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"Dollars In The Details!"

By Daniel Levis
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2004

When it comes to your marketing message, the little things count. Trouble is, you’ll never come to respect how much, until you make a commitment to science.

Let me ask you something. Do you practice Kaizen?

Kai what?

Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning gradual and orderly, continuous improvement. Sound like you?

Or do you just wake up one morning & decide that you need to re do your site?

Do you keep a diary?

Not the Anne Frank kind, a chronological record of the results revealed by your ongoing marketing experience. Documentation of exactly what happened last time you changed the copy on your web site, ad campaign, or sales letter.

If you’re like most, you don’t bother to go to this trouble, & you don’t practice Kaizen.

Now I don’t expect you to take my word for it that seemingly trivial changes to your marketing message could have a DRAMATIC impact on your results. I know better than that, see.

But here’s a simple three-step method that you can try out for the next six weeks to prove it, for yourself.

There’s nothing more fascinating than watching human nature in action, & you’ll be amazed at the improvements you can make in your profitability in just a short period of time!

A Simple Three Step “How To”

Follow this roadmap to easily & clearly document your experience with minimum hassle.

Go ahead & try it. It’s not rocket science.

Step 1 – Take a web page that you’re running right now, & decide what you would like to see it do better than it does. Would you like to improve the conversion rate? Are average dollars per visitor your thing? Maybe you need to drive cost out of generating opt-ins, or referrals?

Make a copy of it

Now think about the flow of the page & what might be discouraging people from taking the desired action. Sometimes it’s the words you’ve used. Sometimes it’s the order of the words, or the phrasing of the words. It could be the headline, or the opening paragraph, take your best guess.

As a rule of thumb, changes to the headline & the opening paragraphs, or around the “calls to action” will have more impact than changes elsewhere on the page. But sometimes even subtle changes like indenting the paragraphs, moving images from right to left or left to right can have surprising effects.

Make just one change on your copied page, and republish.

Now, create a folder on your hard drive with today’s date included in the file name, and save both of your pages as HTML files in it.

Step 2 – Advertise your pages with a redirect link that splits the traffic evenly between the two pages. This is known as “split testing”. There are a number of products out there that you can use to do this.

Step 3 – The page that records the most conversions, is your “control”. You will want to reserve this judgment until you have seen it make at least 30 conversions for statistical validity.

Once you have your control, go back to your folder, & rename it by adding the current date to create a date range. So for example, your file name will change from “split test 1 May 25 04”, to “split test 1 May 25 04 – Jun 25 04”.

Now, carefully summarize the metrics that you have recorded in a note pad, & save it in the folder with the HTML files. Be careful to provide enough text explanation as necessary to ensure that you will be clear on the meaning of the results when you revisit them at a later date.

Also, be sure to document the traffic source. Different sources of traffic can have a remarkable impact on results, but that’s a whole other topic of discussion.

You are now ready to repeat the process.

Copy your “control” & make another change, thereby creating a new “challenger”, and so on.

To your success, & until next time, Good Selling!

Japanese Proverb

"If a man has not been seen for three days, his friends should take a good look at him to see what changes have befallen him"

About the Author
Daniel Levis is a marketing consultant in Toronto Canada, and author of “Million Dollar Online Advertising Strategies – From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th Century!”, a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier. (http://www.Advertising-Online-Strategies.com/advertising-strategies.html) Join his popular newsletter “Selling to Human Nature” by sending a blank email to sellingtohumannature@getresponse.com