This is how people get rich. If you put 10 ads out on the Internet and only one of those was bringing in paying customers, wouldn’t you want to know which ad that was? Well, today’s episode, about ad tracking and split testing, is going to teach you how to get those exact answers so you can maximize the sales from everything you do and minimize the losses from ads and promotions that aren’t working.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 133
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:15] Tom's introduction to Ad Tracking & Split Testing [06:15] Ad Tracking [15:51] Split Testing or A/B Testing [18:41] What are things you can test? [21:33] You need good tools [30:05] Buying traffic [32:11] Miscellaneous tips
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Episode 133 Ad Tracking and Split testing
This is the way smart marketers get rich. They track what’s working and eliminate what’s not.
I’d also refer you to episode 127 where I talked about paid traffic. It ties in perfectly with this episode.
Episode 132 Jacqueline Whitmore protocol and etiquette expert who helps people all over the world act right and be right in business and personal situations. She gave some great insights on preparing for events you are invited to.
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I turned the Internet marketing training world on its head around the year 2000.
People like me were charging 50-100K upfront to teach what we knew to clueless business people who refused to learn. I'm a small business advocate and I knew many small businesses could never afford that kind of upfront money. So, I made all those gurus mad by charging a relatively small entry fee to my program that also got a percentage of profits that was capped so you're not stuck with me forever. So, for me to get my big money you have to make way bigger money. Plus, you know I'm not going to disappear on you because I won't get any more money.
I went one step further that has never been done before. I have a big estate home and TV studio where my students as part of their yearlong training come and actually, stay in my house for an immersion weekend and that's just one of the unique features of the program. Check out the full details at http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and I'll have it in the show notes.
Ad Tracking and Split Testing. I’ll tell you right up front. This is how people get rich. Let me ask you a simple dumb question. If 100 people visited your website, would you rather have 10 of them buy your product or only 5 of them buy it? This is not a trick question. If you picked 5, you shouldn’t be allowed to leave your house with your credit cards because you’re not very good at making financial decisions LOL
Now let me ask you another question. If you put in 10 ads out on the Internet in all the places, I told you about in Episode 127 about paid traffic and only one of those was bringing in paying customers wouldn’t you want to know which ad that was? Again, a pretty obvious answer, right? Well, today’s episode about ad tracking and split testing is going to teach you how to get those exact answers so you can maximize the sales from everything you do and minimize the losses from ads and promotions that aren’t working.
We’re going to talk about ad tracking first and then we’ll get into split testing later although I’ll give you basic definitions of each right now. Ad tracking is getting exact numbers of how many people came from an exact ad and how many people did what you wanted them to do. Split testing also known as A/B testing is comparing the performance of one promotion or promotional element against another to see which one is best. Those definitions will gel for you a little bit more when I get into the details.
OK. Let’s get to Ad Tracking
One of the biggest mistakes people make when advertising online is, they get all excited about the different places they can advertise and they jump right in and put a bunch of ads out and then they sit back and wait for all the sales to pour in. Most people that do this are woefully disappointed in the number of sales or opt-ins or webinar registrations or whatever they were promoting that came in as compared to the amount of money they spent.
Advertising in multiple places when you’re first starting out in paid ads is a bad idea from the get go because getting to know each ad platform takes some time, but worse than that when you have ads spread out all over the place without proper tracking mechanisms in place, you have no idea which ads are bringing you good quality leads or customers and which ads aren’t bringing you anything of value.
This is where ad tracking comes in. When you have ad tracking software or an ad tracking service, you can put a special link on every single ad you put out. When someone clicks on your ad, they are tracked.
You might say, “But, Tom the place I’m advertising tells me how many clicks I had because that’s how they charge me on a pay per click basis.” First of all, you aren’t always charged on a pay per click basis, there are other ways, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Yes, the place where you are advertising counts the clicks and charges you. First, it’s a good idea to have a way to check up on them to make sure the number of clicks is accurate. What if they have some kind of bot…either their own or something attacks their system….. that clicks over and over again to run up your bill, but nobody actually visits your website? How would you know? I guess you could dig into your analytics and hope that your landing page was tracked in real time. Multiply this by multiple ads and landing pages in your site, and good luck trying to keep accurate track of things.
