campaigns tend to be low. Then, once the marketer ascertains which test campaign performs better, the failing test is pulled down and a large financial investment is then pumped into the winning campaign.
Using an A / B Test to compare two different options that could be used for one campaign variable will yield the clearest results. Meaning, when all campaign elements are identical except for one, you can conclude that if one campaign performs better than the other, it is because of the different variable.
For this reason, A / B Testing works best when only one variable, or campaign element, has two versions representing the A and the B. The results of the sunlight vs. darkness test told Tommy to “use” sunlight if he wants his plants to “perform” well. The results of the incentive offer vs. no incentive offer told Tommy to “use” incentive offers in his email campaigns if he wants the campaign to “perform” better, i.e. to successfully convert recipients into paying subscribers.
That being said, there is another form of A / B Testing that compares many different campaign elements between the A Test and the B Test. This form of A / B Testing is called “multivariate A / B Testing.” When this complex version of A / B Testing is implemented, it can be harder to pinpoint which specific variable or variables performed better.
For instance, let’s say you run a multivariate A / B Test for a website landing page. The goal of the landing page is to generate leads. In order to generate leads, the landing page uses a CTA incentive, which is a “locked” webinar. In order to unlock and watch the webinar, the visitor must complete the CTA. Both landing pages are identical except for the following variables:
● The Design Layout
● The CTA
● The Content Font Size & Color
The A Test uses a design layout that does not match the brand’s logo or website. The CTA is an email opt-in form. The landing page content uses an extremely large, purple font.
The B Test uses a design layout that so closely resembles a major competitor that it’s inevitable this thing is going to wind up in court. The CTA is a “Tweet This Now” button, and the landing page content uses a red, moderately-sized, cursive font.
A few weeks, or perhaps a few months go by, then the performance results are analyzed.
Did the A Test generate more email leads? Or did the B Test render more Tweets? How would a Tweet even generate a viable lead in the first place??? (Bonus points if you caught that critical error!) Which landing page succeeded?
As it turns out, Test B had more Tweets than Test A had emails… but what does that mean?
The data is, for lack of a better term, a pile of confusion.
Does this mean you should avoid launching multivariate A / B Tests? Not necessarily. If you have experience analyzing A / B Test data and feel confident you’ll be able to differentiate the performance results of many competing variables at once, then multivariate A / B Testing could potentially provide you with a wealth of valuable insights that help you launch an extremely successful campaign.
In fact, the following are the pros to launching multivariate A / B Tests:
● Provides valuable insights regarding the interactions between multiple content elements
● Provides granular data regarding which campaign elements positively or negatively impact performance results
● Enables marketers to compare many versions of a campaign, not just two, and conclude which one will have maximum impact overall
But multivariate A / B Testing also comes with cons:
● Can be highly complex and might require an expert to conduct an analysis of the resulting data
● Requires significantly more traffic than a normal A / B Test in order to render statistically valuable results
● Too many campaign variable combinations could cause the results to be too difficult to interpret, rendering the entire test and its associated costs a waste of time and money
If you want to launch a multivariate A / B Test but don’t want to go it alone, then give us a call. The marketing specialists at FTx 360 will make sure your test campaigns result in performance data you’ll be able to analyze easily… and yes, we’ll analyze the data for you, too!
So, you’re ready to get down to business and devise a digital marketing A / B Test. You’ve done your research and you’re already excited about improving one or many areas of your business. You envision achieving tangible business goals as a result of using A / B Testing, such as:
● Increasing Website Traffic
● Increasing Conversion Rates
● Lowering Bounce Rates
● Lowering Cart Abandonment
Here are the steps you should follow if you want to ensure the best A / B Test results.
Why do you want to launch an A / B Test in the first place? Have you launched a blog that isn’t getting any web traffic? Have you noticed that your Facebook “Shop Now” native ad hasn’t resulted in higher eCommerce sales? Do you suspect the subject lines of your email marketing campaigns are the reason your emails aren’t being opened? Before you can solve the problem, and before you will know how to solve the problem, you first must identify what the problem is.
Once you’ve identified the problem, you can identify the goal you’d like to accomplish using A / B Testing. The more specific your goal is, the easier it will be for you to reach it. For example, if your promotional emails aren’t being opened at an acceptable rate, you’ll want to make note of the current open rate and then decide what the goal open rate should be. Meaning, if the current email open rate for your promotional campaigns averages 8%, you might set an open rate goal of 16%. This is a tangible goal that you will be able to compare your campaign data with easily.
