You ever say to yourself, “I think about half of my marketing is working – I’m just not sure which half”?
Or experience the frustration of throwing money at unproven, unpredictable marketing campaigns with absolutely NO idea whether or not you’ll get a satisfactory return?
There is an important principle you simply MUST understand if you want to increase the revenue of your business:
HOLD EVERY PENNY YOU SPEND ON MARKETING ACCOUNTABLE TO THE BOTTOM LINE.
Here are three important steps:
1. Use direct response marketing as much as possible.
“Direct response” is marketing designed to elicit a specific action from your prospect. As opposed to “branding” or “image” advertising, which is passive, direct response asks your prospect to do something as a result of seeing or hearing your advertisement. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a buying decision often the action is simply the next step in your sales process.
You encourage prospects to act by emphasizing the precise benefits they’ll receive from working with you (in other words, letting them know what’s in it for them) and, of course, asking them clearly to do what it is you want them to do.
Of course, there’s a lot more to direct response than what I can possibly include in an article like this, so if you want to know more, I suggest you pick up Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins or Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples. Both are powerful business classics that will change the way you think about marketing forever.
2. Test your marketing pieces.
Next, you must “split-test” your campaigns. This involves creating two versions of your marketing pieces with ONE substantial change in each version. Try changing the offer, the call to action, or the headline first.
Then, distribute Version A to 50% of your targeted recipients and Version B to the other 50%. This is fairly simple with direct mail and the internet, but even most print and broadcast media outlets will allow you to run two versions of the same advertisement without too much hassle. Be sure to ask your media sales rep when you purchase your ad space.
3. Measure your response.
Third, you need to measure how well each marketing piece performs. If your ad is online, there is technology that will do this for you; offline, you might need to get creative. Create a unique phone extension, response landing page, or email address for each version, or have prospects ask for a different name when they call. Record the responses to each version, then compare the results to see which received a better response. The piece that wins becomes your “control” – but you’re not done yet!
Finally, you create another version to test against your control piece and repeat the testing and measuring process over and over again. This allows you to “genetically engineer” your marketing for ever-increasing results!
Try this. Design your first split-test marketing campaign. Be sure to emphasize the benefits of working with you and create a specific call to action so that prospects know exactly what to do as a result of seeing your ad. Design two distinct versions of the ad and test them against one another. Finally, come up with a way to measure your response and begin tracking your results.
Or if you’d like more about how business coaching can help in growing your business, get in touch with me. You can book an initial complimentary 15-minute call with me at TimeWithShane.com.