80/20 Sales And Marketing Chapter 9

It’s Not Failure. It’s Testing

OK, so you’ve gotten something to work. You’ve gotten one or two sales. You’ve worked out a good USP. You’ve figured out how to find someone who’s interested, say the right thing, and get a check. What do you do next? 1. Test, then 2. Scale up Whenever you have something in your sales funnel that’s not working, you just need to break it into pieces and make the first piece work. You don’t look at it as failure; you think of it as an experiment that didn’t work. If you can’t sell a product, see if you can give it away. Or give part of it away. If they won’t take the free item, find out why.

Testing is hugely important. Testing is scientific. Twenty years ago, hardly anybody thought this way. Today if you don’t think this way, you’re fixin’ to be roadkill. You can test different sales stories, different headlines and offers just about anywhere: in person, on the phone, via email, print ads, or whatever. But if you want to make it clean-cut and as simple as possible, the best place to start is Google AdWords.
Why AdWords? It would be natural for you to assume that the reason I say you should do this first is because I’ve created all kinds of books and courses about AdWords. Actually that’s backward. The reason I wrote all those books and courses is because AdWords is the best place to start. Why? Because AdWords is hands down the most advanced advertising machine in the history of humanity. Nothing else even comes close. Google gets 80 percent of the English language search engine traffic; Google is a source of very steady, reliable clicks. AdWords lets you target any city, state, region, or country—you can target as narrow or wide as you want and in many markets—and it can send you tremendous quantities of traffic. You can set bid prices however you want and daily budgets; you can track everything with precision and measure ROI to the penny. You can stop your campaigns at will by pressing a pause button. I also happen to think it’s the fastest place for a person to learn and master the basics of results-accountable direct marketing. It’s the gold standard. AdWords works like this: If you sell voice mail systems, you open a Google AdWords account. You bid on keywords like: Voice mail Voice mail systems Voice mail software You set a geographic territory (Houston, Texas / the whole state of Texas / the entire United States / US + UK + Canada + Australia) and a bid price. “I’m willing to bid $1.31 per click.”

Then your ads show up on Google when people search for “voicemail software” (see Figure 9–1). In the screenshot in Figure 9–1, the three entries in the shaded area on the top and the listings running down the right side are all AdWords ads. Google AdWords is an entire world unto itself, and if you’re going to pursue it, I recommend my book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. (If you don’t like my book, buy Howard Jacobson’s or Brad Geddes’ book. But whatever you do, don’t even think about doing AdWords without getting educated first, cuz otherwise Google will vacuum out your wallet real fast.) Also, stop what you’re doing right now, and sign up for my free, online mini-course at http://www.perrymarshall.com/google. You can pull it up on your smartphone. AdWords is a tester’s dream machine. Let me show you the testing you can do with AdWords, simply by running multiple ads simultaneously.
The Unlimited Traffic Technique I learned this from Jonathan Mizel, a reclusive mass consumer marketer who occasionally emerges from his cave in Maui, Hawaii, to teach a seminar or release a training course. He’s a genius. Jonathan says that when you can convert a visitor to a dollar better than everyone else in your niche, you can buy their traffic from them because they’ll make
Figure 9–1. The shaded area at the top and the right side of a Google search are Pay-Per-Click AdWords ads.

