The Insides Matter: Designing Better Services at 9 Clouds
Better services and better products are the result of better design.
As Apple launched another round of iPhones this week, I was reminded of Steve Jobs and his obsession with detail.
Among many consistent demands, Mr. Jobs insisted that all of Apple’s products look as beautiful inside as they do outside. Everything from the circuit boards to the screws had to share the same dignified sense of intentional design.
“It takes a lot of hard work to make something simple,” Steve Jobs once said, “to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions.”
And it wasn’t only about tidiness — this design philosophy also affects how people feel about Apple products.
Today, if you pry the shell off your iPhone (which I wouldn’t recommend), you’d see exactly what I mean; everything is thoughtfully and beautifully assembled.
Focusing on “The Insides” of Our Services
We happen to feel good about Apple products here at 9 Clouds. Like Mr. Jobs, we too appreciate details.
One of the main points in our manifesto is: We believe in transparent services based on data. We are transparent with our clients about the work we do for them. We test, learn, and adjust our tactics based on results.
Our project managers at 9 Clouds would agree. Every month, we build, launch, monitor, and test ads, emails, blog posts, and landing pages to build elegant solutions for our clients.
But that is all the easy part of our work.
For those of us who want to make better services, the real challenge is making the data meaningful. Not only are we tasked with translating our techno jargon for the real world, but we’re also focused on carefully designing the details inside our marketing machine.
Finding Beauty in the Details
For many years, our team has focused on finding meaningful insights through testing our content. Everything from the colors in our call-to-action (CTA) buttons to ideal email sending times has been tested by our crew — and we have at least 10 tests running in any given month.
The most compelling tests are done en masse — meaning we run the same test across several pieces of content for several clients. We prefer to have lots and lots of data at hand to substantiate our strategies.
Gaining Insights from Email Personalization
In August, our creative team wanted to know if subject line personalization affects an email’s open rate, so we did a group test of nine marketing emails using the same variable.
- Test Variable A included a personalization token. Examples:
- Exclusive Hyundai and Nissan Savings for [First Name]
- [First Name] – See what’s new.
- [First Name] – $10k off a new RAM 2500
- Test Variable B was generic. Examples:
- Exclusive Hyundai and Nissan Savings
- See what’s new.
- $10k off a new RAM 2500
Here is what we learned in August: Personalizing the subject line improved the open rate of the email in 88.9% of our tests. But strangely enough, the personalization had no significant impact on click-through rate.
Using Results to Build a Better Product
Not only does our team believe in the power of research, we also believe data is more powerful when we share it. It’s why we value transparency, and it’s one of many ways we build trust with our clients.
This company-wide email test is just one small example of how we make systematic and incremental improvements to our services over time.
We’re keeping a keen eye on “the insides” of 9 Clouds to make our services better, and we hope you feel inspired to do the same.
Now that we have the data — and a good methodology for creating it — we’re putting it to work.
If you want to learn more about the thoughtful design of our marketing, pull out your thoughtfully designed iPhone and browse our case studies.