No.10: Marketing + Sales = Smarketing / Inbound Sales ~ FUSION/フュージョン-HAAA!!!!

This animation nails it – ‘Goten’ and ‘Trunks’ merge into their uber-character ‘Gotenks’ who is finally capable of fighting the opponent. (DragonBall, you are so good).

In our case, we want to achieve exactly the same with Marketing and Sales. As we know, these are related but individual business fields that depend on each other. sMarketing/Inbound Sales is their version of Gotenks, the unified form that can perform on a completely new (service-)level.

Why is this necessary? Well, the buyer’s behavior has changed very much in the last decades. As you can read in the Guide to Inbound Sales from New Breed, customers today educate themselves over the web, are able to specify their needs and often made up their mind long before a sales guy gets in contact with them. The old outbound-sales-style of educating the customer and soft-talk-to-selling doesn’t work any longer. Because its old function became irrelevant, Sales had to change. Sales today has more the role of a customer service – it approaches sales qualified leads (SQL)/potential customers who already took few introductory steps towards one’s company and helps them with their uncertainty, listening closely, asking leading questions. Of course Sales also knows the persons behind the leads, who they actually are, what they do and what they look for. This is necessary in order to make this contact-experience of Sales as comfortable and enjoyable for the customer as possible. It’s about building trust, which can turn into a happy relationship.

Sales qualified leads .. man, how the heck can Sales know when a lead is sales qualified or not and how shall the Sales guy know who he is talking to or what interests his lead has unless he grabs the phone and asks? They got some random numbers/addresses without any additional intelligence.

Exactly, and that’s when Marketing steps in. In their fusion-form, Marketing supports Sales by sorting out the sales qualified leads in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey together with the necessary backup-information about these leads. It’s helpful for Sales to concentrate on leads which have a high potential of turning into customers (and not with marketing qualified leads MQL/leads that exist, yet aren’t ready to approach) and also raises their success-rate, because they already have the backup-info about the person behind the lead.

Having the right leads and the right info, at the right time, Smarketing can build the path to a smooth conversion.

By the way, Socedo is a company which is specialized on providing potential leads and offers a brilliant product that enables stressing out sales and marketing potentials by doing all the guess work and lead-info-gathering on its own. It automatically engages with your leads and does the all the steps of creating a relationship. An automated tool for personal relation-building? Isn’t that crazy? That can save you so much time and effort!

Smarketing is beneficial as we learned, screen-shot-2015-02-10-at-12-25-52-pmbut at last let me give you this small calculation-give-away. Finally, it is also possible to do exact calculations about how many leads you need in order to perform the desired service-level and sales-rate with the least input/as lean as possible. At the end, you have a better intra-relation of the Marketing and Sales departments, better lead and customer service, and the potential to save loads of money, time and effort.

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No.10: Marketing + Sales = Smarketing / Inbound Sales ~ FUSION/フュージョン-HAAA!!!!

No.9: The difference between e-Mail Marketing and Spamming

First of all, how do you react to the e-mail advertisements and info you receive on a daily basis? Yeah, same here – drop that junk as quickly as possible. It’s just a bunch of time stealing and uninteresting attempts of corporations that long for our attention. I’m so sick of it! 

Surprisingly, here are some sources which actually prove that e-mail Marketing IS successful. ‘What a lie, that can’t be real!’ was my first thought as someone who cannot imagine any worse way to annoy others in their privacy.

Starting with Luis Trevino and his research on e-mail Marketing, he wrote that e-mail Marketing is proven to be 40x more successful than Marketing via Social Media, such as facebook or twitter. Well, but only if done right (and personally I assume to not ever have received a ‘good’ Marketing e-mail). There are some legal basics and etiquette rules one needs to follow in order perform good e-mail Marketing, to attract attention and interest and avoid being sued for engaging somebody privately via e-mail.

