Get Response University, Learn List Building Tutorial

Get Response University, Learn List Building Tutorial

The autoresponder I choose to use is Get Response. No big surprises here as I’ve said it often enough. It’s one of a well known pair, the other being Aweber. I’m not saying there aren’t others or even alternatives, I’ve looked at some and tried some (ListWire and Mail Chimp) but settled on Get Response in the end because the interface felt more comfortable to me. So that’s the way I’ve gone.

GetResponse formerly known as Implix is an email marketing service provider specializing in online solutions and creating landing pages. The company.…

A few weeks ago, Get Response started pushing their Learn List Building University – Getting your list to 1000 subscribers (roughly at the same time that they dropped their ‘buy some subscribers’ packages), so it thought it worth while to enrol (it’s free) and let you know what it’s about and if I think it’s any good.

The first thing to say is that it comes in 2 streams – 90 days or 180 days, depending on how much time you have to put in to the various tasks and assignments that are given to you. I’ve gone for the 180 day plan and I can only assume that on the 90 day plan you either do 2 lessons per day or there is a totally different set of lessons to get you up to the magic number.

The lesson delivery is via a short video – between 3 and 10 minutes, a PDF of the slides used in the video and an extra PDF which gives a synopsis of the spoken tutorial from the video. The voice over is by Pam Neely who has a clear voice and delivers the material at a steady pace, going over the important points and really emphasising what you need to do for the rest of  your hour.

Most of the tasks you are assigned will not take up the full hour although the pace may pick up a bit later (I’m only a quarter of the way through at the moment) and consists of all the basic tasks you’d expect to do. Start a niche blog, write some posts, set up several email capture forms, a squeeze page and a 404 page with a signup form. The phase I’m at presently is preparing a first guest post having found somewhere that will accept it.

As you are only expected to put an hour a day into it (not including weekends) there is a way to go yet before any real attempt is made to get people to your optin form. There are certainly no major traffic driving revelations exposed (yet), so it seems that the slow but sure, tried and tested methods are being used. Everything is explained well and aimed at a non-technical person who just needs more help in growing their list. Get Response have stated that some people using their course methods have gotten up to 10,000 subscribers, so there may be more advanced things to come, although I expect most of it to be repetition of earlier steps.

Email list, Email Tips Send messages others would like to rece…

The Get Response University learn list building course is a good one, although so far it sticks to the basics, the sort of thing you can find on almost any learn list building advice site, but if it works, why not? There is a reminder on Get Response if you miss any days (Top right hand corner, on the mortar board hat symbol, which is where you access the course). You can also reset your position and start again if you feel you’d rather be on the other time stream, although I don’t know that if you reset again to go back to your original course whether you’d pick up from where you left off or have to restart from scratch.

It’s an interesting diversion for a few minutes a day and although in some ways I’m ahead of the course personally (I’m guest posting where I can and I already have my sites set up pretty much as Get Response have recommended) I’m going to stick with it to see what else it has to offer. I will, of course, pass on any good tips on here.

Have you done any learn list building courses? Have you written one? If you want to chat about it below (no links in the comments though otherwise my spam filter will stop me seeing it) please tell us all in the comment box below.

If you want an exchange guest post, contact me by email admin@stevenlucasmarketing.com It must be something about the IM niche, be not less than 400 words, can include pictures and videos and be original. Drop me a line and we can chat about it.

Getting Web Traffic To Your Posts And Offers – Blogs & Forums

Getting Web Traffic To Your Posts And Offers – Blogs & Forums

The downfall of many an offer, blog post or product has been getting enough people to see it. Without eyeballs on the page, the contents mean nothing, so what are the best ways to get people to see what you have for them? Here’s some ideas gleaned from the many courses, articles, PLR and forum postings drawn together in one place for you.

Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. Since the mid-1990s web traffic has been the largest portion of Internet.…

First of all, there is no such thing as ‘free’ traffic. Even if you don’t spend money on getting them to pop by, you are going to spend your time which has a value. That value is what you put on it, but you must give your time a value so that you will know when you are making money and not just turning over.

