Skip to content

The Top Most Dangerous Statement In Marketing

Split Test Your Marketing Messages
Split Test Your Marketing

(Image Source)

You might have heard this statement very often when people are talking about their ideas, their products, their customers, …

You try to argue with them and they say,
“But I know …”

My response in such a conversation is usually something like these:
“Okay, show me!”

“Can you prove it?”

“Have you tested it?”

The last one is a very significant one for businesses and marketeers. So many of you rely on assumptions rather than facts.

It is easier, cheaper, and quicker to test ideas and concepts than most of you believe.

Stop wasting your time and money guessing.

Start testing, now!

Biased by my professional background and current playing field focused on online marketing I am particularly fond of testing
  • market viability
  • marketing messages
  • product ideas

with direct response marketing practices.

In fact I think a lot of—especially smaller businesses—test a lot implicitly by just doing rather than putting items on a to do list or agenda for a meeting.

But still most businesses do not test enough!

The ultimate decision maker is the market, not a director, not a manager. (I am assuming fair play, no tricking, no monopoly.)

My position here is not necessarily innovative, creative in first place. It's listening and responding. There is room for innovation and creation but it usually isn't your cash flow star right away.
  • Where does the money come from?
  • How do you increase the ROI of your marketing efforts?

Continuous testing is the answer.

Making it a habit pays off big time.

John W. Furst

P.S.: I think, I will write more articles about testing in the near future.

Image source: Based on The orange bicycle DKNY.Com Guerilla marketing scheme, ©2008 by rollingrck/flickr. Modifications ©2009 by John W. Furst - Some rights reserved. - CC-BY-SA 3.0.

Ranking #1 on Google - Are The Profits Rolling In?

E-Biz Booster Blog Is Number 1 on Google
E-Biz Booster Blog Is Number #1 On Google
(Click to enlarge)
Are you heading for #1 rankings on Google, MSN, and Yahoo? You should, because it definitely helps your business. However, it is only one part of the equation for a successful Internet presence. In the following I'll tell you how I got it, but probably more important I'll tell you about the other factors needed as well. A #1 ranking on any search engine is meaningless unless those other factors are in place, too.

You might have “heard” the recent stories about quick rankings from online videos. I thought I have to test it and it was a happy coincidence that Rich Schefren's 66 second video contest came along at the same time. What a great opportunity to get started.

At first look at the search results page “Number 1 on Google” for the broad matching phrase attention ebiz (Enlarge the thumbnail in the upper left corner of this post). I made this screen shot yesterday. Today, I am on position #2.

You also will notice the 2nd, indented search result. That mainly comes from having a good internal linking strategy on this blog and the fact that the key word “attention” appears on every singe page of this blog. That's how I have setup the promotion for the Attention Age Doctrine. I'll talk more about this later.

→ Continue reading:

Turn More Visitors Into Buyers - 6 Tips

Shake Hands With Your Prospect
Getting visitors to your Web site is one ingredient for a successful Internet presence. It does not matter, if you are a “brick and mortar” type of business that wants to expand into the virtual world and reach customers far away from their geographic location or if the Internet is your only sales channel.

However, an Internet only business can profit from off-line promotion as well. Many entrepreneurs forget about this part, but that is actually not the topic of this post.

We are talking about how to turn the visitors into buyers once they have arrived at your Web site. By doing that you simply increase your profits without any additional money spent. Yes, that will increase your return on investment. Think about it and turn on your calculator.

Typical conversion rates vary depending on industry, but it is quite safe to assume an average conversion rate between 1% and 3%. E.g. you had 2182 unique visitors in November 2007 and made 24 sales. Your conversion rate will be

24 * 100 / 2182 = 1.1%

By doubling the conversion rate, by changing the page you suddenly get 48 sales from the same traffic. Improving the conversion rate is a one time investment that pays off permanently.

The secret lies in testing continuously!

But let's start out with the ingredients of a good sales latter first. Here are the “bullets”

1. An Attention-grabbing Headline

The biggest benefit of your product or service goes here. How does it help your customers. You must show the visitors, why they should continue to read your sales letter.

2. Sell the Benefits Not the Features

When describing your product focus on, “How does a buyer benefit?”, instead of the features. We started with benefits in the headline, but we continue with this approach throughout the text. Loosen the text up with high quality graphics and images. Show some happy faces!

3. Show Trustworthiness and Credibility

Answer the customers objection, why they should buy from you? Who are you, why are you an “expert” in your field. Why do you know about the customers problems that your products and services help to solve?

Third party statements like customer testimonials are essential to break the ice. Show statements from real people that already benefit from your products.

4. Transfer Ownership

Transferring ownership means you make your prospects already think about, what they would do, how they would feel, when they already owned your product.

Use phrases like, “you will learn”, “you will receive”, “you will enjoy”, “you will be pleased to hear”. Your sales letter as a hole piece should have at least twice as high a count for “you”, “yours” than for “we”, “I”, and “me”.

5. Risk Reversal

Make it a deal the customer cannot loose anything by giving a courteous guarantee. People are very skeptical, when buying on the Internet. Don't forget, they cannot touch or feel the product like if they were in a store. Jay Abraham — top Marketing Guru with 25+ years of experience and well sought after public speaker — has identified and teaches 6 levels of risk reversal. (That alone would be content for more than one post).

Give the prospect the feeling that he cannot loose and you will win, unless you are trying to sell “crap”, but then you are lost anyway.

6. Build Value Before Stating Your Price

Throughout the sales letter you need to show the prospect the value they will receive in terms of money. What are the potential savings, perceived benefits from buying your product. Before seeing the price the prospect already should be willing to pay more.

Sounds like you need some powerful copy and techniques of persuasion. Yes, that's true. Now, look at your sales copy and check, if you are missing out something and start improving.

They only way to improve your letter over time is to come up with new variations of headlines, pictures, guarantees, … and test it with conventional A/B split test or even better with a multivariate testing tool like Google Web Site Optimizer. If you are not testing yet, check it out, it's free without running costs. You only need an Adwords account, which you can open for US$ 5.00 I believe.

Happy Testing
John W. Furst