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      Improving Sales through Testing

      Tuesday, November 23, 2010 @ 12:27:00 PM
      Testing your website pages, especially landing pages, squeeze pages and sales pages is one of the most profitable things you can do to tweak your webpages and gain higher conversions & sales. On top of that, you can learn more about copywriting though split tests and other means of testing your web pages than any other way.

      Before the internet when mail order marketing was king, testing sales letters and catalogs gathered more real information about new concepts and ideas than through most other methods of research at that time. In these days of the internet, testing becomes even more important.

      You can test whole concepts of your pages to find out what emotional triggers and core desires your market truly react to. Do this by testing two or three versions of your sales page that each focus on a separate theme or slant on the product or service. The page that generates the most conversions will give you the answers you are looking for.

      In this day of fierce online competition, testing is something you really must do to gain the highest conversions from your website and pages. If you're not actively testing your pages, your competition will soon pass you by.

      What Exactly Should You Be Testing?

      The answer is simple: Everything! Everything on your pages and in your sales message is a contributing factor to your conversion rate. This includes your headline, opening paragraphs, body copy, your offer, post scripts, background color, font, font colors, images and every other imaginable component of your page.

      Volumes have been written about what and how to test your web pages. This work is extremely time consuming, so when you begin to test, concentrate your initial efforts on the three areas that have been shown to have the most impact on your sales page, the headline, the first three (or four) opening paragraphs, and your offer.

      In this article, the focus will be on Headlines; as they are the critical element of your page.

      Testing Headlines
      Headline changes can have the greatest impact on your conversion rate and response of the three components. 75 - 80% of your visitors will never read beyond the headline. It doesn't matter how well you have written your sales page, if the headline doesn't work correctly and do its job of getting people to read on, your page will not serve its intended purpose.

      In order for your headline to be effective, you have to discover the biggest desires within your market to fill. The best headline tests are based around the different desires and motivating reasons why people would be interested in purchasing your product or service.

      Testing different headlines around different concepts will show you which one is more appealing to your market. Once you have the key concepts and desires tested and you have discovered which one works best, you then go to work tweaking your headline in more alluring and persuasive ways.

      Split testing is generally used to test headlines. In the beginning, you will probably want to use simple A/B split testing but if you are dealing with high volume traffic and high price sales, you may want to consider speeding up the process with multi-variate testing. 

      What Type of Headline Format Do You Test?

      There are some classic headline formats that have been shown to be effective over time that you can begin with. There's the "If/Then" headline, "Amazing Secrets of ..." headline, the "Who Else Wants to ..." headline, and of course the classic "How to ..." headline.

      Test as many headlines as you can think up for your web page. In fact, you should never stop testing different headlines on your webpage. A simple 10% increase in your conversions could result in hundreds to tens of thousands of dollar or more. Testing your headlines could bring an increase of 50%, 100%, or even 200% or more in the response your web page brings.

      The next time that you feel that your landing page, sales page or squeeze page should be converting better, think about testing the component of your page to increase the effectiveness and response that it should be eliciting.