I am not going to talk about Free for All, Safelists and blasters from the outset. There may be a way of making these work but no one has shown me a good method yet. 99% of people who use these are looking for easy, free traffic themselves to send to their offers and are unlikely to be interested in yours. They will, at best, be freebie seekers. They’ll sign up to your list, take your free offer and never buy from you. I know, because my first list was full of them.

Web traffic
Web traffic

If you are trading your time for traffic, then blogs (like this one) and forums should be your main ports of call. Provided they are in your niche, then you already have a traffic source that is, at least, partially targeted to your offers – which must also be in the same niche, of course.

Make your posts and comments relevant and content filled so that you appear an authority figure. ‘I agree’ and ‘great post’ do nothing to make you seem like an expert. If you do merely agree, say what you agree with and why. More importantly, disagree now and again, saying why of course, because it will draw others out of the woodwork, if only to respond to you. Avoid trolling and slanging matches though. Keep yourself above those.

Write 200+ words (I’ve seen blog comments that were longer than the articles they referred to!) so that your content is seen as substantial and adding to the general tone of the post, blog or niche. Then in your signature block put in your link using keywords rather than a straight web address. For posts in multiple forums use different variations on links and keywords rather than making each one identical. If you’re commenting on blogs, deep link to relevant articles on your own site rather than the home page and try to slip a keyword in with your name and again, use different links and names for different comments as well as different blogs.

It is well worth your while signing up with many of the spam protection / comment enhancement sites. The well know ones are Gravatar, CommentLuv and DisQuss. If you can add your picture to your comment it engenders more trust and actually impresses many visitors who don’t know about it. They assume you must know the blog owner since you have your picture on his site. Gravatar is good for this although you may need multiple accounts depending on how many email addresses you use when you are blog commenting.

CommentLuv & Disquss use RSS to pull the latest posts from your blog and offers the latest one or from a selection as your link which is attached to your name. This saves you searching your blog yourself and doing a cut and paste to get the link.

Talking of RSS, once you have a (good) list going at your autoresponder you can set it up to use your site’s RSS feed to automatically inform your list when a new post is up. This encourages your subscribers to return regularly and hopefully comment more at your blog. If you want to get regular updates from me, just subscribe below:

[grwebform url=”http://app.getresponse.com/view_webform.js?wid=6299203&u=CHdB” css=”on”/]

You will always find more places to comment merely by following the links that other commenters provide. Not all of them will go to other blogs, but the majority will and they will almost certainly be niche related. Spread your name as widely as possible and if you can find the kingpin blogs in your niche, they are certainly your primary points of comment. These blogs are always high traffic and you should be willing to grab your share.

Have you got any ideas for getting traffic from blogs and forums? Do you have any stories, positive or negative about getting traffic this way? Please let everyone know below in the comments section. (Spam comments are blocked, new commenters have to be manually reviewed and approved).

Alternatively, if you like what I have to say, please feel free to use the icons below to share this content on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere.

I will also accept proposals for guest post swaps if they’re in the Internet Marketing niche. If you have any other niche, please consider asking me about www.steven-lucas.com which is a bit more generic.

Affiliate Marketing Is Something Some People Don’t Get

Affiliate Marketing Is Something Some People Don’t Get

Affiliate Marketing is one of those areas of the internet that some people just don’t seem to ‘get’. They don’t realise that the ads they see down the side  of many websites are earning money not only for the product being advertised and the website owner, but possibly for someone else as well. Now two of these earners are obvious. The product seller gets money if someone buys his product, and the website owner is probably being paid for having the ad on his site, but who is the someone else? The answer is, an affiliate. This is the guy who probably paid the website owner for having the ad up there, not the product seller, so the affiliate has to know there will be a good return in it for him.

Affiliate marketing,
SOme companies who advertise via affiliates

 

Many website owners don’t want to add their own ads and prefer the regular income of selling advertising space rather than having to deal with affiliate network companies, finding relevant offers and worrying if the commissions will cover the bother. Instead, they offer ‘space for rent’ on their site, specify an ad size and a price and let somebody else do the research and live with the worry of making enough from it.

