Having the ability to measure everything from a click in an email, to the time a lead spends on your website, to the source of where a lead has come from, allows the marketer to utilize this data to calibrate a highly defined and highly effective program. Knowing what is working and what doesn’t not only makes for much more effective marketing but can also allow small and medium-sized businesses to grow the efficiency of their marketing programs and their return on investment.
Since every activity and interaction is now trackable, nearly every component of your digital marketing program should be constantly tested and its performance improved. Testing is a fundamental marketing tactic that allows you to optimize everything you manage.
For example, within email marketing, we can test multiple subject lines, changes in copy, images, and even when the messages are sent. We’ll send these tests to a smaller segment of the mailing list, which will then give feedback on which version should sent to the rest of the list to be most effective.
This test-first methodology will exist across all of your digital marketing channels. You’ll use similar testing techniques within paid digital advertising, search engine optimization, and social media as you will use within email marketing.
And the great part of all this is that these failure/success metrics are quickly and easily available. You can conduct multiple tests within a day, which would often take weeks with other traditional marketing channels that have a much longer execution cycle.
One of the hardest and most humbling aspects of digital marketing is the fact that testing nearly always wins over experience. You may think you know your market and your audience, but you most likely don’t know how they’ll react when they visit your site. That’s why testing is vitally essential.
Thankfully, the speed and quality of responses in testing has increased exponentially with a service called PickFu.com. I used PickFu.com to split test potential titles for my new book, The Small Business Digital Marketing Playbook. I also used the service to test different book cover designs.
In the past, I’ve used paid advertising on Google AdWords or Facebook to split test these types of variables. However, I’ve found PickFu.com to be faster, cheaper and more valuable then PPC testing.
The Pickfu.com interface is simple and easy to use – just input your question along with version A and version B of your test. After starting my poll, I received 50 responses in just 34 minutes.
You can get 50 instant poll responses for $20. I purchased three polls, which provides 150 responses, for $50.
Upon completion of your poll, you’ll receive the vote count plus feedback from the voters. This type of feedback makes PickFu.com a significant upgrade over the purely metrics-based testing provided by digital ad campaigns. Along with each response, you receive the approximate age, education, income, ethnicity and gender of the respondent. I found most of the written responses honest and well thought out.
Here are the polls that I posted on PickFu.com for my book:
Question: Which book would you buy?
Option A: The Internet is Stealing Your Customers – A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide For Small and Medium Sized Businesses to Getting Customers Online
Option B: The Small Business Owner’s Manual to Online Marketing – A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide to the Growing Online Marketing Industry
Option B was a slight winner with 52% of the vote. The statistical feedback for this poll didn’t provide a very clear path for my next test. However, many of the comments highlighted some important ideas that I considered moving forward.
“I don’t like the threatening aspect of the other option…it makes it seem like the Internet is the enemy” and “I like the positive aspect of option B better than the negative aspect of the internet stealing in option A” are a couple of responses that I found quite informative. My goal with Poll #2 would be refine the message a bit and highlight the positive aspects of digital marketing.
Question: Which book would you buy?
Option A: The Small Business Owner’s Manual to Online Marketing – A Practical, No-Nonsense Guide to the Growing Online Marketing Industry
Option B: The Digital Marketing Playbook for Small Businesses – How to Attract & Retain The Next Generation Customer
The response provided from this poll was much more clear and decisive than from the previous poll. The voting provided a clear winner and some excellent ideas to help guide my marketing of the book.
Option B was a clear winner with 78% of the votes. Some of the responses in favor of Option B include “Looks a little cleaner”, “I like how there is more blue in the image. I also like how the words are more spread out, its easier to read” and “Option B is more appealing because the grey icons are arranged nicely on the page, while the play button on Option A looks generic”.
I’ve found PickFu.com to be a an excellent tool for not only digital marketing, but for just about anything worth split testing. To learn more, check out PickFu.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the information above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”