By Stephanie Carrillo, Senior Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

For many years, I worked in B2C marketing for large technology companies where A/B testing was an ongoing process with teams dedicated to testing and refining in all areas of marketing.  As I transitioned to working with small B2B companies, it felt like an entirely different world.  Testing is not always a part of the equation.

Testing is key to making any marketing program a success.  Nurture programs can be complicated; chances are you won’t get it right the first round. That’s why testing is necessary. We like to think of ourselves as experts, but everyone’s personal experience defines their behaviors.  That’s why companies should always test. A testing plan will help ensure your content is still up to date and compelling.

Here is a quick list of items you should think about testing:

  • Subject Lines
  • Email Body
  • Email Design
  • From Name
  • Delivery Time
  • CTA
  • Landing Pages
  • Segmentation

So where to do you begin?

Start by testing your subject lines.  Subject lines drive people to open your email; testing to optimize your open rates is a great place to start.  When creating a subject line keep it short and simple, it should be mobile and desktop friendly.  I recommend keeping your subject line to 40 characters.  Often B2B marketers keep subjects lines formal to be professional, but it’s not necessary.   Try testing a less formal subject line and see how it performs.  Companies have seen great results by adding some personalization within the subject line and by adding emojis. According to a report by Experian, 56% of companies who use emojis had higher open rates. For best practice on testing subject lines, EmailMonks does a great job explaining it.

Once you start seeing improvements to your open rates, the next step is optimizing your campaigns to increase click-through-rates.  According to Hubspot, B2B companies who send 16-30 emails a month had an average click rate of  6.0%.

If your company is struggling to get clicks, testing your call-to-action is an excellent next step.  The color of your CTA box and the language can make all the difference in the world. Create a testing plan to test these elements and then try experimenting with the location of your CTA.

A successful nurture plan will rely on testing to fine tune it, especially when you are speaking to different personas. Don’t let your campaigns go stale, continue to test and optimize the campaigns to obtain the best results.

Let us know how testing improved your company’s program.