 The legal basics, from the CAN-SPAM Act 2003, include followings:

  • Don’t use false or misleading Header Information
  • Don’t have a deceptive subject line-Use a subject line that accurately reflects the content of your e-mail
  • Include Sender’s Postal Address
  • Identify the message as an ad
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you- include a working “unsubscribe” link in every mail you send

Then beside the legal basics, in order to really attract attention and not being forwarded to the junk section, one needs to mind followings:

  • The receiver will think: Who is this writing me? What do you want? So use the first seconds of attention, the subject line, to clearly identify yourself and your intentions. Send your mails only to people you have interacted with. If you fail at the beginning, everything else is lost before the receiver had a look at it.
  • Add a localization, people are more likely to open mails which are relevant to the area they live in
  • Then same as with what we discussed about Content Marketing in general: know your audience and address them with info they want. Non-relevant info equals spam
  • Show that you have got more to offer then lame deals and discounts
  • Keep things simple and short. Words/images without meaning are wasted words/images
  • Keep up, remind your audience of yourself by sending a follow-up Mail approx. 3-4 days after the first mail

Furthermore, there are rules of behavior, which you would want to follow in order to keep your audience. This e-book from Constant Contact provides good info regarding this (some of the rules are similar to the points provided by Luis):

  • Only send emails to people who know you
  • Don’t treat your contacts like names on a list, treat them like people
  • Send relevant content that has value to your recipient
  • Engage with your audience with the content you write
  • Maximize your delivery rate
  • Never share your email list
  • Set expectations (and follow through)
  • Look professional whenever you communicate
  • Regularly review your results
  • Go beyond the inbox/use Social Media if you don’t do it already

I guess as key lessons I would summarize that e-Mail Marketing is only worth it, when addressing known contacts and not random people, when provided content is good and appeals to the receivers interest (remember the first three seconds), and when it respects the receivers time and attention-span/the mail should be short enough for the specific subject.

Personally I have never received any Marketing e-mail that led to further interaction. Also e-mails pages/companies I subscribed to mostly land in my spam/junk, because I don’t always want to be informed about the latest stuff. Maybe I’m the difficult type of receivers. I rather use Social Media for it. Well, Statistics show that e-Mails have great potentials – we’ll see if it stays like this. Personally I would assume, that real time info on smartphones via live-tickers you can subscribe to or similar will soon succeed the traditional e-mail Marketing.

No.9: The difference between e-Mail Marketing and Spamming

No.8: Landing Page – now things are getting sensual

It’s already in the word, but I have fun explaining it properly. A landing page is very much comparable with yourself, whenever you go out with the intention to impress somebody, give them your ‘wow’-side – be it a job interview or a date. It is the first impression which grabs your audience, uncluttered and bold. But same as first impressions in personal encounters, landing pages need to be balanced. There is definitely a wide range of possibilities how one could design landing pages, which also means that there are many ways that are counter-productive and scare the audience of. Copyblogger also say that in a very direct way ‘ crappy landing pages kill email campaigns’.

According to Mashable, the golden rules of good landing pages are the following (one can note that for the next date as well): 1) Clean and not too overacted appearance, 2) Clear signal to action and robust incentives 3) Attractive design. So, if you do it right you’ll get her num.. I mean the visitors e-mail subscription.

Please don’t take landing pages same as home pages. Landing pages are mostly pages which later redirect the visitor to the home page. Imagine a page with a pop-up trailer or latest trend/info about a company that appears as soon as you click on an advertisement-link or an e-mail-link you received.  That’s when you are being directed to a company’s landing page before you proceed to the actual home page. When I thought of examples I imagined landing pages to Computer-/Console-Games or Movies which would be released in the next two years. Automotive companies are also good examples with trailers to their latest models or gadgets. In general I would say that landing pages serve two purposes: Raising interest and/or collecting e-mail subscriptions (often in a form of: ‘Subscribe here to be the first who hear about the latest info to xyz’).

