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  Empowering PrePaid Legal associates to success on the internet
Why Test? 
by Mark Joyner
CEO, Aesop.Com 

Marketing should be treated like a science. If you are serious
about making money on the Internet, it is absolutely crucial
that you spend some time testing your results and refining your

Let me drive this point home. Say for example you have a
website that gives you a visit to sale ratio of about 200 to 1. 
Not really bad as far as web sites go. Most do far worse. 

Now, assume that you get 5,000 visits per month. Do the math. 
Thatís 25 sales per month. If your profit from each sale is
$50, you are making $1250 per month profit from your
website. Now, what would happen, if by changing one small thing
on your website, you could improve that ratio to say 150 to 1. 
It may not seem significant, but letís see how it works on

Now, instead of 25 sales per month, you are doing 33. Multiply
that by $50 and you are now making $1650 per month. Thatís a
difference of $400. Itís not like youíre having to work any
harder for that additional $400. Your website is always there. 

Now, the example I have shown you here is quite mild to some of
the drastic improvements I have seen as a result of market
testing. All my life Iíve heard people say "donít work hard -
work smart!" 

This is excellent advice. Working smart means getting more from
less effort. 

Well, testing is a systematic way of helping you to work smart. 
Itís just like the scientific method, really. You may remember
it from school. There are many versions of the scientific
method for different disciplines and many scientists will argue
about which approach is best. For our purposes, letís take a
very bare-boned and simple version. Itís really all we need: 

a. Generate a hypothesis. 

b. Test your hypothesis by performing an experiment and
recording the results. 

c. Perform calculations and draw conclusions. 

d. Confirm or refine your original hypothesis. 

For example, letís say in the above example, we hypothesize that
by adding a money back guarantee, we will get a better visit to
sale ratio. This is our hypothesis. To test this, we make the
change on our websites and record our results. Thatís our
experiment. After a few weeks (or any period of time we
determine to be sufficient) we conclude the experiment and
perform calculation on our data. We then discover that the
visit to sale ratio did, indeed, improve during the course of
our test run. We can then draw a conclusion that our original
hypothesis is correct.Seems pretty simple, right? Well,
actually no...

*Controls and Statistical Significance* 

In the preceding example, we did a pretty straightforward and
simple test. However, the results we have drawn may not be

For example, what if the majority of visitors we received before
the test run came as the result of a banner ad campaign we were
running? Then, without us knowing it, sometime during the
campaign a company favorably reviews our product and drives
people to our site. It could be the case that people who read
that review were more likely to buy the product. 

It could also be the case that they were much more likely to buy
and that adding the guarantee lessened the effectiveness of the
site. Or, it could even be the case that the guarantee did
increase the effectiveness of the site, but not as much as we

The problem is, we just donít know.To address this issue and to
improve the reliability of our tests, we need to establish
"controls". A control is a measure that allows us to isolate
the factors which are causing the effects we record. 

For example, a better way to run this test would have been to
run two websites at the same time. Both of them identical in
every way (promoted the same way, designed the same way-
everything) except for the one element we think will make a
difference. The site without the change is called the control
site. The site with the change is the test subject. 

This same principle can be applied to any other type of
marketing. If you want to test the effectiveness of a banner
ad, run two banner ads on the same site for the same period of
time. If you run one banner ad on one site and the other on yet
a different site, you canít be sure that your results are valid. 

Using strict control techniques improves the chances that your
findings will be valid. 

*Statistical Significance* 

Even if we use good controls, we can still never be sure of our
results. There may be something affecting the test we havenít
thought of. Thatís why we also need to resolve ourselves to the
fact that the results of one single test should not be accepted
as conclusive. 

Rather, we need to perform a great many tests and look at the
over all trends. Only after we have compiled a considerable
amount of information can we safely draw any conclusions. 

Just how much testing is enough is up to you. You should test
until you are satisfied, but be honest with yourself. Donít just
stop testing out of laziness! 

*Turning tests into profits* 

The idea here is to test as many different methods as possible,
discover the most effective method, and crank up the volume on
your best method. When you get into serious volume and your
business is really doing well, even minor differences in results
will have a major impact on the amount of money you take home. 
And sometimes very subtle and minor changes to a website will
make huge differences in your results. 

If you could find out which of your advertising campaigns was
bringing in the most money for you, wouldnít it make sense to
put more effort into that campaign? Or do more of that type of
campaign? Wouldnít you be crazy not to? 

In the following chapters...

... weíll show you exactly how to track and monitor the results
of all of your Internet marketing efforts. After we show you
the logic behind each method of testing, weíll show you the
physical tools and techniques you need to employ to track your

Tracking is just recording the results of one campaign or

Testing is the systematic monitoring of these campaigns to
discover what is working and what is not using the scientific

Article by Mark Joyner, CEO of Aesop Marketing Corporation and
creator of 1001 Killer Internet Marketing Tactics - a *must
have* tool for anyone serious about doing business on the
Internet. Do yourself a favor and check this one out today: