In Lead Scoring and Segmentation

Hi Fellow Marketer,

A big deal for us at ReachForce is to improve the nurture email conversation, to never send pointless, cheesy emails, among other things.  As marketers, we all get far too many of them.

ReachForce send a traffic builder email prior to the Marketo Summit that many of you received, with the subject line: “Free Beer, and Gold For Everyone.” This “blast” delivered some of the most astonishing and awesome results we’ve ever seen – the biggest of which was feeling like we truly connected with you.

And for the metrics hungry, it was a serious winner with a 42.8% open rate, 37.8% Click to Open Rate, and most importantly our booth ended up Number 1 in booth scans out of 55 exhibitors, for a 300%+ increase over the previous year.

Ah, but then we need to send the show follow-up email. The Suits are getting nervous. There are notes.  Suddenly, a lot of Helpful Guidance. And Nervous Concern.

You’ve all been there. You go out and work to create a better, more successful approach, one that still resonates with your buyer personas, your business needs, but one that’s outside the lines a bit, to try and lift response and more importantly, engagement, and it works great. But then someone decides it’s TOO different, and decides to shut it down.

Thankfully, team ReachForce is pretty bold, we love a good conversation and we are usually willing to make fun of ourselves. So for the post show follow-up, we tested 2 messages, the traditional post show email pushing hard for a meeting (sorry!) which was an updated version of our own last year post summit email, and the other email was breezier, fun, whoopie-esque thank you for the remaining 80%.

We desperately wanted whimsy, authenticity and conversation to win, and to keep all the back seat copywriters away. Our first clue would be the open rate. These were the comparison subject lines and measured open rates:

Traditional: Email A: Tremendous Opportunity at the 2013 Marketo User Summit 39.7%

Whimsy: Email B: Marketo Summit: So many whoopie cushions… 39%

It is wrong to root for a certain test segment – well we did, and were surprised – the traditional subject won out, but by a statistically insignificant margin. However, it still won.

But what about engagement? This is the real meat of the matter. We all live by the mantra of focus, and just One Call To Action. These are RULES people. But who wrote the rules? What if the rules have changed because people and their behavior has changed? What if we are measuring the wrong thing?

So here are the engagement stats:

Email A: Tremendous Opportunity at the 2013 Marketo User Summit 13.6% Click to Open

Email B: Marketo Summit: So many whoopie cushions… 12.2% Click to Open

Feeling a bit dejected at this point (BTW the full text of both emails is at the end). Until we looked at theEmail Link Performance.

One of the best practices from the days of direct postal mail, is that long copy is okay, and PS statements get a lot of reads. So we tested a PS in both messages – those in the whoopie segments knew there was a test, but didn’t know the details. Those in the tremendous opportunity got the information disclosed in the PS. Both are below:

Email A: Tremendous Opportunity at the 2013 Marketo User Summit – PS

PS – A little weirded out by the tone of this email? You’ve been sent a 20% test segment. We did it so we can track it and share with our bosses why it’s important to remember we are sending emails to individual people, to awesome marketers, and not just batch blasting for numbers and sending the same, old thing. To get the real email click here. Next week, we’ll share the results.

Email B: Marketo Summit: So many whoopie cushions… PS

PS – We sent a 20% test segment of our last year Marketo follow-up email. we did it so we can track it and we can share with you and our bosses why it’s important to remember we are sending emails to individual people, to awesome marketers, and not just batch blasting for numbers. We’ll share the results with you in my next email.

So far, boring is winning. What got the clicks?

% of unique clicks % Share of all clicks
Email B: Whoopie Copy embed Webtrends Case Study 94.74% 75.0%
Email B: Whoopie Signature item: Mary Firme Linkedin 1.75% 1.4%
Email B: Whoopie Signature item: http://reachforce.wpengine.com 7.02% 5.6%
Email B: Whoopie Signature item: https://twitter.com/ReachForce 1.75% 1.4%
Email B: Whoopie Signature item: mailto:mfirme AT reachforce.com 1.75% 1.4%
Email B: Whoopie Copy embed mailto:sales AT reachforce.com 19.30% 15.3%
Email A: Tremendous PS: Request real follow-up email 56.25% 42.9%
Email A: Tremendous Copy embed Webtrends Case Study 56.25% 42.9%
Email A: Tremendous Signature item: http://reachforce.wpengine.com 18.75% 14.3%

In email A, there were equal clicks on 1) the desired action (download the case study) in email A and 2) the request to be sent the  “real email” . Taking this into account, we rebaked the results of the click-off, and calculated only against the click on the case study:

Email A: Tremendous Opportunity at the 2013 Marketo User Summit 7.6% Click to Case Study

Email B: Marketo Summit: So many whoopie cushions… 10.6% Click to Case Study

When looked through this lens, the clear winner is conversation and engagement. This point alone was worth the test, but what’s not measured is there were 3 leads directly back to ReachForce off the conversational email. Additionally, there is clearly higher  interested was generated in the company overall (as seen by the click in the email signature) and notably, the second highest percentage of clicks were those who clicked the conversational  CTA to talk to sales. We can’t compare this in the bake-off, because we didn’t include a link to sales in the Tremendous email, but we will next time.

Full text of both emails follows.

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Email A: Serious, business-y, 20% of list

From: ReachForce

Subject: Tremendous Opportunity at the 2013 Marketo User Summit

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Now that the Marketo Summit has concluded, we look forward to an opportunity to explore a key and growing topic of high interest: how companies are successfully accelerating lead conversion from their inbound marketing initiatives. Webtrends is one of many ReachForce customers that are seeing significant improvements in the number and quality of inbound leads as well as a reduction in cost per lead.

In summary, Webtrends uses ReachForce SmartForms to bridge the huge gap that exists between the need to increase conversions through shorter forms, and the need to capture the rich business firmographic and demographic information required for nurturing, scoring, routing, targeting and segmentation. Please review the study, below, regarding Webtrends’s successful use of ReachForce SmartForms.

Read about Webtrends’s success here.

I’d also like to have your Account Executive follow-up to explore how we may help you accelerate lead conversions and revenue growth. When is a convenient time this week for an introductory call?

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Email B: Conversational, Fun: 80% of List:

From: ReachForce

Subject: Marketo Summit: So many whoopie cushions…

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Team ReachForce gave you 636 whoopie cushions, 386 Glowing Orbs of Power, 137 in-booth demos, 27 Hey Girl photo frames, 1 ice luge and a Sold Out Speaking session. We’re still catching our breath. But we had a great time, and we hope you did too.

It was loud on the show floor, and you may have been busy in class, so it might have been hard to hear some of those demos. So I’d like to drop the hint – just softly – that we’ll be doing full live demo webinars of our new Marketo-integrated cDQM Continuous Data Quality Management solution and our SmartForms web form data appending in the next couple weeks, and I’ll send you all another note once the schedule is up. In the meantime, take a look at this.

I’m also running a test, and at this moment, you are part of it. (See PS below)

I look forward to continuing our conversations and nurturing you all a little bit. Or if you need immediate answers, click here for a pretty rapid response from the wonderful people of ReachForce sales. I’m super proud of Team ReachForce for working so hard, looking so good and making you all feel welcomed.