When raising interest it is important to make no false promise or raise false expectations similar to what we discussed in the other topics of Inbound Marketing. So don’t come with $100-Discount links which then lead to buy-one-get-two offers or so – this is classical tricking and a classical way to ruin your reputation. You’ll lose your customers before you ever had them (“I told you, it was stupid to pretend you were Chris Brown’s Manager. Why not just being authentic and true? Dude, she’s gone now!”)

‘Landing page.. is it called ‘landing page’ because it is the page the visitor lands on or which you actually use to land on your visitor..’

 

I just can’t stop haha – it is too funny to compare landing-page rules with adequate dating-behavior. Copyblogger made a list with 5 Landing Page Mistakes that Crush Conversation Rates: 1) Blowing the Headline, meaning the first two seconds of attention which shouldn’t be overloaded with information and poorly-matched promises. 2) Using the regular design, meaning to cut off all extraneous stuff that can cause confusion and distraction and finally reduce conversion. Get rid of wingmen and the clutter on yourself, be clean. 3) Don’t ask for more than one thing – that scares the guts out of people. “Hey, may I have your number? And oh, maybe your address? And keys?” No.. just don’t, also not on landing pages. 4) Ignoring basic aesthetics, mind your looks. 5) Being lazy. Things are not over after the first impressions. Keep things up and work on your credibility.

Furthermore, Copyblogger wrote down 13 tips for Writing an ultimate Landing page, 5 tips for the Design, and 7 steps to an e-mail Opt-in Page that will work. If you haven’t clicked on the Copyblogger links I placed so far, you should really consider doing it now – this paper is good and written in an entertainment way!

In addition to the info from the Copyblogger paper, here the academical 2cents of HubSpot talking about Landing Pages and the best practices. They describe Landing Pages as the tool/conversion process which turn visitors into leads.

HubSpot

At last (also from Copyblogger), here the 10 Commandments of Landing Pages that work:

  • Thy landing Page shalt have but one goal
  • Thou shalt not litter thy landing page with false imagery
  • Thou shalt not take the name of an authority in vain
  • Honor thy whitespace
  • Honor thy host, bandwidth, and client
  • Thou shalt not kill with boring copy
  • Thou shalt not adulterate thy premise
  • Thou shalt not steal content from thy visitor
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness
  • Thou shalt not covet

Love thy customer!

No.8: Landing Page – now things are getting sensual

No.7: Hootsuite Uni – Social Media Etiquette, how to kickstart Content Marketing and grow a network efficiently.

I browsed around on the Hootsuite University page for a little bit today and learned incredible things I’d like to share with you. Beware, this time it’s gonna be a little intense- but like my old man says “embrace the pain, it’s good for you”. We have talked a lot about Content Marketing and Social Media in the last sessions- now the time has come where everything merges and comes out in a what-and-how-to-do-plan. Important in this regard is the section of Hootsuite Uni where they talk about adequate Etiquette in Social Media.

Whether you work for a large company or run small business, Social Media has definitely become an essential  and valuable communication skill you will use to address your potential customer. By knowing how to conduct yourself properly online you have advantages like turning connections in clients. However, in order to grow an effective voice on social media you need to know how to address people with the right adequate. Without proper knowledge how to do this, social media can easily turn out to be an double-edged sword which causes greater damage to you than it serves your purposes. It can kill you before you swing for the first strike. The goal is to create an online presence that is not only responsible and respectful, but also influential.

