Testing: The Only “Sure Thing” in Marketing

Why is Testing so Important?

Testing ad copy is the only "sure-thing" strategy in marketing.

You never know how well a message will work.

You never know how an offer will resonate with your market.

You never know exactly who is typing your most important keywords.

You can take educated guesses, but until you test those ads, you never know.

And testing can move you from a position of ignorance to one of surety quicker, cheaper, and more reliably than any other strategy I know.

So no matter how brilliant or intuitive you think you are at writing appealing messages, unless you're conducting smart and rigorous tests, you'll never reach your profit potential.

The Problem with Testing

Most people test mechanically, rather than thoughtfully.

"Hmmm, let's see. The first description line says, 'Wide selection of electric guitars.' Why don't I try 'Huge selection of electric guitars' and see if that does better?"

They're testing because they know they should be testing, rather than because they have unanswered significant questions about their ideal customer.

That's how I did it for years. And since I was always making slight improvements, I kept doing it that way.

For an example of the slow and idiotic way I tested when I first starting using AdWords, check out http://leadsintogold.com/genius. To save you some time, here's a short history of the evolution of my headline:

– Stop cold calling forever

– End cold calling forever

– Stop cold prospecting

– Cold calling ineffective?

– Cold calling not working?

Yeegads! Talk about walking around in circles…

I use this in Google AdWords For Dummies as an example of the power of testing, because as clueless as I was, I still quadrupled my CTR over the course of a year.

But now I know I could have accomplished that in a matter of weeks, rather than a whole year. And I could have gotten my CTR to 8-12%, rather than the 2.8% that made me so happy in 2003.

I knew enough to test. But I didn't know how to test, or how to generate ideas for testing.

Now I do, and on Friday 14 May 2010 at 1pm EDT, I'll be sharing 8 years of my mistakes and discoveries with you.

The Testing Webinar

In the webinar on Friday, I'll share my four-stage testing protocol.

If you're subscribed to the Camp Checkmate pre-Camp training series, you'll recognize the stages: visionary, strategic, emotional, and tactical.

(If you aren't yet subscribed, go to http://askhowie.com/ccm-training-signup to sign up.)

In this webinar, you'll discover how to put those concepts into practice in very simple and concrete ways.

So you're testing the right things, at the right time.

I touched on this concept briefly at the end of the last week's BOPzine, the AdWords Fable.

But on Friday, I go into it in a way you can begin to implement immediately.

Here's the registration link: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/371743515

This webinar is part of the Camp Checkmate series – I developed the testing protocol to deal with the overwhelm some Camp Checkmate participants felt at suddenly having a dozen new ad ideas to test.

If you'd like to have that problem, you can register for the rest of the Camp Checkmate series, or just cut to the chase and register for Camp Checkmate Chicago – details below.

4 Days Left Before the Camp Checkmate Price Increase

If you're on the fence about attending Camp Checkmate in Chicago on June 10-11, this would be a good week to make up your mind. If you register by Saturday, May 15 at 5:33pm Eastern Time US, you save $800 off the regular tuition.

When you decide, go here to reserve your seat at Camp: http://CampCheckmate.com.
 


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