Let’s talk about A/B testing
You might be wasting your time with A/B testing. Or, at least, that’s the general message of Andrew Faris’ recent Twitter thread, where he says that he’s ‘sort of’ against A/B testing.
What does Andrew mean, and is A/B testing really a waste of time? Let’s take a look:
- Iterative A/B testing with minor changes doesn’t produce big results. For the most part (and that ‘most’ qualifier applies to all of this), tiny changes to your ads or landing pages won’t make a huge difference.
- If you’re only making small changes, it’s hard to determine cause and effect. Andrew points out that the smaller your change is, the more rigorous you’re going to have to be to figure out if your changes are actually the ones causing the difference.
- The results of testing a new button color will be hard to measure; the results of testing a new offer will not. This is the bottom line of what Andrew is saying – small changes are hard to measure and don’t create massive growth, but big changes can.
The Crew’s take: There’s a time and a place for everything, and that includes A/B testing. Depending on your marketing goals and your campaign, small changes might be important.
But if you’re looking for big growth and measurable changes, changing the color of your button or one word in your CTA text probably isn’t going to get you the results you’re looking for. Go give Andrew’s original Twitter thread some love here!
Tell people what they want to hear
If you tell people what they want to hear, you can be wrong indefinitely without penalty.
That’s a quote from this recent article from Morgan Housel at The Collaborative Fund, and it’s one of a couple dozen that make it into his article titled ‘A Few Rules’.
In short, it’s a few rules about marketing and business – and most of Morgan’s rules can be applied to life as well. If you’re feeling like your marketing is staler than a box of Cheez-Its that’s been open since January or you just want a refresher on some cardinal rules, these are a few of our favorite ‘rules’:
- People learn when they’re surprised. Not when they read the right answer, or are told they’re doing it wrong, but when their jaw hits the floor. The Crew’s take: This is incredibly important, especially if you’re in the business of content – and yes, we do our best to surprise you when we can!
- Self-interest is the most powerful force in the world. Which can be great, because situations where everyone’s interests align are unstoppable; bad because people’s willingness to benefit themselves at the expense of others is so seductive. The Crew’s take: When it comes to marketing, people’s own self interest is one of the greatest tools you can use!
- The person who tells the most compelling story wins. Not the best idea. Just the story that catches people’s attention and gets them to nod their heads.
Morgan lays out plenty more rules in his full article, so go check it out! Got any marketing rules of your own? Shoot us an email and let us know.
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- Identify and evaluate all touchpoints involved in any event a visitor performed on your site, whether it was defined or not. #attribution
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A checklist to open a window in your customers’ brains
If you want to know your customers like a shepherd knows his sheep (we’re not calling your customers sheep, but you get it), you should take a look into what’s going on in their minds.
And it all starts with research. That’s why we’re bringing you this customer research checklist shared by Jeff Louis in The Gary Halbert Copy Club group.
It’s mainly made for copywriting, but you can apply this to pretty much any area of marketing. Here are the primary research methods that Jeff outlines in the guide:
Talk directly to your customers.
- Identify at least 3 of your ideal buyers from your existing base.
- Ask them why they bought or why they didn’t.
- Make a list of reasons that stopped or convinced them.
Media research. Get down and dirty in the groups where your customers are hanging out.
- Get into groups and forums. Find threads created by people asking to solve a specific problem. Ask questions and observe how this group of people interact or what worries them. Jot down every powerful language, jargon, or some distinctive traits you recognize about this group. The Crew’s tip: Look for shibboleths.
- Read popular blogs and magazines in your niche. The people creating this content are researching your audience too, so you can get valuable info here.
Review research. Discover what customers think about your competitors. Amazon and Google are the main sources here.
- Pay attention to the stellar and terrible reviews to see what customers love and what objections you have to address. You’ll also learn their language here.
- Read reviews of the best-selling and trending books related to your niche.
- Reverse engineer what the top three competitors in your niche are doing to attract customers.
- Hand-write or analyze the sales pages of your direct competitors.
Research on Google.
- Google the problem that your product solves.
- Once you find a website/forum you want to search, type in Google “site:domain.com phrases you’re looking for”. It will pull up all the pages Google has indexed with those words.
- Type in Google + horror/nightmare stories.
- Type in Google + market demographics/facts.
- Get the Google Discussions tab extension to find forums about your topic.
- Use the search modifier “inurl:forum”. This shows you only URLs (links) that have the word “forum”. For example, type in Google “inurl:forum marketing” to find marketing forums.
If you execute all these points, you’ll probably be informed about your audience more than your competitors are. And that’s not even the full list that Jeff Louis shared.
AMAZON: Let the shopping season begin! The company announced that Prime Day will run on October 13 and 14.
TIKTOK: The ban, that was delayed to this Monday after the deal with Oracle, has been postponed again. Indeed, a U.S. federal court rejected Trump’s executive order to shut down the app.
MARKETING: Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, explains to Adweek how his customers have been staying engaged – even during a pandemic which has severely limited travel.
LINKEDIN: The Marketing Partner program on LinkedIn has been updated with new categories, which should make it easier if you’re looking for someone to partner with in the business.
SEO: Glenn Gabe on Twitter is reporting that an update from Google may have messed with canonicalization on some sites, causing pages to be canonicalized incorrectly.
BIG TECH: Apple has agreed to grant a temporary pause on their 30% commission for event funds raised through Facebook, a significant agreement between the two companies.
GOOGLE: An AI platform was just launched by Google that lets developers share machine learning models in the cloud.
It’s Monday, and you know what that means. Time to guess which subject line from last week had the highest open rate! These are your options:
💸 How much?
🔴 EU exit.
Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
…for building something that (probably) nobody else would – a giant robot inspired by anime.
The robot is 60-feet tall and is straight out of Mobile Suit Gundam, a classic anime series that aired in 1979 and 1980.
If you want to check out the robot showing off some of its moves (yes, it actually works!), check out this article.
Why build it, though? Passion for anime is huge in Japan, and everyone likes to be entertained by robots – so as weird as it sounds, it’s a great marketing tool to bring people to Gundam Factory Yokohama to learn more about how the robot was created and the history behind it!
We’re just waiting for the day that we get to create a giant Stacked Marketer robot…