It need not be such a worry though for anyone. A little bit of keyword, or more accurately key phrase, research will lead you to two things almost simultaneously – A product to advertise and somewhere to advertise it. If an affiliate marketing product comes up when researching a particular key phrase and the search density is good – let’s say, more than 5000 searches per month for the exact phrase (exact match phrase is when you put your search in quote marks) and you come up with a website from a loose or exact match search that does offer advertising space then you have two things that will go together well.

Outside of the ‘online money making’ or ‘online marketing’ niches there are many places where the website owner is more interested in providing a service than actually making money from it, so if you approach such a website owner with a proposition that will make him money, by selling some of his web page space for your affiliate banner or text link, do you think he will jump at the chance for regular income? I think he will!

So being an affiliate doesn’t mean you have to have your own website. Just do the research and see if you can find websites where the owner doesn’t ‘get’ affiliate marketing but gets good traffic and give him a proposition that will benefit you both. But don’t do it once. Do it a hundred, several hundred or a thousand times (you could do it in a month or so) and see how your income can start rolling in and better yet, you support keeping another specialist website up and running. Affiliate marketing strikes again.

Definition: Affiliate marketing Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or buyer that visits the product or service.

Affiliate network: themselves affiliates of merchants via the traditional affiliate networks. Advertising network or ad network Affiliate programs Affiliate marketing Affiliate.…

Paid Link Tracking

So far I’ve given the whys and wherefores of free link tracking. It has one huge disadvantage in that you cannot track (apparently) beyond the landing page. You can of course, get round this by converting every clickable page link to a bit.ly link, but this means that you will have to collate the results from a number of bit.ly pages, possibly affiliate or payment processor sites and then calculate your return of investments (ROI) manually. Not difficult but certainly time consuming and error prone. This is where a paid link tracker service might come in useful.

One such paid service is http://www.hypertracker.com It costs between $15 and $19 a month, depending how much you are willing to spend up front (monthly, 6 monthly or annual subscription) and provides you with the facilities to add an invisible pixel to any page you want tracked – normally your destination pages – where your visitors end up after they have opted in and / or paid for your products. It can also provide you with a single URL which will rotate up to 5 pages so that you can find out which of your squeeze pages is converting the best. Finally, when you create a campaign, you can add in your costs (as a single cost or a pay per click rate) as well as revenues and HyperTracker will show you your overall profit or loss on a given campaign. For a new traffic source you merely set up another campaign with a new URL and cost even if they are for the same squeeze and sales pages, so that you can easily compare different sources like a free WSO, different solo ad providers, banners and even pay per click (PPC) – which has given you the greatest number of opt-ins, sales and in an easy to see red / green text format, which has made you the most profit, both in absolute monetary amounts and relative percentages.

So once you factor in the cost of running HyperTracker (or any other paid tracking service) is it worth it? If you have sales of hundreds of dollar per week or higher, most definitely. You may well be spending hundreds of dollars yourself on various traffic sources, so finding where best to spend your money is really important. Even if you’re only making tens of dollars per day, then knowing where to spend your advertising dollar is essential and one or two days profits for a month of tracking is still pretty vital. It’s only at the total beginner stage where you might consider not using the service, and even then, you will always be wondering if you’ve spent your advertising money in the best way possible. Once you get into link tracking, no matter which method you use, you will never be in any doubt.

Before anyone tells me, I’m aware of a free product called Prosper202 which allows you to set up your own link tracking on your own hosting. I’ve done it and it wasn’t too difficult for me, but it isn’t the sort of thing I’d want to explain as you need to be able to set up a MySQL database and user as well as install the product itself.It also needs its own domain (or sub-domain at least) as it has to be installed in the domain root (not in a sub-directory)

I didn’t actually get round to using it before I moved hosting so I cannot offer any comments on it at the moment. In theory, once set up, it would be a good system – from what I can see of its documentation, and it can do much of what HyperTracker can do. However, it does require some good spec hardware to run on, and if you’re on shared hosting, you might get some emails from your provider warning you about how much processor time and memory you are using. Upset them too often and they could pull the plug on you!

