The back-to-school season, Labor Day, and Halloween represent great opportunities to better align with your ever-changing customers before heading into the all-important holiday season, when digital marketing misalignments are most costly.
The way to answer these questions and others is to experiment and run A/B tests. Now.
Pre-Holiday Tests We Recommend
In no particular order, here are 8 digital marketing tests we like to run with our B2C clients:
1. Test variations in your sender name, such as using email from name extension strategies to differentiate your various automated emails from each other as well as from your promotional campaigns
2. Test subject line and messaging tactics, such as:
3. Test product imagery, such as whether your subscribers prefer lay-flat presentations or seeing it on a model, including in appropriate settings for the product.
4. Test call-to-action wordings, styling, and positioning, which has become extra critical in the wake of Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), which is driving brands to only optimize their CTAs and also look for ways to drive more email clicks in general. Among other things, consider testing:
5. Test the appeal of mystery sales, where your audience has to click through to see the offer. As with urgency, you don’t want to overuse this tactic, but many of our clients have found good success with mystery sales in their email campaigns in the wake of MPP, which has made getting clicks a higher priority.
6. Test running channel exclusives and drawing attention to that in your messaging by saying, “SMS exclusive” or “Email exclusive deal.”
7. Test ways to promote loyalty program signups, such as promoting it in your shopping cart and checkout abandonment emails as a way to get free shipping on their purchase, and promoting it in your transactional emails by offering non-members points for their purchases retroactively if they sign up.
8. Test seasonal navigation bar links, in your top nav bar as well as your bottom nav bar, if you have both.
For more than 80 additional A/B test ideas, get our Website Optimization Ideas checklist via free, no-form download.
Drill Down with Segment Testing
Many of these tests, it will make sense to A/B test across different segments or personas to see how they respond differently. Some key segments to test into are:
All of that is to stress that your A/B testing may not have a single winner that you use across all of your messages. Instead, you’ll likely uncover messaging tactics that appeal strongly to particular audience groups.
For a checklist of more than 170 persona-building criteria, get our Segmentation & Personalization Ideas guide via free, no-form download.
The Right Holiday Prep at the Right Time
A/B testing during the late summer and fall is just one example of our year-round approach to holiday prep. Our philosophy is that the holiday season doesn’t have an off-season. That means that during every month of the year, there are steps brands can take that put them in a stronger position when the holiday season finally arrives.
For a quarter-by-quarter guide to getting ready for the holiday season, get our latest Holiday Marketing Quarterly via free, no-form download.
Need help with your creative testing? Oracle Marketing Consulting has more than 500 of the leading marketing minds ready to help you to achieve more with the leading marketing cloud, including Creative Services and Analytic & Strategic Services teams to help you optimize your campaigns.
Clint Kaiser is the Head of the Analytic & Strategic Services team at Oracle Marketing Consulting. His background in the email marketing space includes 20 years of experience with ESPs and digital agencies. His analytical approach to driving change in digital marketing is reflected in his quantitative approach to improving clients' business outcomes.