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  • March 6, 2010

AM Inbox: Seeing A/B test opportunities

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The Retail Email Blog monitors the email marketing campaigns of more than 100 top online retailers. Here are highlights from my inbox this morning:

Sephora, 3/4 — Introducing...
Sephora’s subject lines are typically on the short and vague end of the spectrum, but this mysterious-and-nothing-else subject line got me thinking whether there really weren’t any better options and whether they A/B tested this subject line. Perhaps they did and this was the winner (or possibly the loser), but it got me thinking of some alternatives…

“Introducing Tarina Tarantino” or “Introducing the Tarina Tarantino collection” would have been explicit about what was being introduced, but if you don’t know who she is then that could be just as mysterious as the original subject line, but without the deliberate vagueness.

“Tarina Tarantino: Exclusively at Sephora” or “A Sephora exclusive: The Tarina Tarantino collection” would have stressed the exclusivity of the collection.

“Sparkle with Tarina Tarantino + free makeover” or “Tarina Tarantino + free makeover” would have gotten the free makeover element in the subject line.

Are you doing A/B tests to maximize conversions and to learn what your subscribers value—whether it is discounts, exclusive products, new products, etc.

Click to view this Mar. 4, 2010 Sephora email full-sized

Neiman Marcus, 3/4 — THE ART OF FASHION: Alexander McQueen
This Neiman Marcus email also got me thinking about A/B tests—in this case layout. I wonder if this email would have performed better with at least some copy above the fold. Perhaps the product does the job all by itself, but it’s worth A/B testing such things, especially when it takes little effort to change a particular design.

Here’s the original design (left) and a mockup of a preview pane optimized version:

Click to view this Mar. 4, 2010 Neiman Marcus email full-sized Click to view this mockup of a Mar. 4, 2010 Neiman Marcus email full-sized

J&R, 3/4 — March Madness Sale: TVs for the Tournament and Much More!
When I pointed out the first reference to March Madness in Wednesday’s AM Inbox, it was pointed out to me that “March Madness” is a trademarked term just like the “Super Bowl” is. To use it for commercial purposes, you have to pay a licensing fee to the NCAA, which also owns “Elite Eight” and “Final Four,” by the way. Here is an LA Times article that discusses the issue more fully.

Click to view this Mar. 4, 2010 J&R email full-sized

SUBJECTIVITY SCANNER: Select noteworthy subject lines
Gap, 3/4 — 30% Off Our Denim When You Bring in Yours
Eddie Bauer, 3/4 — Our Spring Adventure Travel Collection & Galapagos Sweepstakes
Home Depot, 3/4 — FREE Shipping on Grills, 10% OFF Appliances and Our Best Online Savings
eBags, 3/4 — eBags Anniversary Sale - Celebrate with us!

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