As we covered in this article, if you’re new to A / B Testing, then you should start with testing only one variable, or campaign element, as opposed to testing multiple variables at once. The precise variable you decide to test, however, should relate to both the problem and the goal you’ve identified. For instance, if the problem you’re facing is a low open rate on your email campaigns and you’ve set a goal of doubling the open rate, the only variables that pertain to your problem are the email subject line and the email lead-in description that appears in recipients’ inboxes. Those two variables are what your recipients can see, and based on what they see, they will either open your email or delete it. Choose to test only one of those variables. Let’s say, the email subject line.
This step is straightforward, but will be the most time consuming. It’s time to actually create the two email campaigns and set them up in your email automation software. Make sure that both tests are clearly labeled and that the different subject lines appear perfectly. Hopefully, you’ve spent adequate time researching how to write email subject lines that increase the chances of recipients opening them.
While splitting your sample groups might not always apply to the particular A / B Test you’re running, let’s take a look at this step anyway since it’s relevant to an email marketing campaign A / B Test. In this instance, you obviously can’t send two emails to the same recipient list, so you’ll need to create two recipient “groups.” The two groups should contain a cross-section of your subscribers that includes all demographics. Meaning, both groups should contain all ages, both genders, both new and old subscribers, both high-spending and low-spending customers, and so on. This is opposed to one group containing loyal, high-spending, mature subscribers and another group containing new, low-spending subscribers, which would skew the results.
Once you launch your A / B Test email campaign, automating that the A Test goes to one group while the B Test goes to the other group, you can kick back and allow an appropriate amount of time to go by. Depending on the nature of the A / B Test, you may want to let a few weeks or a few months pass. In the case of our email campaign, waiting a full week will be enough. The main point here is that while your tests are running, you can monitor the evolving results, but do not alter your campaigns.
After an appropriate amount of time has passed, you can analyze the performance of the A Test versus the B Test. Compare the results of each test to the goal you set for yourself at the onset of your campaign. Which test performed better? If so, how much better? Did either test meet or exceed your goal? Simply put, whichever test performed better is the one you should invest in moving forward.
In terms of optimal digital marketing strategies, email marketing remains one of the core channels to directly communicate with consumers.
Email marketing can be personal, informative, and lucrative. In nearly every industry, businesses of all sizes benefit from marketing directly to their customers, clients, and subscribers via email. There is a direct correlation between a company’s email campaign performance and the overall marketing success of that company.
Put simply, the open rate, clickthrough rate, and conversion rate of a business’ email marketing campaigns will make or break their business growth.
How successful are your email marketing campaigns?
In order to understand whether your campaigns are successful or dismal, you first have to look at the average email benchmarks for your industry, including the average open rate, the average clickthrough rate, the average click-to-open rate, and the average unsubscribe rate.
Across all industries, the overall email marketing statistics for 2020 were:
● 18% average open rate
● 2.6% average clickthrough rate
● 14.1% average click-to-open rate
● 0.1% average unsubscribe rate
Take a moment to check out your email marketing metrics across all the campaigns you ran in the past six months. How do those averages compare to those 2020 statistics?
Now, compare your averages to the campaign averages held by industries that typically benefit from email marketing the most:
If your company’s email campaign averages fall short, then the tips contained in this article will help you increase conversions and grow your business.
Before we get rolling, let’s first address the most important tip of all… the “Messiah of All Tips” if
Present professionally written emails, period. This is the most important piece of advice we will ever give you regarding your email marketing campaigns. You could even stop reading this blog post right now and focus solely on generating professional-level content, and your email marketing campaigns will achieve a higher conversion rate than you’re currently seeing.
Today’s consumers are smart and unforgiving. You cannot afford to launch email campaigns that contain typos, misspellings, and funky wording for obvious reasons. But it’s especially critical to use correct grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation, because email copy that falls short of this standard will reflect poorly on your brand and could damage your business’ reputation. Not to mention, poorly written copy generally fails to convey a clear message.
Remember: if your recipients can’t understand you, they won’t be able to engage with you.
