Do Press Releases Work in Digital? | Target Internet

A/B testing press release components

A/B testing[12] is an iterative, trial-and-error method that can be used to tighten up every detail of your press releases. By tracking the performance of two marginally different press releases on random audience samples from your media mailing list, you can draw conclusions on what works best.

Any component of your press release email can be A/B tested – for example, your:

  • Subject line
  • Sentence order
  • Rich media type(s)
  • News angle

Let’s say you’re A/B testing the subject line of your press release email. Here’s how you might go about it:

  1. Create two random samples of contacts from your media contact list (try to use only a small proportion of your contacts – just enough to secure reliable insights[13]).
  2. Create your press release email with two different subject line options
  3. Send the email to your audience samples, using a different subject line for each group
  4. Compare the open rate for each sample to get an indication of which subject line was more effective
  5. Consider using the most effective subject line for the rest of your contact list
  6. Use your findings to influence future strategy

Carrying out this relatively straightforward progress at the outset of your press release email campaign could significantly increase its open-rate – and therefore, its overall success.

If you’re new to A/B testing, we recommend starting with the “easy win” of testing your email subject lines – it’s a simple test that tends to produce reliable results. As you get more comfortable with the process, move on to testing other aspects of your press releases, with the eventual goal of making every aspect of your press releases testable and insight-informed.

Optimise your content for search engines

Whilst SEO isn’t a top priority when creating a digital press release, it’s good practice to bear a few key points in mind:

  • Backlinks – including links to several relevant pages of your website encourages extensive, varied backlinking.
  • Searchable topics – you may wish to tweak the subject matter of your press release content according to search trends.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing – make a concerted effort not to overuse SEO keywords in your press releases, as this will put off media contacts and may harm search performance.
  • Optimise rich media – use searchable titles in your image alt tags.
  • Request citations linking to your site whenever your rich media is used.

Mobile friendliness

According to Ofcom[14], 29% of UK news consumers in 2016 used their mobiles to access news content on a regular basis, up from 14% in 2013.

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