Every direct response marketer and copywriter knows testing is the secret to success in any marketing and sales campaign. As professionals, we can leverage our experience and reason why a campaign should be successful, but until we execute the campaign, establish a control, adjust, re-launch, and measure response again — we really don’t know much about the effectiveness and full potential of the work we’ve done.

bestpractice

We need to test more. And then test again.

Every element of a campaign should be test on an ongoing basis:

  • title
  • sub-title
  • body copy
  • image
  • color
  • font
  • text formatting
  • guarantee
  • call to action
  • testimonial
  • leading benefit
  • envelope and packaging
  • and more…

Everything should be test to measure for a greater response. Changing merely one word or two can move response from nothing to something meaningful.

In the off-line world, it’s expensive and time consuming to test — printing, mailing, publishing. But it’s still necessary.

In the on-line world, testing is far less expensive and takes far less time to measure the response resulting from a change in copy or design. The reason is obvious, you don’t have the expense and time associated with printing, publishing, and distribution.

But the real power of on-line testing is automation.

When you have a dozen or more variables to test in a campaign, the thought of testing is daunting. Imagine how long it takes to test a dozen variables in a direct mail campaign… and their combinations. Imagine the cost!

Now, imagine doing it on-line.

On-line, you can leverage multivariate testing. Multivariate testing allows you to test multiple variables at the same time, recording which versions of different variables and combination of variable versions produce the best results. It’s like testing on steroids. Automated testing such as this can quickly result in copy optimized for maximum performance.

Multivariate testing is a process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment. It can be thought of in simple terms as numerous split tests or A/B tests performed on one page at the same time. Split tests and A/B tests are usually performed to determine the better of two content variations, multivariate testing can theoretically test the effectiveness of limitless combinations.

Landing pages, squeeze pages, and sales pages are ideal candidates for multivariate testing. Any page with an action can be optimized – purchase, registration, vote, selection, etc. While there are variations dependant upon the multivariate testing solution you use, the principles are the same – you load versions of each variable you wish to test and read the results as they happen. As each visitor lands on the page under test, your multivariate tool serves a different combination of variable versions and records the results of actions taken. Some multivariate solutions learn along the way and serve winning combinations more often as testing of new variable combinations continue.

There are a number of multivariate testing solutions — I’m not endorsing one at this time. For now, I just want to be sure you’re reminded of the importance of testing and are aware of multivariate testing and its benefits in marketing on-line.

If you market your services on the Internet, you ought to look into multivariate testing. The benefits are huge and support a time-tested principle of marketing….testing.

Are you using multivariate testing in your business? If so, which solution do you use and do you have any results to share? If you’re not employing a multivariate testing solution, why not?

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