Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘split testing’

Even authors can benefit from SPLIT TESTING.


____________________________________

Yes, yes. I know you’re an author, not a marketing specialist, but we touched on the importance of split testing last time, and if we’re going to learn this, we might as well understand it fully. Even if you’re not going to do your own marketing, this is an invaluable technique for testing every aspect of your book, from cover design to the wording of your bio page.

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a marketing technique in which a baseline sample is compared to a variety of single-variable test samples in order to improve response rates. Often used in direct mail strategies, this model has proven integral to successful Internet marketing campaigns, from social media to e-mail and landing pages.

The reason we’re talking about it – and that you should do it – is because it works. Split tests of elements like copy, arrangement of page components, use of one image versus another, and colors have shown significant improvements in reader response. Changes to these elements do not necessarily promote equal changes in response, but that’s just a part of what you want to examine when you look at the test results.

Marketers using this testing method distribute various samples of a test, including the control, to determine which single variable is most effective in improving the response rate or achieving any other desired results. In order for split testing to be truly effective, samples must reach a large enough audience that the test will provide a decent chance of detecting a meaningful difference between the control and the variables.

Split tests can be used to determine things like:

  • Whether different placement of the shopping cart button affects how many people click it.
  • Whether a form with fewer – or different – fields encourages more people to complete it.
  • Whether your assumptions about the best way to design or write a page are accurate. You are not your reader/customer – so is what you perceive as compelling actually compelling to them?

Split testing is not just about selling more books – although that’s a great benefit. According to SixRevisions.com, split testing can also help:

  • Get visitors to linger longer on your website.
  • Get visitors to be more interactive on your site.
  • Get more visitors to request a consultation or opt in for your free giveaway.

The say further:

Split testing also helps ensure that when it comes to advertising, you are maximising each and every dollar. If your website doubles its conversion rate from 1% to 2% using split testing techniques, you have just doubled your revenue using the same marketing budget.

One thing to keep in mind about split testing: believe the results. You may love your book’s title font, color scheme, or cover graphic – but what if your research reveals that it’s not converting as well as something else might? You want to be willing to hear what the results are telling you and make the necessary changes – especially if it means you’ll sell more books.

Happy testing!

MARCIE

__________________

Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Tuesday, Oct. 18 An autoresponder campaign will keep your call to action from getting lost

Thursday, Oct. 13 Capturing e-mail addresses from your website visitors is a CRUCIAL aspect of marketing your book

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Good copywriting is a learned skill, and essential to a successful website

(Click twice SLOWLY – not a double-click – to enlarge the image.)
____________________________________

Happy New Year!

Before we jump right back into the swing of things, let’s take a little trip down memory lane and review the techniques for building a good website that we’ve covered so far:

Today we’re going to talk about the all-important aspect of copywriting. You’re an author (or soon-to-be author), so copywriting should come easily, right? Well, yes and no. Successful copywriting is only partly about the words themselves; it’s also about how you arrange the words and other elements on the page.

For instance, you want to avoid the mistake that many novice copywriters make by cluttering up your sales page. Should you include an image of your book cover? Absolutely! Your head shot or your publishing company logo? Perhaps, but not above the headline, which is the FIRST and MOST IMPORTANT piece of your sales page.

As we have discussed in previous posts, the entire goal of any piece of marketing material is to get the person to KEEP READING. In Web copy, that means you must start with a compelling headline that entices them to … KEEP READING. According to CopyBlogger.com, “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece.”

We’ve talked about the hook! Well, never was it more important than here in the headline of your web copy.

One thing you must remember is that good copywriting appeals to the emotion of your prospective reader/customer/client. In order to do this well, you’ve got to get into your reader’s head and know what will compel or entice them to want to learn more. In short, pose the question that they are seeking to answer! A financial advisor client of ours works specifically with retirement planning. So, in order to craft a good headline at the height of the financial meltdown, we went to someone with that particular concern, asking, “What specifically keeps you up at night when you think about your financial future?” His answer became our headline: Are you worried that you’ll NEVER be able to retire?

So you come up with a dynamite headline and figure you’ve hit a home run, but you’ll never know unless you test it. As Copywriting Basics 101 writes, “It doesn’t matter if you think your headline is the greatest thing to hit the internet if it doesn’t convert. And thus, split testing becomes a priority. Split testing is based on science and logic. Instead of trusting your gut with your headline, USP, and other parts of your copy — test. Take the time to design two or more different versions of the sales page for the same product.”

It may surprise you to learn that taking the time to test and test and test again, and then using those results to tweak the copy and sales page based on the results, is probably a copywriter’s most essential skill — way beyond the ability to write.

When it comes to the words themselves, if a visitor to your site is inclined to read past the headline, they will read long sales pages as often as short ones, provided that the copy is COMPELLING. How do you make it compelling? Speak to their interests directly. Tell them what the book is about and link to a sample chapter, without giving away the farm. Reference the Table of Contents. Rave about the most important point they will learn. Talk about others who have read and loved your book. Tell them what it will do for them (nonfiction) or how it will make them feel (fiction). Most importantly, use hypnotic writing.

Master Internet marketer Joe Vitale defines hypnotic writing as “intentionally using words to guide people into a focused mental state where they are inclined to buy your product or service.” Any words you use that cause your readers to react because of the mental images you plant in their minds qualify as hypnotic writing. Telling stories is one of the quickest and easiest ways to do this. If your sales copy is going to be effective, it must be hypnotic!

For a look at a great sales letter that pushes just the right emotional buttons, combined with a compelling offer and great testimonials, visit SecretsOfQ.com. It may take some practice to get comfortable with writing sales copy — especially if you’re an author who has never really focused on the sales side of writing before. But if you commit to it, you can do it and do it well. If you won’t do it yourself, the other option is to pay someone else to do it for you, because the book cover alone is not going to sell your book.

MARCIE

__________________

Download your complimentary copy of the highly useful Website Design & Marketing worksheet from Write | Market | Design.

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________

If you’d like us to add a link to your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog, please send us a note. If we think it’s a good fit, we’ll be happy to add you. Of course, we’d appreciate the reciprocity of the same!

Additionally, Marcie would be happy to make a guest appearance on your writing/self-publishing/book marketing blog. Just let us know the theme or your idea (preferably including a 6-panel concept), and we’ll see what we can draft for you.

__________________

PREVIOUS POSTS

Tuesday, Oct. 18 An autoresponder campaign will keep your call to action from getting lost

Thursday, Oct. 13 Capturing e-mail addresses from your website visitors is a CRUCIAL aspect of marketing your book

Monday, Oct. 10 Without an investment in SEO, your author website will be largely invisible

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: