By Rebecca Smith, Senior Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

When it comes to trying out new marketing or sales tactics, the first thing we, as marketers, do is look online for best practices, proven approaches and stats to back them up. We look to other people who have either tried and succeeded or tried and failed to get a benchmark of what works or doesn’t work.  But who’s to say we can’t create our own?

Marketing is really just a game of tests, of trial and error if you will. While it’s helpful to look to others who’ve already done the trialing, it doesn’t hurt to do some yourself within your marketing efforts.

When it comes to email, we took things into our own hands and did some benchmarking of our own. Here’s what we found out:

Giving Appreciation is Golden
When you notice the little things and give people praise and recognition, it goes a long way.  So, we sent a simple email to those who we knew read our content just to say thanks. And guess what?  It was well-received. So well in fact that it got shared as an example of a good sales email.

Besides the broadcasted love, we knew this email worked because we received one of the highest open rates we’ve see in a while: 61.2%.  When was the last time you saw that high of an open rate on a marketing email?

So, want to know what subject line read?

Subject:  Thanks for being part of our team!

Simple as that.

Cart Abandonment is Better Saved for B2C
This may be a no-brainer, but we wanted to test it anyway.  Companies like Amazon, Nordstrom, Target, they all utilize the same tactic of ‘Don’t forget what’s in your cart!’ And they’ve worked on me before, so if they work for B2C, why not use the same logic in a B2B setting?

Here’s how that went:

We sent an email to those we knew hadn’t converted, but we could tell they were interested in our offer as we could see they viewed the landing page multiple times without converting.

While we didn’t get a ton of pushback, we did get a few emails similar to this below:

AND our unsub rate was closer to 0.50% which is much higher than we’re used to.  So really, I owe a thank you to this prospect for giving me a response I can work with and learn from.

We took careful notes after this one and decided to abandon this kind of email moving forward. No pun intended.

Early Bird Specials:  Friend or Foe?
When trying out new offers, especially paid offers, testing out different specials or ways to increase engagement and awareness is necessary. Especially when it’s something brand new you’re bringing into the market.

While I don’t have the perfect answer yet to understand what the right price point is for every marketing or sales offer, I can tell you that creating some kind of urgency around price will likely be successful.

Somewhere in our email, we used the term ‘Early Bird’, associated it with a specific date and highlighted the fact that money would be saved.

If I take a look at our numbers from January 2017 until October 2017, 77.5% of people purchased our ‘Early Bird’ offer leaving 22.5% of people purchasing the regular price offer. That’s over 3/4 of people taking advantage of a price savings. So, I’d say ‘Early Bird’ is a friend I’m not ready to let go of just yet.

There are a number of different tests out there to try. That’s the joy of marketing right? These are just a handful of the ones we’re cooking up over at Heinz Marketing to make our own benchmarks and take a few chances.

What other tests have you tried that either failed miserably or were a huge success?