More On Link Tracking

Experienced online marketers will generally always make use of link tracking within their websites because they fully understand the importance of it.

What link tracking means and how it is implemented is as follows. Whenever a visitor to a website clicks on any link within that site, the information is recorded and stored in a database. This happens automatically, behind the scenes, and the visitor is usually not even aware of it.

Here is a more detailed description. The online marketer installs special software on the website to handle link tracking. The software is then configured to record information on certain portions of the website (not all links are monitored, as for some there is no need). When a visitor clicks on any of the links, the software normally transports the visitor to a special concealed address first, and logs all the information.

Once the information has been stored, the visitor then arrives at the intended destination. This interim step is designed to be very fast and un-noticeable to the visitor, allowing for little or no chance of any web delays along the way. The actual information that gets recorded is not just an increase in the count of clicks for that link, instead it is much more. All other available data is stored also, information such date, time, ip address, source, country, web browser, and many other items also.

Once the information has been stored correctly, it can be accessed at any time by means of reports, showing as much or as little data as required.

So why is link tracking considered vital to online business? Well, here are some of the key points to consider.

Pinpoint mistakes – All online marketers are expected to check and then double check every aspect of their site before it goes live, but we all know that mistakes can and do happen. Suppose one of the links is configured incorrectly, pointing to the wrong location. This type of error is the sort that could go un-noticed for a long period of time. But by examining the reports from the links tracking software, any of these types of errors are usually easy to locate, and thus correct.

Get instant live data – Online marketers are very often involved in product launches, sometimes their own products and sometimes they do joint ventures with other marketers. Whenever such a launch takes place, it is vital to have full access to live data. Regardless of all testing that has taken place beforehand, once the traffic and the visitors start to arrive, this is the time that things tend to go wrong.

If the link tracking information is not completely up to date in those situations, it may be useless. Many of the affiliate programs and even some versions of free link tracking programs do not provide this real time data, instead it is usually a few hours behind. This is one of the main reasons why marketers like to use their own software, instant data.

Track performance – The next point to consider, obviously, is the actual reports and data. Find out how a particular page or a particular link is performing. Visitors may be expected to follow a route from point A to point B to point C where they make the actual purchase. If any of the links in the chain are not performing very well, such as visitors leaving, the marketer can spot this happening, and proceed to make some corrections.

From: http://www.articlesbase.com/link-popularity-articles/link-tracking-why-link-tracking-is-vital-to-your-online-business-5945294.html

Product Creation For The Terminally Terrified

 

Product creation, Colored pencils

Product Creation For The Terminally Terrified

Product Creation for the Terminally Terrified is an ebook I wrote earlier this year as an introduction to creating your own e-products – books, videos and audios, in a way that made it easy for beginners and novices to understand why they needed their own products and how to go about it and (me being me), how to do it as cheaply as possible. For those of you who might have missed it, its available at http://www.stevenlucasmarketing.com/sm-ccc and although it does ask for a sign up, you are getting for free, a great introduction to product creation. However, as with all things squeeze page-ish, there is another offer on the download page (the address of which you are sent immediately by email). This offer is for a more advanced product creation course and is an audio series from the master of product creation – Sean Mise.

Now because this course is MP3 audio, you can put it onto your portable player, smartphone or tablet and play it anywhere. There’s no special drivers to load (like with some video courses, especially on portable devices) and the ideas being put over are not the sort that need complex diagrams and mindmaps so beloved of many more visually based mentors. They are based on a series of calls made to Sean’s students so when he answers questions they will be very similar to questions anyone might have especially at the beginner stages.

But that’s not all you get if you buy Sean’s course. The best created products in the world won’t earn a penny unless the world knows about them, so as a bonus item, I’ve included another some ideas on traffic sources. This is a video course and pdf ebook to teach you about getting traffic to your website(s).

