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Do You Test Your Marketing?

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Do You Test Your Marketing?

Postby David Jackson » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:23 pm

When it comes to marketing, I'm a fanatical tester. I test the color of my blog. I test font styles and sizes. When I write articles and ads, I test headlines and copy. I test website analytics for accuracy. I test domain names for catchiness, and mailing list services for efficiency. In a nutshell, I test virtually everything.

Why? Because I discovered a long time ago that testing allows me to put my best foot forward. Or in the words of Pat Benatar, testing allows me to "hit you with my best shot!"

Testing is crucial to your overall business success. I can't emphasize that enough. In my opinion, you should test everything. Your advertising, copywriting, marketing. Everything.

Can you still be successful if you don't test? Sure you can. But you'll probably end up leaving a boatload of money on the table. Why take that chance - especially in today's economy?

Test various headlines in your sales copy. Test different colors on your website. Test different advertising mediums like offline magazines and direct mail. Test different software programs for maximum efficiency.

But don't just test blindly. Closely monitor and record your results, so that your findings are as accurate as possible.
A lot of my colleagues rely on software exclusively to test various aspects of their marketing. That's fine for them, but I prefer the human touch. So, I use real live people to do my testing as much as possible.

So, who do I use to test my marketing? I use my customers, my subscribers and my family. These are the people I trust to tell me the truth - to give it to me straight.

Obviously, I can't use people to test everything. For example, I use software to test various analytics programs. Or if I want to reinforce my copywriting results, I use split-testing software.

Bottom line is this: Regardless of how you choose to go about doing it, be smart about your business. Get into the habit of testing.

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Postby angienewton » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:36 pm

I'll be honest, I don't test and have no idea how to go about doing it. I still don't understand stats so I know I have a lot to learn.

I really appreciate your post though because I do know it's very important to test everything.

Any specific tips would be great. Maybe for the beginner like where to start testing or things to test, etc.
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Postby terrapin719 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 12:26 am

I probably fall into the same category as Angie. I always intend to test and then don't really test the way a lot of marketers do. I know this is a huge mistake on my part and I've been working towards doing better at it.
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Postby tknoppe » Sat Mar 07, 2009 6:21 am

Same here. No testing. I tweak it on my end using my own OCD/Type A-self parameters until I drive myself nearly bonkers then just finally bite the bullet, hit 'publish' and let 'er rip.

However, if you're referring to testing shopping carts and all that: yes, I do test those to make sure everything is working before I launch; but generally do not enlist others to help me with that.
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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:16 am

angienewton wrote: I really appreciate your post though because I do know it's very important to test everything.

Any specific tips would be great. Maybe for the beginner like where to start testing or things to test, etc.


Angie, I visited your blog and I was very impressed. You have good marketing instincts. You can't teach that. And to be perfectly honest, I couldn't find anything wrong with your blog.

Oh sure, if I wanted to nitpick, I could find something wrong. But overall, the design of your site, the copy, the colors - everything is rock solid.

In a case like yours, I would take a poll and ask your readers what they like about your blog and what they dislike. And then work to improve those things that your readers dislike.

The main thing is not to over-react. Don't change something just because one of your readers says so. There has to be a consensus. Remember, majority rules.

Actually, there is one thing you could test. Instead of having ads on your blog, test a relevant affiliate program to see if that generates more income.

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Last edited by David Jackson on Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:22 am

terrapin719 wrote:I always intend to test and then don't really test the way a lot of marketers do. I know this is a huge mistake on my part and I've been working towards doing better at it.


Loretta, you've already admitted that you know it's a huge mistake not to test. Since you already know that, there's really nothing else that I can say. I can't force you to test. You have to be willing to do that on your own. :)

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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:27 am

tknoppe wrote:Same here. No testing. However, if you're referring to testing shopping carts and all that: yes, I do test those to make sure everything is working before I launch.


Traci, I wasn't talking about shopping carts specifically. Although, there's nothing wrong with testing those. The things I was talking about testing are in my article.

Slow down, and read what I wrote. :)

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Postby sct100 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:40 pm

So David, how do you test this stuff?
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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:37 pm

sct100 wrote:So David, how do you test this stuff?


Say for instance, I wanted to change the color of my blog. I would poll my customers on a choice of colors and asked them which color they liked best. Or if was going to buy a domain name, I would poll my customers on domain choices, and ask them which domain name they thought was the catchiest.

And if I want to test headlines or sales copy, I use split-testing software.

I should point out that I have an extensive sales and marketing background, so I often rely on good ole gut instinct.

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Last edited by David Jackson on Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sct100 » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:42 pm

Thanks David. Now, if you were just starting out, like me, who would you ask? Wife/girlfriend, Mom, who?
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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:47 pm

sct100 wrote:Thanks David. Now, if you were just starting out, like me, who would you ask? Wife/girlfriend, Mom, who?


All of the above. Ask as many people as you can think of. The more feedback, the better. Just make sure you record your results, so that your findings are as accurate as possible.

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Postby angienewton » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:12 pm

David,
Thank you for your kind words about my blog. WOW, it's nice to hear those types of things. I have learned a lot from Lynn and try to follow what she teaches so I can thank her for a lot of it.

As for the ads that you mention, do you mean the adsense box at the very top on the right? And you know what? I did put that one ad on the right for the stretching guide but I also wrote about stretching in a blog post with the links to the affiliate program (the stretching handbook) and from one of those I got two sales BUT I don't know where it came from so is that what you also mean by testing?

I will definitely have to poll my readers somehow. Thank you so much for your feedback. I appreciate it.
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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 7:59 pm

angienewton wrote:David,
Thank you for your kind words about my blog. WOW, it's nice to hear those types of things. I have learned a lot from Lynn and try to follow what she teaches so I can thank her for a lot of it.

As for the ads that you mention, do you mean the adsense box at the very top on the right?


My pleasure, Angie! I was happy to help. :D

With all due respect to Lynn, I think you're giving her way too much credit and not giving yourself nearly enough. After all, it was you who put into action what Lynn taught you. It was you who did the work, right?

Like I said, you have good marketing instincts. You can't teach that. And yes, I was referring to the Adsense box. Try testing an affiliate program in that exact same location to see which generates the most income.

Just a suggestion!

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Postby angienewton » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:03 pm

Aww thank you! And yes, I did the work and am finally putting into action things I have learned from Lynn. I will brainstorm what affiliate program info I'll put there and see how it goes. Thanks again.
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Postby David Jackson » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:47 pm

angienewton wrote:I will brainstorm what affiliate program info I'll put there and see how it goes. Thanks again.


Good. Just remember whatever affiliate program you choose must be relevant to the theme of your site. For example, weight loss, health and nutrition, fitness, etc.

Best of luck to you!

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