As always, I’ve read a dozen great articles this week but here are a few good reads that are relevant to many businesses and are practical enough to actually implement.

Email marketing – A/B split testing for subject lines

For those of you who have been engaging with customers and audiences through email for some time now, this article about subject line testing in email will be useful and interesting. If you’re reasonably new to email marketing and haven’t yet learnt the key metrics used to measure and quantify whether or not your email campaign has been successful, then this article might be too advanced for you just now.

Key out-takes on email subject line testing are:

  • Consistency of branding in email subject lines does not show stronger conversion rates (albeit open rates can vary)
  • Email marketing subject lines should not always be evaluated against open rates – the desired action should be the focus (conversion)
  • Be careful not to simultaneously test too many factors in your email subject lines – length, urgency, branding, caps etc
  • Novelty changes may increase short term results but damage long term results. Make sure you have a strategy for your testing
  • Subject lines don’t work in isolation. They are commonly viewed along with a from line and (often) snippet text, preheader text and/or a preview pane
Facebook as a B2B marketing tool
@JeffBullas gives us 11 tips on B2B facebook marketing tactics. Jeff Bullas is a great resource for easy to follow tips for social media strategy and implementation. As Jeff says in this article about using Facebook to build your business engagement and leads, “Facebook should be thought of as an extension of a businesses website, blog and online store that promotes and publishes to the channel where its customers are hanging out.” Below are the tips that I particularly like and already use, or plan to use in my own business:
  • Use facebook as a video channel
  • Create forms to capture data such as email addresses for lead generation within facebook
  • facebook provides quick market research and surveys
  • facebook allows you to make your company human
  • Use Facebook as a customer service channel
Blogging builds your business
And finally, a short note to say that blogging does build your brand, your traffic and ultimately your business – but it takes time and effort. Obviously I believe this as I’ve invested the last 9 months of my life into building this blog and it hasn’t grown as fast as I’d like it to, but I also know that I could put much more effort into it, but I like to still have a life, so I’m content with slow and steady growth for now. Hubspot conducted a study about business online channels and found that:
  • 69% of businesses surveyed attributed their lead generation success to blogging
  • The study also found that 75% of businesses believed SEO was a primary factor
  • Social media came in third with 47%, almost triple that of paid search (which shocked me really)

 If you agree, disagree or have ready other articles, blogs or research that are better, or contradict. Please comment.