Now that we’ve established the importance of the quality copy, let’s get rolling. In this article, you’ll discover how to use:
● Subject Line Hooks
● Intriguing Preview Text
● Professionally Written Paragraphs
● Crystal Clear Messages
● Irresistible Call-to-Actions
Let’s take a look at each tip…
The content you use for the subject line of your email marketing campaign will be the first thing your subscribers read, and if it isn’t written well, it’ll be the last thing they look at… Yup, the email will head straight for the Trash folder if the subject line doesn’t “hook” the recipient.
What is a subject line “hook”? You can think of a hook as an offer, incentive, or teaser. The purpose is to grab the recipient’s attention and compel them to open the email so that they can gain more information. Can you tell which of the following subject lines is “generic” and which includes a “hook”?
“Modernize Your Digital Identity” vs. “Our Digital Marketing Services Are Affordable”
Would you agree that the subject line “Modernize Your Digital Identity” is a bit mysterious? Reading a subject line like that, the recipient will probably ask themself, modernize… how? which will compel them to click open the email to find out!
TIP #2 MAKE SURE YOUR PREVIEW TEXT INTRIGUES
Even before your recipients open your email, they can see the first line or so of the body of the email. This “snippet” of copy is called “preview text”, and it should be just as intriguing as the subject line hook you used.
The email marketing platform you launch your campaigns from will automatically pull text from the body of your email to use as preview text. Meaning, you might not be able to change the actual copy without editing the body of your email. This is a reason to be very mindful of Tip #3.
However, some platforms will let you edit the preview text that appears or allow you to replace it altogether. When you create the email copy itself, just be mindful that the first sentence will become the preview text and make adjustments accordingly.
The importance of presenting professional-quality copy in your emails cannot be overstated. But top-notch writing goes beyond grammatical correctness. The pros use a “beginning, middle, end” content structure that flows conversationally and never sounds too wordy.
The foundational subtext built into the “beginning, middle, and end” structure could unfold as follows:
Set up the “pain point”, otherwise known as the “problem” the recipient is experiencing.
Highlight the consequence of not solving the pain point problem, and then immediately offer your own product, service, or offer as the solution.
Highlight the additional benefits of your solution, and finish with a clickable CTA.
Each segment—beginning, middle, and end—should logically inform the next segment, presenting a clear message to the reader.
TIP #4 CONVEY A CRYSTAL-CLEAR MESSAGE
Professionally written copy will deliver a crystal-clear message, as we just touched upon above, but before you launch your campaign, ask a colleague or friend to read your copy. If they can’t articulate the “point” of the email, then you haven’t conveyed a crystal-clear message.
Ask yourself, what do you want your recipients “to do” as a result of reading your email? Probably click the Call-to-Action you’ve included at the bottom of the email, right? Then the “message” of your email has to convince the reader why acting on your CTA will benefit them.
If you used one heck of a subject line hook, made sure the preview text was intriguing, and composed professionally written copy that conveyed a crystal-clear message, then your CTA will automatically be irresistible to your recipients.
But make sure the exact wording you use for your CTA really pops. Can you tell which of the following CTA text is “generic” and which is “irresistible”?
“Register for Webinar” vs. “Join the Conversation”
We’re willing to bet you agree that “Join the Conversation” sounds far more interesting than the other, generic CTA.
It’s true. The frequency with which you contact your email recipients will directly impact the overall open rate of each campaign, but this isn’t to suggest that the more you email your subscribers, the more likely they will be to open, read, and click.
In fact, the opposite is true.
The more you contact your subscribers via email, the more likely they will delete your email before opening it. Why? Because receiving too many emails can be annoying for the recipient, or worse, they can come across as “spammy”.
If you’ve noticed the open rate of your recent campaigns going down, it could indicate you’ve been emailing too frequently.
Be very careful not to overcorrect this issue, however.
If you slow your email frequency way down, you will inadvertently increase the risk of your campaigns winding up in your recipients’ Spam folders.
This is especially true when the sending email address contains “donotreply@” or suspicious characteristics such as a lot of numbers. Even using emojis in the subject line could trigger the recipient’s malware to automatically route your email into the Spam folder.
Play around with how often you contact your subscribers. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and successful frequencies will vary from one company to the next depending on the industry and whether the company operates within the B2C or B2B market.
Interested in increasing the open rate of your email campaigns, but aren’t quite sure how to put our tips into practice? Let us handle it! FTx 360 offers email marketing services that include content writing, campaign handling & strategy, and marketing automation.
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