Hootsuite teaches you as a Social Media User to always 1) be Yourself, true and don’t feel like you have to change the way you communicate. Always imagine you would speak in public at any time and adapt your voice accordingly, because your content stays online and can be seen or searched by anyone and anytime. 2) Be Transparent, meaning identify yourself when you speak online. It is considered most appropriate to disclose the information that you represent someone or a company with your response. 3) Be respectful and mind manners at any time. 4) Play by the rules of the platform you use, since it is a social environment you enter- Respect the standards in public spaces and private fields. Also make sure, that your actions on a Social Media Platform equals the style of the self-representation on other platforms. Communicate with your department and Co-Workers about it. 5) Listen to the voices of your visitors. Always remind yourself that you are in a two-way communication environment. Half-hearted listeners often miss to catch important details or appear ignorant. By listening actively you can gain important knowledge about what your visitors demand or criticize and use these information to adapt. 6) Engage: It is important to participate in meaningful conversations which are related to your business. You show that you are up-to-date and make sure that your followers and observers keep track with you and don’t turn away from you/loose interest.

Now, ok, fine, enough theory. Some hard facts for you how to do on twitter, fb and LinkedIn!

Twitter Etiquette: When building followers, engaging with community and not following just for the sake of following. Less is more. Communicate rather with few and good sources than with the masses. Quality prevails Quantity. Share a good balance of interesting retweetet content and original content, don’t spam and don’t overuse #hashtags. It is easy to become impersonal, so keep in mind to treat other users humanly. It can be considered poor etiquette to respond late on tweets you receive. Use Direct Messages for sensitive information.

Facebook Etiquette: Customize sharing settings and set who can receive your different tpes of content (friends, friends+, everyone). Keep in touch with people you know or you had contact with. When tagging photos, make sure that you have the consent of the people you’re about to tag in the photos. Be respectful of other’s Facebook experiences. Mindfully send invites and application requests.

LinkedIn Etiquette: Better Etiquette means better Opportunities. Be accurate and professional, this is a serious page. Never send generic invites, these are considered annoying. Utilize Endorsement and Recommendation features. Provide value through content. Be personal and don’t spam through private message, trying to advertise.

As one big lesson at last: ONCE ON THE WEB, FOREVER ON THE WEB. Think before you post something- because posts, pictures and anything else will last for a long time online and can be recalled. Try to not uploading anything that might interfere with your good reputation in future.

Now, once you know how to behave the best way on the different platforms you might ask yourself what to do in order to grow your community and doing this as efficiently as possible.

So here is the kickstart manual also by Hootsuite: A) Start with the Finish-Line, meaning take a look at your Marketing goals. Also take a look at your audience.. what do you expect to happen, what are your goals? Getting an overall view helps to set up a realistic plan and decision about which channels you would want to use and how you want to use those. B) Plan ahead and budget for production. Create themes base on specifically timed objectives. Gear your topics based on audience questions or concerns. Break up big pieces into smaller one to get more out of your content. Don’t forget to think about investments in production and distribution.  C) Build a social story. Plan to promote across different social networks. Vary your message according to network. Schedule accordingly to maximize reach for different audiences and viewing times. D) Measure your content performance. Analytics! Monitor content performance based on earlier defined goals. Ensure you have the technology to support your efforts. E) Adapt. Embrace reality and be prepared to change.

As soon as you have your manual together, also always keep in mind following facts and hints, which will help you to build up a healthy community around your business and Marketing actions.

1) People are naturally drawn to communities that serve their interests and include like-minded people. Strong relationships are at the core of business success and an online community can foster such relationships between your brand and your customers, prospect and partners. It is important to build up a guiding philosophy which are similar to core values of a company, an overall plan/idea. 2) Without conversation, your community will wither. You in order to grasp the benefits of Social Media you need to join your community and build stronger bonds between your members. You will also need to learn about the value of building relationships with influencers and advocates, and the ways you can leverage your community to align with your business objectives. Start researching for potential advocates, since they can also help to reach people offline. Host meet-ups and real-life events. 3) The social networks on which you choose to build your community should be guided by where your audience already resides. That said, each major social media channel offers unique opportunities and different landscapes that cater best to different types of businesses and communities.

Guys, you did well. I hope it was not to dense and you could learn as much as I did. Just keep in mind, like I do: ‘It’s good for you!’

