If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It

From a marketing perspective, how do you know if it is broken or not without split testing, otherwise knows as A/B testing.

As a small business owner you need every marketing dollar to pack the biggest punch possible. You don’t have the marketing muscle and budget of a Fortune 500 company. As such, your marketing system must have a split testing company to verify you are maximizing your results and ROI on every dollar spent.

The obvious goal is you put $1 of marketing in and you get $2 out. Otherwise known as 100% ROI.

Do you even know what the ROI is on your existing marketing? Do you track your performance?

If not, you aren’t being a good steward of your marketing dollars. Worst yet, you may have a piece of marketing that is pulling and converting leads into paying customers but it hasn’t reached it’s full potential. Imagine if you increase the performance of each piece of marketing by 10-20%. Imagine what that would do for your revenues and profits.

Bring in A/B split testing…

Split testing has been used by sophisticated marketers for a long time. The thought is that you take your first piece of marketing and establish a “control”. The key part of establishing the control is gathering the data and the metrics in the first place. If you aren’t doing this right now, build that into your system now.

If it is direct mail you are using, start using a unique 1-800 number, or on your marketing piece specify an extension. Make sure your office tracks these individually so you have a better understanding as to what ad, direct mail piece, or online advertisement created the lead in the first place.

Now that we have our control, it’s time to tweak our original offer. If this is a display ad or direct mail piece, my advice is to start with the headline. If you aren’t grabbing their attention, they won’t read any further. The 2nd item I usually focus on is the offer itself, and the call to action.

It is shocking how many marketing pieces I see from small business owners don’t even have an offer, let alone a strong call to action.

The key here is to change one item at a time, and start comparing your results to the control. When you find a new winner, THAT is now your new control. Your marketing system should be a process of continuous improvement. If you are happy with the results in one marketing campaign, advertisement, or promotion move onto the next one and leverage A/B testing to maximize profits there as well.

The key here is to integrate A/B testing as part of your marketing system, not a one time event that you do once a year.

To Your Prosperity,

Matt_Sig_Final_07_2009

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