Software Marketing Resource Articles: Split-Run Testing to Raise your Conversion Rates

You wrote the code, now how do you sell it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Split-Run Testing to Raise your Conversion Rates

Have you ever heard the phrase "split-run testing?" No? If you have a website and you're trying to sell something online, you need to know about this valuable testing process that can increase your bottom line.

Split-run testing is where you create different versions of a sales page (for example) to test its effectiveness. When users enters your site, they're shown one version or the other. Once you do this enough times you can easily see which version converted visitors into buying customers. Are you following me here?

The benefits of split-run testing are many. You can see at a glance what's working and what isn't. By testing different versions of your copy and tracking what converts, you can make permanent changes and see an increase in your sales with the same amount of traffic. When you improve your conversion rates, the money you spend on marketing will work harder for you as more of your site's visitors make the leap from browsers into buyers.

If your sales copy is ineffective, all the traffic in the world will not increase your sales activity. By testing and tracking and finding out what does and doesn't work, you can incorporate changes that are proven winners and make more money. Sound good? Of course it does.

So what kinds of things might you want to test? Some people might start with two different versions of their sales letter (for example, your home page). Then once they finish testing the copy itself, run tests on more specific elements like including more or less testimonials, the headline, adding a Post Script or not, etc.

There are many different factors that you can test, but for the most accurate measuring results, the trick is to test only one component at a time. You'll also want to allow each test to run to between 500 to 1000 unique visitors before coming to any conclusions.

Here are some things you might want to test:

1) Your Headlines
2) Different Design Elements of Your Site (i.e., fonts, colors, etc.)
3) Sales Letter
4) Navigation Structure of Your Site
5) Bonus Offers
6) Pricing Points (high or low)
7) Long Copy Versus Short Copy
8) Different Advertising Strategies such as banners, ezine ads, pay per click copy
9) Openings/Closings
10) Order Forms

So now that you have a clear idea of what "split-run" testing is, how do you do it? There are many different software packages out there that can do the job for you.

Let's review some options:

Split Hits Install this $29.95 PHP database driven software and it will automatically rotate different versions of your website, so you can see at a glance which ones are outperforming the others.

Scientific Web Marketing System A script that runs on your server and is UNIX based. This software works by constantly displaying different versions of the same web page at the same url. Comes with a 60-day money back guarantee and sells for only $37.97.

As you can see, testing and tracking what works and what doesn't isn't that hard -- and can save you a lot of money in the end. Without testing, you have no way of knowing what's working with your marketing efforts, and that's like playing pool in the dark. You might be able to feel your way around, but you'll have no way of knowing if you're aiming in the right direction when it comes to sinking the ball in the pocket. Converting visitors into buyers is the name of the game online. Isn't it time you found out if all your hard work is paying off?

About the Author
Merle "Where some of the BEST Deals in Ezine Advertising are Made" Buy & Sell Ezine Ads in a live auction setting! Publishers sell off your excess inventory and Buyers pick up some Fantastic bargains. Go now. FREE e-book on how to "Write Winning Ezine Ads"


Anonymous said...
Virtually all of the links given are expired domains.
Unknown said...
Apologies for that, we've removed the offending links. As you may know SMR was left dormant for many years and some of the older articles may be out of date, however starting from today we'll be bringing you fresh relevant content.
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