more money selling their visitors to you than they make by keeping the visitors to themselves. This means that the most important thing you ever do is grow your Value Per Visitor. How do you do that? You split test.
How to Combine 80/20 with Split Testing to Multiply Sales 2X, 5X, 20X, and More Split testing is when you test one ad or offer on half your prospects and another ad or offer on the other half. In the old days, split testing was an esoteric, direct-marketing concept that hardly anyone actually did. Now with Google and the internet, it’s easy to do and quite necessary. Here’s a very common example of split testing two Google ads:
Popular Ethernet Terms Popular Ethernet Terms 3 Page Guide—Free PDF Download Complex Words—Simple Definitions Complex Words—Simple Definitions 3 Page Guide—Free PDF Download http://www.bb-elec.com http://www.bb-elec.com 2 Clicks—CTR 0.1% 39 Clicks—CTR 3.6%
Notice what happened: All I did was reverse two lines—and the ClickThrough Rate (CTR) jumped from 0.1 percent to 3.6 percent! (ClickThrough Rate is the percentage of people who saw that ad and actually clicked on it.) I’ve conducted entire seminars on all the quirky things you discover when you test Google ads. If you’re buying Google ads and haven’t gotten a thorough hands-on training, you’re probably wasting all kinds of money on AdWords “stupidity tax.” For now, suffice it to say that changing even one word can have very significant effects on your results, easily plus or minus 50 percent. Just as you can test Google ads, you can split test landing pages, sales pages, product descriptions, photographs, and sales scripts. Let’s say your sales process looks like this: 1. Search engine ad or banner from consistent traffic source 2. Landing page offers a free report, software tool, video, free sample, or white paper in exchange for name, email address, etc.

  1. Sales page (referred to in the report and by autoresponders) 4. Order entry page or telephone script What we want to do is split test each of these four steps. We not only split test the AdWords ads, we split test two different landing pages, two different sales letters, and two different order forms. What happens if we do this? See Figure 9–2. A modest goal would be to double the effectiveness of each step. This is not that hard to do. And you don’t have to be a genius—you just need to try some sensible things. So if we double the CTR of the AdWords ad, and the landing page, and the sales letter, and the order form, our improvement is 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16X. A 16-times improvement ain’t nothing to sneeze at. Notice that the improvements multiply, cascading from beginning to end. Every improvement is magnified in the end result! If you can triple each step, you get 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 = 81X You can make improvements early in the process faster and easier than late in the process, because you have more trials. A very realistic and likely set of improvements would be: 6 x 3 x 2 x 1.5 = 54X If you go into a competitive market on Google—like weight loss, travel, financial services, real estate, web hosting—it’s very hard to win

    in these hyper-competitive categories. It’s not unusual to start out losing money at a 4:1 ratio—that is, for every four dollars you give Google, you make only one dollar in gross profit. But now you double each of these four steps—and you improve your numbers sixteenfold—now you’re making $4 of profit for every $1 you give Google. That’s pretty amazing. Continuous split testing is key to the whole thing. Here’s a very realistic scenario: six times improvement on AdWords, three times improvement in your opt-in page, a twofold improvement in your sales letter, and a 50 percent improvement in your order page (order pages are extremely sensitive to small changes—that sale hangs by a thin thread!), and now you’ve improved your conversion rate 54 times over what you started with. To be honest, what you started with didn’t have a chance! You probably made all kinds of assumptions that were wrong. We all do that. But split testing got you closer and closer to the right message until you hit pay dirt. The promise of instantaneous traffic from Google is seductive and alluring. You’ve just finished your product, and you’re eager to sell it. You may need the money. But many people are disappointed by their initial results, when in fact, once they’ve done testing, their chances of success are quite good. When you’re brand new at AdWords, you should look at your first few hundred dollars as a street MBA—the fastest and cheapest school of hard knocks and direct-marketing education you can get. It’s not theory; it’s live marketing combat. Only after you’ve acquired some experience should you expect it to be profitable. By the way, don’t feel bad if your very first salvo didn’t stand a chance. That’s normal. That’s 80/20. Don’t take it personally. Just try something else. In direct marketing, there is no failure. There are only tests that didn’t work the way you thought they would.
    9 / It’s Not Failure. It’s Testing. 75
    ————————————————— PARETO SUMMARY —————————————————— p Your first few hundred dollars of Pay-Per-Click advertising is pure education money. It’s an affordable “street MBA,” where you hone your marketing chops in the real world. p If you want to fix a sales funnel, break it into pieces and fix the pieces. p The secret to everything is split testing. p Improvements in segments of sales funnels multiply.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: