As any marketing professional worth their salt will confirm, successful marketing is based around a process, where you ‘test, measure, test measure’ everything you do, until it’s as effective as you can get it.
Here’s how testing & measuring works!
You test (or try) a new idea and then you measure the results you get. If your business uses mail shots, test a new headline and measure what feedback you get.
If, for example, your new headline generates a 10% increase in enquiries or sales – keep the new headline and dump the previous one. Then, test a different offer or guarantee in the mailing. If the new offer or guarantee increases your response rate by 20%, keep it. If it reduces the number of positive responses you get, dump it and test another offer or guarantee.
Over a relatively small number of mailings, you can dramatically improve your results.
This constant tweaking, based on testing and measuring, is how you improve your marketing results. However, you never start off with perfect marketing.
Your aim is to leverage your marketing, so you get the best possible return you can. This means it is always a work-in-progress – never perfect!
Paralysis by analysis
I spoke with the owner of a small business last week, who had some really exciting ideas for marketing her services. The problem is, she has had these great ideas for over a year and still done nothing with them! When I asked her what was causing the delay, she replied; “I’m a perfectionist. Everything has to be just right before I begin.”
Ironically, the perfect way to begin your marketing is to decide what you what to do and then JUST START! Once you know you have a good idea or you see a good marketing opportunity, get to work immediately! One of the reasons many small businesses fail to achieve the sales success they want, is that they suffer from ‘paralysis by analysis.’
By examining everything in too much detail and then waiting for every condition to be just perfect, they either do nothing at all or take so long that the opportunity has gone!
Only change one thing at a time
When you use the test / measure approach in your marketing, it’s really important that you only ever test one thing at a time. If you change more than one element, it’s impossible to see what caused the change in your feedback.
So, if you currently run an advertisement in a magazine or website, only change one component of that advertisement then measure the difference in the response you get. If you change the size of an advertisement and also the wording or design, you will not know what created the increase or decrease in your results.
It’s extremely important to measure your feedback accurately and fully. This means you need to measure the negative response as well as the positive. An email marketing exercise that generates 10 replies, from people who do not become clients, is NOT a zero response rate! It is proof that 10 people read your email and were motivated enough to call or email you.
If you sent that email to 5000 people, it’s also proof that 4990 people DIDN’T feel motivated enough to call or email you – and that’s just as valuable!
What they say in their response to your marketing is also really important. For example, if they say that they expected your fee or price to be lower than you quoted – they are telling you clearly that you need to pump more value into your marketing message! Measure everything and then, when you test the next time, use that feedback to improve your results.
Start now – Look at your existing marketing for an opportunity to test and measure.