women building a profitable business by no relying on their gut feeling

NEVER Rely on a “Gut Feeling” to Grow and Profit

You run an ad or offer a new product. You get new customers. Yeah!

But should you be happy?

Maybe.
But maybe not.

Tunnel Vision

Many business owners only create one version of an offer or ad. They have a “gut feeling” because they tried something like this before, and it worked.

Or maybe they decide to jump on the latest fad in their industry. They make a few sales and are happy their “gut feeling” paid off and brought in a few new customers.

If this sounds like you, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You’re probably leaving money on the table. Testing an offer or ad is the only way to know if it is a winner.

Testing. Testing.

Since the 1920s, when statistician and biologist Ronald Fisher figured out the principles of randomized controlled experiments (also called split testing or A/B testing), marketers and business owners have used this idea in business.

Split testing took off in the 1990s and is now standard practice for most large businesses and marketing companies.

While it might sound complex and overkill for your business, split testing is extremely valuable and profitable for any size organization.

How to test.

The most straightforward approach to using testing in your business is to create two different versions of your offer or ad.

Run both versions and see which one brings in the most profit.

Marketing gurus may want to send you down the split-testing rabbit hole and try to test every tiny thing (should your website button be orange or green?).

For most business owners, the simpler approach outlined below works.

The simple way to test

Step One: Decide what you want to test

Start with your current ads and offers and pick apart their parts and pieces.

  • What happens if you change the copy, image, or headline?
  • Can you appeal to a different need?
  • Solve another problem?

There are lots of ways you can vary your advertising.

What if you write the copy humorously or more seriously?

  • Can you change the tone or audience to make you more relatable or seem more authoritative?
  • Could you try advertising to a different audience or another publication or platform?
  • Could you use a photo of a happy customer instead of a glamour shot of the product?
  • What if you offer new price tiers?
  • Can you mix up the components in a package?
  • Offer something new or related?

Start thinking about how your customers use your products.

  • If you have always offered A, B, and C as stand-alone products, could you package A and B together?
  • Could you offer a membership or monthly subscription for C?
  • Could you add a service to A to make it easier for you?
  • Can you combine B and C to create an entire “new” product?
  • Can you outsource a related product your customers are probably already buying?

A website design firm could outsource SEO help.

An industrial cleaning company could create a subscription for cleaning supplies.

 

woman leading a yoga class while she grows her profitable business

 

Even if you already have a winning combination, test variations.

Try new angles and approaches and run this new ad against the “winning” ad to see if you can increase profits. You may find that even a few tweaks can make a difference. Little changes can go a long way.

The best part about all this testing is that incremental tweaks can significantly increase overall profits over time.

Where to start:

Focus your initial testing on the offers and ads that already make the most money. While this might sound counterintuitive, you’ve already got a winner; let’s see if you can improve it.

How to start:

Know what you’re starting with: Look at your winning offer or ad and get a sheet of paper.
Write out the headline and advertising copy, and print the ad image.

  • Where does this ad or offer appear?
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • Where does this customer “live”?
  • What product is being advertised?
  • Do you already offer product packages? List them out.

Pick ONE THING to change.

If you change the headline, copy, and offer simultaneously, you won’t know what drives the new business.

  • Try a different headline or image.
  • Change where you advertise.
  • Test other product offers and price tiers.

While making many changes simultaneously is tempting, incremental testing is the surer path to success.

Set your goal.

What do you want the ad or offer to achieve? More sales appointments? More clicks on your website? More profits?

Be very clear about what would make an ad or offer successful.

Track your test.

Add something measurable that you can track over time.

A discount code, a different link to click, a different phone number or extension, an embedded tracking code, or a simple reminder to ask for a “special deal” are all tried and true methods.

You aim to meticulously test to see which ad or offer draws the most profits.

You won’t know if something is working unless you can measure it.

Run your test.

Whatever you have decided to test, whether it’s a different ad or offer, let it run for a set period that makes sense for your business.

Ideally, you want 2-4 ad cycles or enough ad views to see if there is any difference.

Here are some rough guidelines.

  • Monthly print: Run your test for 60 -90 days
  • Weekly print: Run your test for 30 days
  • Digital platforms: Run your test for 7-14 days or a set number of ad views

Test ONE THING at a time.

Give your test a chance to work and note what is making a difference. Lean into those changes if they show promise.

  • New image drawing more eyes? Continue testing images.
  • Is the new advertising platform reaching more customers? Where else would make sense?

Continue testing and tracking.

Evaluate your test.

At the end of the testing cycle, evaluate the old ad or offer against the new.

Which accomplished your goal? That is now your “champion.”

This ad or offer will be the control to test a new ad or offer against going forward.

The bottom line is that even the smallest business needs to be testing their marketing and advertising.

You cannot know how changes in your messaging, copy, images, or offers can impact your revenue unless you can see the results of testing one thing against another.

Relying on your “gut feeling” might cost you a lot of money.

Testing, tracking, and evaluating is the only way to know if you have a sure winner.

 

Take action today. Click here to download the worksheet.

 

Taken from: Profit-ize Your Business Book One: Marketing Strategies for Business Growth.

Like this post? It was taken from the Profitize Your Business series

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne

Patricia Browne is the author of seven books that help businesses grow and profit.

Read about The Profit-ize system and what it can do for your business

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