Even if you could do a good job of keeping track of multiple ads and landing pages, you’d have to be one heck of an organized person to keep track of which ads were bringing you customers and which were bringing you tire kickers.
So, step up to ad trackers. When you put a specific ad tracking link on every ad you place, all of these problems are erased and you have one simple place to go to see EXACTLY what is happening with each ad you place so you can kill the losers and keep the winners. Like I said in episode 127 about paid traffic, you want to fail fast so you don’t keep running ads that aren’t paying off for you.
Not only can you keep the ad service honest about charging you for fake clicks i.e. if they charge you for 1000 clicks and you only had 10 landing page visits, something is wrong. Either they are fraudulent or there is a serious flaw in their billing system. You can present them with the evidence of only 10 visits and demand a refund or quit them altogether as frauds.
Really most ad places aren’t fraudulent and other than minor discrepancies in numbers of clicks you probably won’t have any trouble with fraud, but it’s better to verify your bill and keep them honest and ad trackers allow you to do this. But further than that, the problem with relying on number of clicks, is that most services have no way to gauge the quality of that click for you. Most of them don’t know if the person they sent you spent money with you or opted in, on registered for your seminar or webinar. And quite frankly it’s not their problem. They sent you the person and it’s your problem to convert them to whatever you want them to do. You have to take responsibility to convert them and if you find that traffic from a specific source doesn’t convert well no matter what you do, you must cut off that ad source and quit wasting money with them.
Ad trackers specifically tell you not only how many people clicked from a certain ad, but it follows the person that clicked to see if they did what you wanted them to do. All you have to do is pull up a report and see the ad source, the number of clicks, the number of opt-ins, the amount of money people spent that came from that specific ad. When you have those hard figures in front of you it makes it easy to see which ads are worth keeping and which you should dump.
There is an exception when you might not need an ad tracker and that’s when a service has something called “conversion tracking”. That’s where their service counts how many people actually got your thank you page. The only people that would get the thankyou page are the people that did what you wanted them to do. I still prefer to have my own trackers to verify what’s going on.
Another cool thing that ad trackers can do is track ads and promotions and links on your own site. One thing I like to do on more expensive products is to use a command and a benefit in a text link when people are thinking of buying the product. For instance, for my “Wake ‘em Up Video Professional Speaking System” I might have several links with a command and a benefit in them. Here’s some examples: “Click Here to get standing ovations around the world.” The “Click here” is the command and the part about getting standing ovations is the big benefit. Another would be, “Click Here to have them rolling in the aisles.” Again, the “click here” is the command and the rolling in the aisles is a big benefit to those that want to be more entertaining on stage.
If I wanted to see which of those links got more clicks AND buyers …..notice I didn’t just say “more clicks” because I want the link that brings more buyers NOT just more clicks. Anyway, I’d put a separate tracking link on each one and I’d get exact figures on which link brought me the most buyers.
Here’s yet another cool usage of tracking links. Maybe I wanted to track which location on my website brought the most buyers. In that case I’d take one of those “click here” links and place it on different pages of my site and sometimes it would be at the top of the page and sometimes at the bottom and sometimes in the middle of a blog post and I’d put separate tracking links on each one. That would tell me where on my site the most buyers are coming from so I could do more of whatever I was doing in the future to bring in even more buyers.
So, Ad Trackers can do amazing things for you and your business by saving you money because you can quit losing ads immediately and making you money be telling you the ads that are making you money so you can increase them Plus all the cool stuff you can do on your own site to tell what areas of your site are the most profitable.
