Business decisions are tough, especially when you have to make them blindly. You wouldn’t pick a flavor of ice cream the same way, so why let the possible fate of your business rest on a guess? In the 4-Hour-Workweek, author Tim Ferriss talks about his need to test everything, not just the flavors at Baskin Robbins. By investing a small amount of money or time into split testing ideas, advertising, copy, content, marketing, and anything else, Ferriss never has to make a business decision on a whim. He has cold hard numbers to tell him where to go.
When Ferriss wrote his book, he focused largely on PPC ads for testing, but with sites like Twitter and Reddit becoming massive successes for users and marketers alike, you don’t even have to spend a buck on testing. Let’s take a look at all the parts of your business you can test.
Test Your Product
Is there a market out there for your product or service? There’s only one way to find out: put it out there and see if anyone wants to buy. Ferriss recommends doing this before you actually shell out a bunch of money to a manufacturer or suppliers. This means you can’t actually capture the orders or credit card info but you can see how many people are actually interested. If the numbers show a legitimate market, go for it. If not, maybe it’s wise to go back to the drawing board.
Test Your Headlines
Sometimes it isn’t the product, it’s how you sell it. Split testing headlines and slogans goes back to long before the internet, but with web tools like PPC ads, Tweets, and Reddit you can compare the success of different product headlines quickly, simply, and affordably. This comes down to simple numbers. No need to assume, go with the headline that generates more clicks.
Test Your Copy
Everything on your site and blog is a key element of your sales and marketing strategy. But is it effective? The best way to find out is to put it out there and see if you get any bites. Don’t look at your analytics as a measure of success, look at them as a road map that tells you what works and what doesn’t.
Test Your Marketing Strategy
In the past, businesses would pay thousands to get a focus group together and develop a marketing strategy around their target buyers’ needs and wants. Today, you don’t have to spend a single dollar to zero in on your target market and get their input on how to make the product work better for them. Hit the Twittersphere, Facebook, or even your email list and ask your users or potential customers what they want from your product – no more guesswork required.
Using Metrics The Right Way
When you test everything, you also need to measure everything. When split testing, there’s not much to it except comparing the number of clicks between A and B. When testing things like your website, your content, and your product, you need to look more on user behavior. Where are they clicking on your page? How long do they spend on specific pages? What page converts users to the next step and which page sees a huge bounce rate?
Your users will tell you everything you want to know about your product and strategy, you just have to find their answers.