Inbound Marketing Requires Some Trial and Error

Sean Johnson
Posted by Sean Johnson on September 30, 2011

Sometimes, things just don't work out as anticipated. 

While that may be a universal constant, it's what we learn from the effort that can often lead to greater success later. Often, what we have to learn is that our first idea - or second or third or fourth - may not have been the right one for us to succeed. 

Edison_Bulb_Inbound_MarketingIf I remember the grade school story correctly, Thomas Edison was once asked if he felt like a failure because after 3,000 attempts, he still had not found a way to make a light bulb for mass consumption. His response: "I didn't fail 3,000 times. I found 3,000 ways how not to create a light bulb"

That's an attitude we need to have when ramping up our inbound marketing efforts. Sometimes, things are just not going to work as you anticipated. It you are regularly monitoring your analytics, you will see what is working and what is not. One of the worst things you can do is continue on with things that are not working. If it's not working, you are going to turn off your customers and prospects if you stick with it. 

This is particularly true with email campaigns. The objective is to find that right combination of timing and content that prompts your subscribers to click and read rather than ignore. Sometimes the only way to determine that is to try and try again, eliminating the things that don't work. 

Unfortunately, that is not happening enough, according to research from Marketing Sherpa, which found that 47 percent of marketers regularly test the timing and content of their e-mails, 53 percent do not. Those 53 percent aren't doing anything to improve the chances their e-mail will be opened and a prospect might convert to a customer. 

The thing is, it doesn't have to be all that complicated. Some simple tests you can conduct to see if your e-mail get better traction:

  • Change the delivery time. If everyone else is trying to hit that best practice time of 11 a.m. delivery, if your message lost in the crowd?
  • Edit the subject line. Maybe the timing is good, but your subject line doesn't pull them in. 
  • Change the delivery day. A different day of the week may work better. Don't rule out weekends. Try to anticipate when folks might be interested in your message, and have it there on that day. 

The important takeaway is to make sure you are monitoring you efforts and making changes to things that are not working. Test. Monitor. Recalibrate. Test Again. The end results should be more effective campaigns for both you and your prospects.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing

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