You’ve heard me push heavily my shopping cart system http://www.KickStartCart.com and this is just another reason a complete shopping cart system is valuable. Your ad tracking module is already included in http://www.KickStartCart.com You don’t pay extra and you don’t have any complicated installation of third party software to do all this tracking. It just works right off the bat. Get your free trial of http://www.KickStartCart.com Plus when you get the cart we give you unlimited free one-on-one tutoring to get you set up, running and ongoing help to operate it. Shopping cart systems were covered in Episode 10 to show you all the powerful things they will do for your business. So, check that out later when you’re really ready to get a shopping cart. https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/10 which should be sooner rather than later because it does all these things including your broadcast email, affiliate program, upselling modules and everything.
OK. Now let’s get in to Split Testing or A/B Testing. People argue about the exact definition or whether split testing and A/B testing are totally separate issue, but I don’t really care about that. Basically, you are either comparing two big concepts against one another or you are testing individual elements in a sales letter like which headline is best or which price is best.
I only test one thing at a time. Like I might test which guarantee is better. You can test a bunch of stuff at once which is called “Multivariate testing” but I can assure you I’m not smart enough to keep track of tons of different variables at once and I don’t really know anyone in the Internet marketing field who tests more than one thing at a time.
All of this testing is designed to increase your conversion rate. If you’re not familiar with that term it’s basically the ratio of the number of people who do what you want them to do to the number of people who had a chance to do what you wanted them to do. For instance, if 100 people saw your sales letter and 3 people bought, that would be a 3 percent conversion ratio. Just to keep using round numbers, if 100 people saw your opt-in form and 15 people opted in, that would be a 15% conversion ratio. Split testing is the method you use to increase those numbers. If you can make a change to your sales letter that would take your conversion rate from 3 percent to 5 percent, I’m sure you’d do it. Split testing tells you when you change something on your sales letter or opt in form did it increase or decrease your conversion rate. If it increases your conversion rate, you keep that change. If it decreases, your conversion rate, you get rid of that change and try something else. When you try everything, you can and you no longer can get an increase in your conversion rate, you’ve maxed out that sales letter or opt in form and you can feel pretty confident that you’re doing the best you can do with that promotion. Just to give you some crazy perspective one of the guys who taught me this had a sales letter and when he got done with all the split testing, the final version sold 19 times as many of his products as the original letter. So, this work and testing can really make you lots of extra money.
So, what are Things you can test:
The first thing you might want to test are some entirely different big concepts. Maybe you want to see if a video sales letter or VSL works better for your promotion than a written sales letter? Then maybe you want to test if a hybrid sales letter with a video at the top and text beneath works better than just a video or just text. Maybe you want to test a written sales letter let’s say it was about making money, but one sales letter totally emphasized security for your family and the other one totally emphasized living a more luxurious life. You could test to see which concept had a bigger appeal for your audience and that particular offering.
This brings up a good point. You don’t just do this once. You do testing on every important project because every deal is different and no matter how experienced you think you are, you simple can’t predict with any degree of accuracy how people will react to different offers. That’s why smart ….. and rich….marketers continue to split test.
OK, so let’s say you’ve done your big concept split testing and you want to start improving your conversion rate let’s say on a sales letter. I’m going to rattle off a ton of things you could test. And yes, it’s a long list, rewind later if you want to jot it down or just go get a copy from the show notes for this episode. Here’ we go:
Pre-Headline, Headline, price, guarantee, colors, testimonials, placements of, drop shadows, fonts, page layout, short vs long letters, video vs text, Calls to Action, Location of calls to action, Pop ups, Images, Video or no video, Length of Video, Controls on video or not, Auto play or not, Fonts, Testimonials, Location of Testimonials, Style of testimonials, Trust Seals, Price obvious or hidden, Navigation or none, Margin notes, Scare tactics, ways to buy, PayPal Credit notice. Do you see how many things could affect your sales and this is by no means a full list? This is again why you need good tools. So, let me get on my high horse about tools again. You can somewhat do this without tools if you want to cause yourself enormous amounts of grief and inaccuracies so that you make lousy decisions. Here’s how you would do it. I call it the “Poor Man’s or Woman’s Split Testing”
Poor Man’s Split Testing
Poor man’s split testing means you haven’t invested in the software, so you’re going to do kinda a half-baked and I just said half-baked instead of half something else so I don’t have to mark this episode as explicit for foul language. But I really mean half the other word because I get a little annoyed when people want all these riches but they won’t invest in the tools to make it happen. They think the riches are just going to fall out of the air or something. I don’t know. I do know virtually nobody like that becomes successful with online marketing. These tools are so cheap as compared to any kind of other business you could start. OK. I’m off my high horse for a moment. Back to poor man’s split testing.
