How To Eliminate Guesswork From Your Marketing Strategy And Convert More Sales

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The Internet and e-Commerce have many advantages over “brick” bound businesses. However, they suffer from one glaring problem which until fairly recently has been very difficult to overcome.

Websites, e-Commerce and mail order are unique in that, as selling platforms there is no face to face contact between the seller and the buyer!

This is a big problem because building credibility and trusting relationships with your customers, which is the absolute bedrock of all transactions, is very difficult if your business is wholly Internet based.

Imagine the scenario.

Our hero entrepreneur, lets call him Splitter, has secured or manufactured a product that is going to make him a millionaire.

Splitter has gone to a web designer and together they have come up with the best web site since a certain B. Gates was a little boy.

Splitter gets his web site hosted on a super fast server so that his customers do not have to wait more than a nano second before the pages load and offer up his product.

He has his back office team, (his wife and dog,) ready to fulfill all the orders that will come flooding through.

He has not forgotten to set up an easy payment gateway at PayPal and he checks and double checks everything.

Let the good times roll!

He initiates a marketing strategy to promote the new e-Commerce site. He writes and submits articles with his URL to directories. He gets stuck into social media networking and gradually he starts to build up a steady, if small, stream of traffic to the site. Great!

The days turn into week, the weeks into months and then before you know it his anniversary is up. He checks his PayPal account and there is the grand sum of zip. Zero. Nada. Ouch!

What happened?

I guess Splitter didn’t convert too many of the prospects who visited his site into paying customers!

They came to him from the links he built into his articles, from the social media networks, from classifieds, and from search engines. They came to him all right, but he did not build credibility nor did he build trust.

That is the high level reason they left without buying from him.

Understand this deeply. Understand it until it hurts.

If you cannot build a credible, trusting relationship with your customer, you will NEVER become one of the Internet’s big dogs of successful marketing!

Let me ask you a question.

The high level reason Splitter failed to convert prospects into customers was the lack of credibility and trust. But, did you spot the root cause of the problem our entrepreneur failed to confront and beat? Yes? Good. No? OK, let me spell it out.

In Internet marketing there are three key elements.

1. The Product

2. The Offer – The price and associated bonuses.

3. The Creative – The website copy, fonts, formatting, images and positioning of these items on the page.

Our entrepreneur has a product. Now let us assume that the product is a good one. I know we should never assume, but if we do not make a few assumptions, this article will ever end.

Being a good student of what the Internet gurus have told him in their never ending e-mails, Splitter secured the sole rights to a compatible bonus product as his “freebie” giveaway. His own product plus the bonus puts him ahead of others selling similar products. He has his USP.

The web designer he retained did an excellent job and gave the site a professional look and feel. There are navigation menus around the site as well as “relevant” images that load quickly. And, although he is not a copywriter, he did a decent job with the web copy.

This is where the problems started. During the year of trading, Splitter did everything to drive traffic to his site and with some success it must be said.

But, he did not test his site to ensure that prospects were being engaged by what they found when they got there. Why did he fall into this very common trap?

Splitter is a wannabe marketer. He has good ideas, but the thought of doing a lot of work does not really excite him. That is why he chose to start an online shop instead of renting premises in town to sell his product from a “brick” outlet. He figured it would be easy. Get the site up, put the offer on and bingo, millionaire!

He made the same assumption made by 99% of entrepreneurs. They assume that they have the offer and the creative just right to convert prospects into customers.

How do they know this? Well, have you heard these kinds of answers?

“I did English at school, I can write good copy.”

“I have studied great copy from a library book, I know what works.”

“This product is so good it moves itself.”

The simple answer is this. On the Internet, you do not get to meet your prospects and customers. You have very little chance to ask them what they like or do not like about your website. You do not always know if your offer is over or under priced.

Any and all conclusions you arrive at about your offer and your creative, without any testing is pure guesswork. Guesswork, like throwing dice, is more often than not a recipe for failure.

Please read that many, many times. And then read it once more.

If there is one thing that guarantees you will look at your PayPal account and find little in there it is a failure to test, test and then test some more.

This is the secret that differentiates the big guys from the minnows of the Internet marketing world. The big guys are always testing.

This is why Splitter, a wannabe marketer, had a bad year.

Split Testing

The concept of split testing is quite simple. It means that you take your original creative, also known as the control, and test it against alternatives.

Why would you want to do this?

Because it is the only way to identify what “rocks,” your prospects and makes them part with their cash to buy your product or service.

When you, or Splitter’s web designer creates original copy, if you do not test it for all variables, you can only guess as to whether it is the best copy for converting your traffic and prospects into customers.

You have no way of knowing if the attention grabbing headline is drawing readers into the body of the copy. You do not know if your introductory paragraph is turning “hot prospects” off and wasting all the time, effort and money, you have spent getting them there in the first place.

What about that image you painstakingly developed and put up in the top right hand corner of the table? Is it doing your product offer any favours? Well if you do not test, I can guarantee you will not know for certain. You will be guessing. It could be that removing that image or placing it somewhere else may assist your “convert more sales,” proposition. But you will not know without testing.

By testing alternative creatives against your original, over time you get “statistics,” that tell you clearly what prospects like and dislike about your website. You stop guessing and start homing in on what they want.

Your credibility rises and your trust building with prospects improves as you communicate more sympathetically through your web copy and creative. As your credibility and trust relationship building improve, so too does your “conversion of sales,” rate.

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