It doesn’t get any easier than this. If you know you can spend $100 and get $1,000 back, you’ll make that trade with every $100 bill you can lay your hands on.
Welcome to the world of direct marketing. If you have a list of a thousand prospects who are likely to need your service, and you send out a postcard to each one, you’ll know exactly who responded and who didn’t. That’s the kindergarten level.
The split-test is how you ramp up your results. Let’s say you have that same list, and you split it in half. The first 500 get your basic postcard, the next 500 get the same card with a different headline. If one card brings in 12 sales and the other brings in 50, it’s a pretty good guess that the headline that brought in 50 sales is better for selling to that group.
Now here’s where you add the habanera to your chili. Put your winning headline on all your postcards the next time around, and this time split-test some other aspect of the card–the offer you make, the color, the photo, and so on.
After you’ve done these split tests a few times, 2 things should be happening:
1. You’re making more profit on every marketing campaign, so you have more money to invest in the next one.
2. You’re getting a detailed picture of what works with your prospects, and the results of every marketing campaign become more predictable.
When you’ve reached this stage, it’s like you know how to exchange $100 bills for $1,000 bills. You can know, with reasonable certainty, that if you spend x dollars on a marketing campaign, you’ll get y dollars in sales.
Once you’ve done this, you can risk bigger bucks on more expensive media that will reach higher audiences. Instead of trading you $100 bill for $1,000, you can swap out the $1,000 bills and make millions.
Some of the most successful marketers are doing just that. In fact, Response Magazine did a story a while back on how some big-name advertisers usually run radio spots before they spring for a TV ad.
The basic tip: Use cheap media to test your content. Use your proven highest-selling content for the expensive ads.