No.7: Hootsuite Uni – Social Media Etiquette, how to kickstart Content Marketing and grow a network efficiently.

No.6: Social Media. You and the world.

Every time people talk about Marketing they cross a point where they talk about Social Media. An everyday normal-guy would describe Social Media as places (meaning platforms) in the web, where you can set up your own profile and communicate with other people over their own profiles or meet them in some other section of the Social Media platform. Social Media platforms exist for many kinds of communication purposes: private matters, business, self-advertising/-representing or also combinations of these. The most popular examples for Social Media platforms are, oh wonder: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and you know which I mean..

Over the last years, Social Media has developed really fast and business noticed the opportunity to address the community via this new communication tool in order to be heard, be loved and perform viral Marketing, which would be spread by the community. In fact almost 90% of all people between the age of 18 and 29 uses some kind of Social Media. Hearing this, some business men might easily think: “Wow, they’re finally gonna listen to us, if we talk to them via Social Media. We just need to make them see us, be on their level and hit their interests. They’ll love it, yeiw!” Easier said than done.. what exactly can one do to seize the values of Social Media? Wait, what are the values of Social Media? What are the basic does and don’ts, how can one use Metrics and ROI-Calculations of Social Media? Phew!

Fortunately, there is MOZ. MOZ wrote this e-book which provides awesome content concerning Social Media and basically answers exactly these questions, and most likely every other question you have concerning Social Media. Here is the link to the page, but if you want you can also download the e-book here.

MOZ describes Social Media as an opportunity for businesses to create relationships to their customers (two-way communication, not like TV and Radio which are one-way communication examples). With Social Media, businesses can get closer to their audience, reach people on a different relationship level, create greater traffic own their other pages, engage influencers and gain data, lots of data.

I can’t avoid it, I need to speak about content again. As I mentioned in prior posts already – it all depends on what you deliver and how you deliver. MOZ says that too. People won’t longer pay attention to corporation which try to sell themselves, especially on Social Media Platforms. Authenticity, Credibility, Trust – that’s the goal, you want to be/have this. And the way to it is continuous content-improvement, with the visitors as directors (“don’t listen to the HiPPO!”). A business needs to provide valuable, informative content which appeals to the visitor expectations/needs that automatically leads to the quantity and quality of the audience. But this is not the only thing! Social Media is also a great source for product development or hiring people.

MOZ captures the experience of best practice examples in three general steps. 1) Building up a relationship/ deciding on how often and what kind of content which a corporation should share (like tips, individual responses, non-promotional info, job openings), 2) collecting and working with Feedback, and 3) keeping the Corporate Branding authentic and smooth by updating and adjusting all Marketing Channels to each other continuously (having a ‘consistent voice’).

Metrics and ROI-Calculations: Collect data → convert data into information → interpret the information. Social Media Platforms provide great sources for qualitative and quantitative data. You can sum up your amount of followers, measure engagement, times and Click-through rates. Sometimes you can even work with valuable conversation info which you gain from the relationships to your visitors.

Having all this mentioned I want to say that this isn’t the point where Social Media ends. It is still in a dramatically developing state and there are countless types and providers of Social Media on the world. Everything goes global, just as Facebook and Twitter went global. To mention few other Platforms from all over the planetwhich might be potential leaders in future, here a list: Qzone, RenRen, Badoo, Kontakte (VK), Odnoklassniki, Mixi, Daum, Orkut, Cloob, and Line.

We’ll see how things turn out in future!

No.6: Social Media. You and the world.

No.5: Content Marketing. “Wiki, what is Content?” – “con·tent1, kənˈtent/, noun: a state of satisfaction. Example: Nothing would content her.”

