By testing every element of your marketing BEFORE you invest in it, you will often be seen by others as a marketing genius, writes Robert Clay of Marketing Wizdom.
It’s how you can eliminate all uncertainty and guesswork from your marketing. You should never make any significant investment in marketing without first doing what I’m about to share with you.
That being the case, it’s surprising how many entrepreneurs never “get” it, and just throw money down the drain unnecessarily. And it’s a complete waste, because they don’t have to!
Start testing every element of your marketing and you’ll gain an emphatic edge over most of your competition.
Test One Approach Against Another
How can you always be certain of results from your marketing? Simply put, if you do nothing more than try one:
- Approach against another
- Supposition against another
- Way of doing something against another
- Price against another
- Way of of saying something against another
- Guarantee against another
- Explaination against another
- Way of promoting something against another
Then measure and compare results. You’ll be delighted and surprised to discover that one way will always out-perform another. And sometimes by a massive margin.
It’s not at all unusual when you compare the effectiveness of one approach against another, for the superior approach to out-perform the inferior one by as much as 5, 10 or even 20 times.
To Which of These Offers Would You Be Most Likely to Respond?
Try this exercise. Which of the following five “offers” would you be more likely to respond to?
- HALF PRICE
- 50% OFF
- SAVE £11
- TWO FOR £22
- BUY ONE GET ONE FREE.
When I ask that question the audience normally agree that fundamentally, they’re all essentially the same in money terms. Yet, clearly, one outperforms the others. Can you tell which one it was?
Did you get it right?
BUY ONE GET ONE FREE outperformed the other two in one test by 300%! Illogical. But true.
What Approaches Are You Using?
Think for a minute about the selling approach you’re currently using. What about your current pricing structure? Which benefits do you focus or concentrate on when you’re selling your product or service?
They could be under-performing your true potential. And they could be delivering as little as 5% of their true potential.
The point is, when you test one approach against another and carefully analyse the results, you will be amazed that one approach always out-pulls all the others. You’ll also be amazed at how much better you can do with the same amount of time, effort and investment.
Yet it’s amazing how few entrepreneurial businesses ever test any aspect of their marketing and compare it to something else. They bet their destiny on arbitrary, subjective decisions and conjecture.
You don’t have the right or the power to predetermine what the marketplace wants and what the best price, package, or approach will be. The market itself will determine those things.
You have the obligation, opportunity, and power to put every important marketing question to a vote by the only people whose ballots count: clients and prospects. They’re the people who vote with their credit cards, bank transfers, purchase orders, chequebooks, and contracts.
Testing is a fantastic way to prove, inexpensively, the power of a headline.
As already mentioned, it’s always a good idea to test response before committing to a larger-scale roll-out, or making any significant investment in advertising. And the same is true online or offline.
One company discovered the value of testing by trying 4 different headlines for a diet product, over a 3-month period. The sales material remained identical. Only the headline was different in each case.
The headlines were as follows:
- “Breakthrough New Diet Product!”
- “A New Diet Revolution!”
- “How A “Bristol Housewife” Lost 23.5 Pounds In 32 Days!”
- “Dieting Secrets Of A Desperate Housewife!”
Every individual response was carefully tracked and recorded. The actual documented results may surprise you.
Headline Testing Results
Total sales were 165 units over this testing period. Here’s a breakdown of the results produced by each specific headline:
- 13 Sales (8% of total sales) — “Breakthrough New Diet Product!”
- 8 Sales (5% of total sales) — “A New Diet Revolution!”
- 98 Sales (59% of total sales) — “How A “Bristol Housewife” Lost 23.5 Pounds In 32 Days!”
- 46 Sales (28% of total sales) — “Dieting Secrets Of A Desperate Housewife!”
As you can see, the most successful headline produced nearly 12 times the number of sales of the least responsive headline! That’s a huge variation.
What a discovery to find early on in the marketing process! This is the kind of information that can help you make a fortune as a marketer! The key in this case, was the headline and the ability to determine the most effective appeal to use.
That’s the value of testing. Use it and it can help you find a winner, too.
Important Variables You Should Test
I could give you dozens of variables to test, here are 10 important ones you should always test:
- Free gift or bonus or absence thereof
- Letter vs. brochure vs. letter and brochure
- Use of PS
- Personalised vs. Non-personalised email or letter
- Limited time offers
- Telephone follow-up to mailing
- Copy written in first person vs. copy in second or third person
One Approach Will Always Outperform The Others
You’ll never maximise your performance unless you know how to make the best use of your time, opportunities, efforts, and investments.
You can’t get the best results until you comprehensively evaluate all the different approaches you have available in all your business activities.
One approach will often out-produce another approach many times over. The odds are great that you are currently under-performing and not reaching your real potential. That’s because you may be depending on the wrong actions or approaches for your success. You can right that wrong and never make those mistakes again.
Testing applies to every aspect of marketing. In today’s online oriented world you can very easily do small, inexpensive tests and have conclusive results within a matter of hours.
Test your sales presentations too. Then test different recommended opening statements against whatever you currently use. You’ll find a big improvement in results here, too.
Test your headline or opening statement. And replace what you were doing with whatever test approach outperforms the original. Then keep on testing additional factors.
Make specific offers. Analyse the number of responses, prospects, and sales for each specific ad. Then compute:
- cost per prospect
- cost per sale
- Average sale per prospect
- Average conversion per prospect
- The average profit per sale against your control
This reveals the winner, which we call “the control.” Keep running that ad until you come up with a new control that beats it.
Testing Is Easy to Do
Testing might sound complicated, but it really isn’t when you break it down.
Remember, a traditional ad costs you the same whether it produces one hundred prospects, one thousand prospects, or ten thousand prospects.
Online advertising can be approached in different ways. Cost often relates to the number of people who click on a link. That makes it even more important to test before you start investing in the advertising on any sale.
Therefore, you should test different approaches for every part of your marketing. Find the approaches that out-perform all the others. Then use those approaches to maximise your investment.
Again, this is key to outselling, outsmarting and outperforming your competition.
Testing, as I hope you now appreciate, is a critically important marketing discipline. One that can eliminate all uncertainty and guesswork from your marketing.
- Think about the marketing approaches you currently use. What alternative approaches could you consider? How can you test those alternative approaches?
- How would you describe your business now? What other descriptions can you come up with to test and compare the results?
- How do you charge for your products and services? In what ways can you test alternative packages, prices or pricing strategies?
Please share your thoughts and add your questions to the comments below. I’ll try to provide as many answers as possible in my future online videos, seminars, workshops, masterclasses and blog posts.
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For 24 years Robert Clay has helped business after business skip the immensely frustrating trial and error stage and figure out the answers they need to unlock their hidden potential; supercharge their business growth; become leaders in their niche; win major national awards; and build the business of their dreams. MEET ROBERT in this video and learn more about his journey from automotive innovator to business transformer.