Test Your Way to Success

Test Your Way to Success

A lot of new marketers listen to one marketing guru or another and think that what they’ve just learned is the gospel.

They learn that “this always works” or “that always works”…but that’s rarely the case.

What is the case is that almost every situation is different. There are lots of things that work better more often than not, but there is nothing I know that works every single time it’s used, regardless of the topic, and regardless of the traffic.

In other words, the tactics you’d use to get people to buy T-Shirts from your online T-shirt shop won’t necessarily get a CEO to hire an attorney.

Make sense?

If everything worked the same all the time, there would be only one style of web page, and it would always say and do the same thing — no matter what was being sold.

So how do you figure out what works?

You test.

“Yech” you might say. I’ve hated tests since kindergarten. But that’s not the kind of test I’m talking about here.

We’re talking about split tests.

Also called “A/B tests”, split tests work like this:

You look at your web page and think to yourself “What one thing on this page could either cause someone to buy from me or cause them not to buy from me.”

If you can’t think of something on your own (price, the product name, the offer, the page layout…and on an done) then you can try the headline.

The headline is often hugely influential in whether someone reads a web page or not.
And as a result, it’s also hugely influential in whether someone buys or not — since people who don’t read a page are seldom to buy the item being offered on it.

So let’s say you’re going to test the headline on your page.

To split test your headline, make two identical web pages. Leave the original headline on one page, and put a new headline on the second page.

Then, use some programming, or a split testing tool, to split your traffic equally between the two pages, and count the sales coming from each one.

So let’s say that after 100 sales, you find that 40 sales come from your original page, with your original headline, and 60 sales came from your new page with your new headline.

That test tells you that your new headline causes more sales than your old headline.

So what do you do next?

Well, your first job is to get rid of your old headline and replace it with the new one. Your second job is to now try to beat your new headline with one that does even better.

And your job doesn’t ever end.

Good marketers know that once you’ve got a website that makes you money, it’s far easier to make that website make even more money than to start working on a second site.

And that’s what a marketer’s job is — to constantly test and improve the performance of his website.

We do it at the MMC, and top marketers do it all over the world.

Oh, and if you don’t have a split testing tool already, check out Google’s Website Optimizer. We’ll be doing some work directly with the GWO in the coming weeks and months in the MMC. And we’ve got some magical tools that are even better that we’ll be telling you about, too.

But for now, if you’ve got nothing else, try Google’s tool.

It works…and it’s free.

More info on split testing to come.

To your success,

–Mark Widawer

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