That means you try sales letter A for let’s say 100 visitors. Then after you get your 100 visitors, you switch to Sales letter B and wait till you get 100 visitors. Then you compare which sales letter got you the most sales, opt-ins, registrations or whatever you were trying to accomplish. The flaw in this is that your visitors did not come during the same time period. Let’s say you put the first sales letter out on a Monday and it took 3 days to get your 100 visitors and let’s say you got 3 sales. Then on Thursday you put out the second sales letter and let it go for 100 visitors and you got only 1 sale. The first sales letter was better right? 3 sales to 1 is a clear winner, right? WRONG!
You’re first sales letter was released at the start of the week and the second one was released as people are getting ready for the weekend. That’s bad enough, but let me give you an example of one of my ButtCamps I just did. For those of you that don’t know Buttcamp is one of the longest running ever Internet marketing seminars. I named it that because I was sitting on my rear end making so much money LOL Well it caught on and I’ve done them in 11 countries. So, I planned a Buttcamp on a Saturday in Virginia Beach. We videotaped the entire day so I don’t care too much about how many people attend in person because we sell the videos around the world. But we usually have 20-30 people at the live event. A couple weeks prior to Buttcamp people started letting me now they wanted the videos because they couldn’t get a room in Virginia Beach to come in for the event. As I looked into it, there was a massive Ocean Front Festival and all the rooms were taken for 30 miles around Virginia Beach.
So, why am I telling you this. Let’s get back to the poor man’s split testing. It was bad enough you tested your second letter heading into a weekend, what if there was a major event that effected your target market that weekend and you didn’t know about it? Maybe you would have sold zero from that second sales letter and you would have discarded it as the loser and kept the other sales letter.
What are the potential ramifications of this? Let’s say you switched the letters and the second sales letter that you were going to throw away had been released on Monday instead of Thursday? What if it sold 8 of whatever you were selling just because it was released at a better time? If you made the decision of which sales letter was better based on the first test, you would have thrown away the best sales letter and kept the worst one. Call me crazy, but those kinds of decisions aren’t going to keep you in business long. You need to get the tools necessary to do this correctly. You’ll make a lot more money with less hassle trying to keep track of things by just getting and using the right tools.
So, how to the tools work?
A split testing tool, just like the ad tracker generates a specific link for you only this link is a little different. Each visitor that clicks on this link is sent to a different place. So, let’s say you have two sales letters and we’ll call them Sales letter “A” and sales letter “B”. The first person that clicks on the link goes to sales letter “A” and the Second person that clicks on the link goes to Sales letter “B”. The third person that clicks on the link goes back to sales letter “A” and the link keeps alternating each person that clicks so that when you’re done, half the people that clicked saw sales letter “A” and half saw sales letter “B”. Each person that clicked is tracked to see if they eventually do what you want them to do, like purchase something, or opt in to your email list or register for a webinar or whatever your end goal was. You’ll get a clear set of numbers telling you how many people visited each sales letter and how many did what you wanted them to do. AND the test took place during the exact same time period for each sales letter so you don’t have any errors like I talked about with the sales letters being released at different times.
You will get exact and valid numbers of which sales letter won the test. If the test was close, you might want to wait to make your decision on which sale letter was better until you send lots more people to each one.
Let’s say one was a clear winner. Now you start testing individual elements of that sales letter. Like the laundry list of elements I rattled off earlier. Some of the ones I like to check first is the headline. If your headline doesn’t grab people to get them to look at the rest of the letter, nothing else much matters. Price is an important test. We always test low to high because if someone buys at a low price and hears later the price went up, they’re all happy they got in cheap. But if someone buys high and then hears the price went down, they’re all mad about it. So, in general test low to high.
