Just yesterday a colleague of mine, whom I'll call “Sandy, " asked my advice about marketing her new information product online. She saw some of my banner ads on a particular Web site, and wanted to know if she should put her own up there.
I said they didn't work that well for me, but I suggested she try it, because it was a site often visited by her target market.
"But how do I know it will work for me?" she said.
"You don't, " I answered.
"What?" she said.
"Test it!" I said. “Try anything for a bit and see how it works for you. "
Test, Test, and Test Again
I then shared with her one of the most important concepts I've learned over the past eight months of going to live internet marketing seminars.
Here were guys (yes, all guys, for now : )) who have each made millions - millions! - from selling information online.
But they didn't just become millionaires out of the blue with their first idea and their first marketing strategies. They had failures. In fact, after talking with them, I learned they had MANY failures.
I looked at these guys, whom many in the audience considered Internet marketing demi-gods, and tried to imagine them “failing. " It was hard. After all, there they were, up on stage, teaching what works.
But they'd failed many times. They tried something, it didn't work, and then they moved on to another strategy. They TESTED things, and they still always do test things.
If I tried something online and it didn't work, I saw it as a failure. But they just see it as a test.
It's Time to Reprogram Your Mind
In school, if we didn't have the right answer, we “failed. " But in marketing, that's bullsh*t.
In marketing, if we don't get the right answer, we LEARN. We learn what does not work and where not to spend our marketing money anymore. That's damn valuable information!
Now, I know this concept may seem like a “duh" to you, because it did to me too. I heard stories over and over about testing, but every time I did, my mind answered back, “Of course . . . I know that. "
Isn't it funny how our minds assume we know things? But we don't really know something unless we're LIVING it.
I thought I knew what was working and what wasn't working, but how could I when I wasn't tracking anything?
And also, how could I take others’ marketing advice without seeing if their advice was really working for ME?
Tracking Is Your Key to Riches
So I started tracking and testing.
Twelve months ago, I couldn't even tell you how many visitors I was getting to my site every month. Now I can tell you not only how many unique visitors I get, but how many of them on an average buy my product, how many of them sign up for my e-zines, the maximum I should spend to get a visitor to my site, and more. Knowing this information has helped me DOUBLE my sales over the last several months.
Tracking and testing is not as hard as you think. The beauty of any type of d1rect marketing, especially online marketing, is your ability to track results.
Now, in Sandy's example above, she needs some type of ad tracker program that assigns a special link to her ad. Even better, this program should be linked to her shopping cart, so she can see how many clicks directly turned into sales. (For this purpose, I highly recommend KickStart Cart, my favorite brand of 1ShoppingCart. (http://tinyurl.com/orhg))
For her Web site, she should track how many visitors she has each month compared with how many sales she has each month. Her reporting program should tell her how many unique visitors she has on her site (not just “hits, " which is useless).
Sandy should extend this tracking mentality to every type of marketing she does - even her free teleclasses. For every teleclass she teaches, she should track how many of those folks sign up for her e-zine and how many buy her product right away.
See where I'm going with this? The numbers don't lie, and once you start seeing the light, marketing will become much more painless. Just stop doing what doesn't work, and put more energy into what does.
THEN, you won't look back and see any failures. You'll only see “tests. " : )
(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, “The E-zine Queen, " is author of the award-winning manual, “Boost Business With Your Own E-zine. " To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/