Marketing Experiment Laboratory

Today I launched our company’s Marketing Experiment Laboratory. Though I’ve been testing, experimenting, and tracking results from the day I arrived, a little bit of structure and polish on the presentation side of our experimentation will go a long way.

With myself facilitating the majority of the experimentation, I will mainly bring my marketing associate into the lab with me, but also various managerial and executive stakeholders to ensure (at least an understanding of) the scientific marketing culture continues to grow company-wide.

No, we’re not talking about a physical laboratory or work space. We’re talking about using the Web as a living laboratory and simply setting up a bit more structure in the approach to and reporting of the testing in which we’ve already been engaged.

Inspired by the mode of presentation at the Marketing Sherpa Email Summit 2013, I primarily want to begin putting the data conclusions from various reports into a simple, presentable archiving format. Plus, let’s be honest, talking about marketing in the context of a “laboratory” is fun.



Experiment ID: Valentine’s Day Subject Line
Location: Evolutions Marketing Experiment Laboratory (EMEL)
Test Protocol Number: TP0001


Background: A Southern California fashion company specializing in handcrafted footwear and accessories.

Goal: To increase promotional email open rate.

Primary Research Question: Which style of email subject line will generate the highest open rate?

Approach: A/B split test.

Control: Flowers die. Love of shoes is forever.

Test: Flowers die…



Conversion Rate (%)

Relative Difference






22.093% increase

Conclusion: By piquing the customer’s curiosity, the Test was able to outperform the Control by increasing the open rate by 22.093%. The purpose of a subject line is to convert attention into interest. In this case, it’s clear the Test accomplished as much. We suspect the Control gave away the promotional intent of the email and allowed more recipients to make their decision to disengage before opening the email.

“A headline is a pickup line” (and other marketing quotes)

Having recently returned from the Marketing Sherpa Email Summit 2013, I have a slew of stand-out quotes–in no particular order–from my time in Vegas.

Which is most applicable to your work?

“The marketer does not optimize ads or pages or emails, but rather thoughts and conclusions.”

“Unless your product brings something exclusive to the market, evolution will destroy it.”

“Clarity is the most important component a marketer can bring to any piece of collateral.”

“There are no expert marketers. Only experienced marketers and expert testers.”

“If you don’t have a value proposition, you’re surviving on pockets of ignorance.”

“A business that doesn’t have a value proposition doesn’t have a basis to exist.”

“Silos are for suckers. Customers don’t care about your company’s org chart.”

“Use the geography of the Web page to influence the chronology of the mind.”

“The maketer’s job is not to make claims, but to influence conclusions.”

“There’s no such thing as a best practice. There’s a starting practice.”

“The marketer should be the philosopher of the organization.”

“The answer to ‘How?’ is often found in answering the ‘Why?’”

“A good headline converts attention into interest.”

“Optimization is a process, not an event.”

“Writing without conflict is propaganda.”

“Adequacy is the enemy of excellence.”

“Clarity trumps persuasion.”