“What are we ‘Split Testing’ today?”

Split ArrowI ask myself that 6-word question at the beginning of each day … and I’ve asked it repeatedly ever since December, 2004.

And one of the things I’m certain of is that this world-class question – more than any other question I ask daily – has unlocked the door to the secret passageway to accelerated growth, wealth and success.

I encourage YOU to ask yourself (and YOUR Team): “What are we Split Testing today?” at the beginning of each day and then sit back, relax and watch what happens for the rest of your day ;-)

Magically, this powerful “marketing declaration” almost instantly puts you (and your Team members) into a more Socratic and more “market-centered” Mindset.

This is one of those world-class questions that puts you in the marketer’s “driver seat” to capture more profits, faster, better and easier … without the burden of truth needing to rest on YOUR marketing shoulders any longer.

In my own business, this world-class question has assisted me to achieve more accelerated growth month after month, without the typical stress and worry that accompanies marketing guesswork.

That’s why I want you to take a moment – right now – and review the 14 single-variable split tests I’ve conducted during the past few years.

This review may take 3 minutes out of your busy day, but what you discover may prove to accelerate your marketing sales and profits for the rest of your professional life!

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Split Test #1: In-bound Phone Order Script

“Call now. Operators are standing by…” (Loser)

“Call now.  If the line is busy, keep calling…” (Winner)

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Split Test #2: Online Order Button Copy

“Add To Cart >>” (Winner)

“Buy Now!” or “Order Now>>” (Losers)

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Split Test #3: Free Shipping & Handling Pitch

“Free shipping and handling…” (Loser)

“We pay for your shipping and handling charges…” (Winner)

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Split Test #4: When 2nd Product is Free

“Get 2 for the price of 1…” (Loser)

“Buy 1 and you 2nd one is free…” (Winner)

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Split Test #5: Subscription/Continuity Billing

Negative Option billing (Winner)

Positive Option billing (Loser)

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Split Test #6: Offline Magazine Space Ads

Space ad WITH “bind-in”card (Winner)

Space ad without “bind-in” card (Loser)

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Split Test #7: Online Audio & Video Testimonials

Testimonial WITHOUT “Case Study” story (Loser)

Testimonials WITH “Case Study” story (Winner)

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Split Test #8: Customer Testimonial Format

Before/After (Loser)

Before/After/After (Winner)

Note: Above sites are not the actual split tests.

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Split Test #9:  Autoresponder Follow-Up Emails

7 daily email reminders in 7 days (Winner)

7 weekly email reminders in 7 weeks (Loser)

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Split Test #10: NCR Order Form Layout

With testimonials on backside (Winner)

With terms & conditions on backside (Loser)

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Split Test #11: Online Sales Letter Elements

With FAQs/Answers published (Winner)

Without FAQs/Answers published (Loser)

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Split Test #12: Registration Rate (Same Curriculum)

Webinar Format (Loser)

Teleseminar Format (Winner)

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Split Test #13: Special Alumni Student Offer

One-Time Buyer Sublist (Loser)

Multi-Buyer (2+ purchases) Sublist (Winner)

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Split Test #14: “Good-Better-Best” Price Testing

The traditional pricing method (Loser)

Good = $X, Better = $Y, Best (Good+Better) = $Z

The Decoy pricing method (Winner)

Good = $X, Better = $Y, Best (Good+Better) = $Y

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Bill Shakespeare once said, “Nothing is good or bad … except what thinking makes it so.”  I he were alive today I know – as a marketer – he’d say, “Nothing in marketing is good or bad … except what split testing makes it so.” :-)

Of course you know that I could go on and on, with dozens of more examples of winners and losers I’ve split-tested over Targetthe years.

But because you’ve read this far down … my sense is that you are serious (or at least, curious) about what the marketing power of split testing can do for you. Isn’t that true?

If it is true for you right now, then keep in mind how outside variables can significantly impact your split test results.

For instance, you can have the same offer, product and price and your split tests may differ whenever these outside variables come into play.  Variables such as: B2B vs. B2C lists, seasonality, audio vs. video and many others.

Remember This:  Each split test you do is like making an intelligent business investment – your decisions are always governed by your results.  (Please re-read that sentence again … twice!)

If you decide not to put split testing into your daily marketing ritual, the here’s the typical downward spiral you can expect just before your business goes on life support:

No split tests -> no results. No results -> no growth. No growth -> no innovation. No innovation -> no market relevance. No market relevance -> no business.

Game over. Thanks for playing :-(

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” said Desiderius Erasmus.  No truer words have ever been spoken in the context of marketing today.  Each of your split tests is a “cause set into motion” and gives you 20/20 vision with both eyes wide open.

What NOT to Split Test: Split testing, like any other important marketing activity, will cost you some time and money. Duh! So it doesn’t make sense to test whispers.

In other words, it’s not worth split testing price points of $199.95 vs. $199.98 font formats of Garamound vs. Times Roman.

Split test “screaming” variables, not “whispers.” And above all, remember that split testing is a verb!

Final Word: To end this post, I want to paraphrase marketing legend, Ted Nicholas who once said, “The Holy Grail of direct marketing is the single-variable split-test.”

Whenever you split test, you’ll never again have to chase down winning offers … winning offers will chase you down!

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