Test your ads!
How To Use Testing For
Breakthrough Marketing Results
By Yanik Silver
Advertising is expensive. And it costs you the same amount
of money to run an ad (or mail a letter) that brings in
2 customers as one that drives in 20 customers. So that
difference is in your ad (or letter).
Let's say you've come up with what you think is a good ad
(powerful headline, good offer, sizzling copy, etc.), now
you're ready to test.
Testing will help you:
1. Save yourself a bunch of money.
2. Improve any results you're currently getting.
3. Stop guessing about what works.
I'd say those are some pretty good reasons to learn all
about testing and how to apply it to your business. So
before spending loads of money on your new ad you can
(and should) do a few low-cost/no-cost tests:
The Sleep On It Test
First, you should let your ad sit for at least a day.
Then the next day you can come back to it with new eyes
and a fresher perspective. You can find errors that
weren't apparent before. Also, your chances of writing
a good ad are significantly improved with rewriting. (I will
rewrite an ad or letter 3, 4 or 5 times before I'm done.)
Reading Aloud Test
I don't know what it is about reading something aloud versus
reading to yourself, but you'll pick up lots and lots of insight
into how good (or bad) your ad really is by reading it aloud.
All the bumps and rough spots jump out at you.
Or a variation on this is to have someone else read it you.
This is even better. As they're reading it, you should take
out a copy of the ad and make notes on it. One big advantage
of this is your reader is completely impartial. He won't
stress certain phrases or words to make the meaning clearer.
And if the reader is having trouble you know that's an
area to edit.
Sneaky Opinion Test
This test is really great. Take your ad off your printer
and make a xerox copy of it. Then go around to a few people
who should be in your target market and say something like,
"Take a look at this, I just found this in a magazine."
Key point: Do not tell people you wrote the ad because
they'll be say how nice it is.
You're gauging their response. If they say something like
"Did you write this?" or "This is really good." What that
really means is your ad stinks.
But if you start hearing "Do you know how I can get this
done?" or "Do you do this?" then you know you're on to
something good and ready to spend money on your test.
Opinions are great, but the only votes that really
count are the ones that are paid for. The first thing
you *don't* want to do is call every newspaper,
magazine, throw-away, etc. You need to start by
testing small. And that means spending as little
as possible to get accurate results.
Joe Sugarman (He sold millions of Blu-blocker sunglasses)
tells how he would test all his ads in the Southwestern
edition of the Wall Street Journal. Because this was the
cheapest and smallest edition of the Journal to test.
That way he was able to read results quickly and then
decide whether or not to 'roll-out' to other editions.
So how can you apply this information to your business?
Let's say you've been running ads in your local paper.
Well, usually newspapers have zoned editions based on
zip codes. So instead of paying for your ad to appear
in the entire circulation, you simply put it in one of
the cheapest and most representative zones available.
And by tracking the response (using a specific phone#,
person, extension#, etc.) you can safely predict what
results you'll get once you go out to the entire circulation.
One more point: It's better to run your test ad in a
daily paper instead of a monthly magazine. Simply
because you can ascertain information more quickly.
Don't Fall For Your Ad Rep's Traps
You cannot multiply zero. That means if there is
no life in your ad -- kill it before it drains more
money and time from you.
Don't listen to your media rep's b.s. about repetition
and getting discounts for multiple insertions. Remember,
these guys have no clue about how to create advertising
that works. If they did, they'd be running ads in their
own magazines and making tons of money.
Infomercial marketers realize this point. Imagine
spending $100,000.00 to produce one single 30 minute
spot and then buying $400 - $1,000 in media to test
it out. That's what infomercial companies do.
They know if the phones aren't ringing after a couple
of TV spots -- they're definitely not going to ring if
they throw tens of thousands of dollars in media at
Follow these tips and you'll be able to save a lot of
money plus increase response. Just test until you come
up with a winner and then keep running it!
(c)2000 Surefire Marketing, Inc.
Yanik Silver has developed a whole series of sales letter
templates available at ==>
In less than 3 minutes you can create a winning letter
guaranteed to sell your product or service...WITHOUT WRITING!
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Just 29-years old, Yanik Silver is recognized as the leading expert on
creating automatic, moneymaking web sites...and he's only been online full
time since February 2000! He is the author and publisher of several
best-selling marketing books and tools including:
Yanik specializes in creating powerful systems and resources for entrepreneurs to enhance
their businesses. When away from the office Yanik enjoys playing beach volleyball, ice hockey,
skiing and working on his golf game.