Two sessions ago I wrote about the fact that the Marketing World has changed and how it moved from pure Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing, with a continuously growing trend. Inbound Marketing is the concept of being found instead of broadcasting whatever one stands for/wants to sell. This concept is growing because on one hand that the amount of advertisements became too much for the world and people simply ignore these. On the other hand over time, the web became an easily accessible media which people used to educate themselves and share information in real time. A demand for true information, for useful content was born. People don’t longer wait for being sold to and are informed about products/services/competitors/etc. when they walk into your store. In sum, Inbound Marketing makes sure that people want to come to you, after they found you, informed themselves about you, your market position and your profile.

You need to convince, you need content!

Content Marketing is a discipline of Inbound Marketing. It is about writing compelling content that attracts people to one’s business and proving insight to the world around a product/a service instead of highlighting it. Yes, the most important aspect in this occasion is that the owner provides a clean content without any intentions of self-profiling or advertising, because this would disturb the self-education process of a visitor and would have a negative impact on his impression.

“Wow!” I got curious since I can also count myself to the majority of people who usually ignore advertisements or just swallow them without any following action. I wanted to know more about Content Marketing and how it works. I wondered: “What key factors make Content Marketing a good one and how Content Marketing might develop in future?

This paper, written by Brian Clark of Copyblogger Media, gives answers to my questions and a picture about agile Content Marketing. As key factors he also points out that successful content means to provide an authoritative and enjoyable sales experience to the customer, to interact with people and not to forget, to be present/easy to find. Being able to find and staying present requires continuous updates beside the continuous content development. This is necessary to keep you up in the search engine rankings. I think I mentioned it when I was writing about Google Analytics in No.2 that search engine ranking is not based only on traffic amount, but also on keywords – so keep in mind to think like a user, “what would you type in to find something?“ Brian Clark also shows that people who actively search for something are most willingly to make a purchase. In contrast, social links like from facebook caused only 1% of the whole purchase rate in 2012. This is cited from the Forrester report mentioned in Clark’s paper. Isn’t that crazy? I thought that social media would have a bigger impact on buying behavior of people. Apparently not, so better forget that/not focus on it and concentrate on audiences in other channels. According to Clark, you can rank your audience starting with the most important: Repeating customer and clients, then customer and clients, specific email audience, general content audience and at last social network followers. The ranking also give you an idea about how much effort you should put into every group to gain/maintain trust and interest.

Okay, I know now: be true, be communicative, and be present. But still, how do I create a Content Marketing Strategy that is solid? Well, it won’t work right from the start. The answer is that one needs to think about the visitor/customer before setting up a page/blog/paper. Don’t expect to be flawless in first place. The thing you should care about is to keep listening to the audience’s expectations and demands, meaning continuously improving your style and appearance. There is no golden rule like “you need to be so much serious and so much funny”, your audience’s reaction will tell you how you do and it’s about you to match their idea in future. Clark sets five steps for this: Research, Release, Optimize, Connect, Repeat. So, think, then do it and keep going/improving!

Just thought about what weird things people sometimes want from you. Remember this scene from Fightclub?

Well, I guess.. sometimes you just gotta give people whatever makes them happy!

At last, here are some predictions regarding the future of Content Marketing summed up by Kane Jamison and his team from ContentHarmony. First, they list a few general facts in a bullish vs. bearish category (bearing chances and risks), beginning with the amount of content marketing tools which is rapidly growing while marketers appear overwhelmed and fail to embrace the chance using those. This also includes Social Media; generally good tools to rise attention- but a company should avoid following a “Buffet-Style” Social Media Strategy and rather concentrate on the few channels which fit the company’s needs best rather than trying to be present on every platform. Furthermore, it seems to be a general problem that providers focus too much on their secondary pages and therefore too less on their primary appearance- setting the right focus and creating a balance will save time and resources that might be better spend on other tasks. A correct Microdata structure, implementing Content Marketing with or without a specific vision and the overclocking of information updates/feeds/’site make-up’ are factors which either boost a company on a leading position or let them fall back into the outdated class. ContentHarmony mentions few pros & cons concerning Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter postings. Interesting was the prediction that printed media/ printed Content Marketing is still relevant and has kind of a come-back, which can effectively support the online content of a company. The last facts are focusing presentation styles and point out what can be done right and wrong when it comes to Presentations, Podcasts and Subject Lines.