And one other thing. Since this is a basic intro to ad tracking and split testing, I’m not going too deep, but the sales letter that brings you the most buyers may not be the best sales letter for your overall goal. Maybe a sales letter that brings in less buyers on the front end or I really mean buyers, or subscribers or whatever, but let’s say it brings in less people, but they are people who spend way more money over time. So even though on the front end you got less, you got way more in the long run. This is called the lifetime value of a customer. But don’t let that throw you. Learn to do these basics first and then you can keep track over longer time periods and make decisions on the front end based on more data about your customers you gain over time.
So, lots of people ask me what they are supposed to do if they don’t even have enough traffic to test their sales letters. In that case you need to learn what I covered in episode 127 about paid traffic. You put in ads to drive traffic to your sales letters and you shut them off or pause them when you get enough results to make a good decision. If your numbers are too small your tests won’t be valid. And lots of people ask me how much traffic or how many people they have to send to a sales letter to have a valid test. That gets a little too deep to talk about here, but as a rule of thumb you can use this. Count how many visitors it takes to get ten actions of whatever you wanted them to do like buy the product or opt in or whatever. Let’s say from sales letter “A” it took 160 visitors to get them to buy 10 copies of your $27.00 eBooks. 10 divided by 160 was a 6.25% conversion ratio. Let’s say from sales letter “B” it took 195 visitors to sell 10 copies of your $27.00 eBook. 10 divided by 195 is a 5.12% conversion ratio. So, sales letter “A” won by a little over a 1 percent margin.
I personally don’t think I’d make a decision yet. I’d let the test run till it hit 20 or 30 sales or more or until I saw a clear-cut winner and then I’d stop the one sales letter and keep testing elements of the other sales letter. I’m sure just on face value you can see this whole process is a pain in the neck, but try it without tools and you’ll be pulling your own hair out. Or, you won’t do it at all and then you won’t get rich. It’s as simple as that.
Okie Doke here are some Misc. Tips before I send you on your way toward good ad tracking and split testing.
First is Odd times of year can throw off the test. I don’t think it’s a great time to test ….of course this would depend on your product….around valentines’ day, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day ….you see what I mean. People’s minds are consumed with other things. Yes, you could do a test that included those periods as long as the test ran long enough before the holiday or time of year and long enough after.
Another tip is sometimes you don’t have a chance to test something. Sometimes it’s a one-shot deal. This is just a copywriting tip. When I only have one shot at something, I always make the headline and subheadings fire engine red color. And of course, I want you to accelerate your success by getting a membership to https://www.copywriting901.com The fast track to writing words that sell. This is the most important skill I’ve gained in over 42 years of formal business and really since I was writing flyers to sell stuff when I was ten years old. But I might only have a one-shot deal where maybe it’s a year-end clearance sale or something. I can’t run a year-end clearance sale all year long so I just get one shot at it and I do the best I can from my experience, but I make the headline and subheadings fire engine red in color.
Here’s another tip. When you have these tools, you can split test all kinds of stuff. Landing pages, email subject lines, email body copy, sign up forms, potential titles of books, pictures and just about anything where you don’t really know which one is the winner.
And finally, as soon as you think you know something is the best, the Internet smacks you in the face and says, “No you don’t.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been surprised on the results of a test when I had in my mind there was a clear winner, but I went ahead with the test anyway and my clear winner was a clear loser. So, don’t get cocky about this claiming you know exactly what your people need and want. Test it anyway.
I call it part of my CSI theory and that’s not the TV show “Crime Scene Investigation”. CSI to me stands for Crappy Stupid Idea and every idea is crappy and stupid . . . including my own . . . unless I can prove it isn’t with real numbers.
So, get your free trial at http://www.KickStartCart.com so you have all the tools necessary to do what I talked about here and you’ll be doing things just like the other savvy and rich marketers do.
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