I must say, that I didn’t find these predictions very surprising and pretty logical. Content Marketing is developing, wow, and consequently one must filter and recognize what is good or bad for the own business.

While Content Marketing is growing bigger, one shouldn’t try to catch every opportunity and rather try to be professional on selected channels. Okay, saying this I am thinking of different company sizes & budgets and how these characteristics affect the decision of where and how a company should appear in order to perform well or maintain its status. Adding my 0,02¢, I would predict that a company will do well as long it stays updated. I don’t just mean keeping content up-to-date, but staying informed about what is in trend and track the trends that could be important for the own interest/business field. This is also no incredible knowledge, but surprisingly often ignored in reality.

No.5: Content Marketing. “Wiki, what is Content?” – “con·tent1, kənˈtent/, noun: a state of satisfaction. Example: Nothing would content her.”

No.4: A/B Testing “You can get with this, or you can get with that”

A/B Testing! Oh, I remember we talked about it briefly in the last lesson.

Basically it is an experimental testing method which compares various versions of the same homepage on the user’s reaction. So one can determine which improvement has the higher impact/which people like better. The one of those pages which gets favored by the users would be considered as the better model. Another good thing about A/B Testing is that it allows testing new versions of one’s page/site without compromising the business. All in all A/B Tests intend to improve the web performance for better online-service, better sale rate, higher traffic, more donations, registrations and so on while providing further valuable insights about visitor interests and demands. It is very important to note, that the focus lies on the interests and perceptions of the customer/user of the page, not the interests of any other stakeholder.

This clip from Kentico was quite helpful for me to understand what A/B Testing is in general: http://youtu.be/-Kh0xCKoNvU?t=17s Please excuse her voice pitch and the silly animations used in the entire clip. Personally I found that very annoying, good information regarding A/B Testing though and that is what finally counts!

This clip is explaining A/B Testing by using the example of a Voting Campaign and presents the benefits of A/B Testing. This is very useful for the next point on this blog I want to talk about – The Obama Re-Election Campaign in 2012!

Here, Amelia Showalter and her team did an A/B Test on various versions of fundraising mails for the before standing re-election campaign. A dozen of different mail versions were tested on one day. The difference between the best and the last successful version that day was a fundraising amount of $2,137,263, a difference you don’t want to miss when you actually start the campaign and blast the mail out to millions of subscribers.

More than the headliner of the mail, the A/B Test was also testing the amount of money Amelia and her teams would ask people to pay. As one can see, Obama is president again – would it have been the same without this A/B Test?

However, the Obama campaign didn’t get much use from commercial data like magazine subscriptions or purchase histories — the only really useful outside data was largely demographic. “I mean, the best data for us was things that we collected at the doors,” Messina told Politico. “You know, there was some commercial stuff that every campaign, including the Romney campaign, purchases. But you know, the truth is, the more we learned about data, the more we learned how important the connection was. The door-knocking, having a real conversation with people on the doors, that really mattered.” The campaign also relied heavily on information that is public record, like voting histories. None of this is functionally different from the kinds of insights that campaigns have used for years to target direct mail, and people who worry that politicians are learning how to tailor their message to their audience based on internal research are decades late to the game.

Sources used for this post:

https://www.optimizely.com/ab-testing/

https://markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/guidecontrolledexperiments.pdf

http://www.businessweek.com/printer/articles/84306-the-science-behind-those-obama-campaign-e-mails

http://techpresident.com/news/23173/obama-campaigns-legacy-listen-experiment-and-analyze-everything

No.4: A/B Testing “You can get with this, or you can get with that”