So a complete package for you on instant download – Product creation and traffic generation, and it all starts with you putting your name and email address into the squeeze page at http://www.stevenlucasmarketing.com/sm-ccc. There won’t be hourly emails following it up, exhorting you to buy more products – I do about 3 a week as I don’t wish to be intrusive and of course you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

Give the free ebook, Product Creation for the Terminally Terrified a go and when you feel all inspired and want to do more, go back to the download page and have another look at the Page for Sean Mise’s Content Creation Course. The bonus traffic video course is not mentioned in the sales spiel, but is available on the download page for the main course.

Take another look now and start your new year with some new products – created by YOU.

Domain Redirection

Looks like everything is sorted out now. The domains I want to use have got the information I wanted to add to them. I diverted a couple of nice short domain names to somewhere where they might be useful, so all they need is some promotion, and I’ve decided to get rid of some domain names that are just taking up space in my inventory. I’ve got no intention of using them so I’ll just sell them or let them die. Anyone wants them, just contact me buykindle2.com, know-all.info & wsmftnwso.com. Any offers considered.

The domain redirects might be of interest to other people, just through the 2 different ways that they’ve be redirected. One has its redirection from my hosting – so it’s an add-on domain that uses the redirection facility build into CPanel. That’s pretty ordinary and when it redirects, it shows the place it’s redirected to when you get there. As affiliate link hiding goes, it does OK. It hides your affiliate extension and is enough to prevent your affiliate sale from getting stolen – at least until they get to the site.

Here’s how it’s done:-

The other redirection method is more interesting. Firstly, it’s done at the domain registrar – GoDaddy in this case. It’s known as a permanent redirect and actually hides the destination domain even when the person goes to the site. In other words, the domain name stays in the browser address bar, so it hides the actual site name. It’s not recommended if you are in the habit of changing the domain redirects frequently and you will need to put in your own meta data at the registrar but I feel that’s a small price to pay – another 5 minutes work hunting for and using the best keywords to use on the site.

GoDaddy domain redirect.

To see the differences look at http://www.sazaz.com which uses the temporary redirect method through my hosting. Especially look at the browser address bar whilst it’s doing its thing. Then look at http://www.sloby.com which uses the permanent domain redirect. Notice how the domain name stays in the address bar.

A recent tutorial from me to a newbie marketer

Recently, a newbie marketer contacted me and asked what he needed to do to be accepted by affiliate providers and how he should make ‘quick’ money. He had looked at a couple of Alex Jeffreys’ low cost systems and wanted to know what the ‘short cuts’ were. Below first is his exact question, followed by my reply.

 

Get my domain name and web host. I belong to offervault and am registered with clickbank and odigger for their affiliate programs. If I present my website I’m sure I will be accepted into other affiliate sites. Would it be a semi good idea to start. If I get the website can I put the affiliate links on there and have some help from ….. Fivver for example, to drive traffic there? This is one of the things I’m stuck on. The other is finding my niche.

 

I can see what you’re thinking and I can fully understand it. You want some quick income and you think that putting some affiliate offers will do that for you. I’m sorry to say that it almost certainly won’t, unless you can drive a ton of traffic to those offers. Any traffic you drive will be ‘one off’. You stop sending traffic (which basically is paying for it), your income will dry up. The process that Alex teaches puts the traffic more under your personal control.

The idea is to set up blog – to establish ourselves as experts in a given niche.

Set up a squeeze page – to capture emails. The ‘reward’ or incentive to get the sign up is a free product. Either PLR or something we’ve created.

The emails go to our autoresponder.

The return from the autoresponder sends our new subscriber to a low cost offer – $7 to $47. Hey, they’ve trusted us with their emails, lets use that trust to sell them something good.

The first automatic email from the autoresponder sends them to a thank you page for downloading their free reward and probably another low cost offer.

The 2nd, 3rd and 4th emails from the autoresponder are advice, tips and hints with no attempt at sales. This allows the subscriber to get to know us, because we’re not selling they’ll get to like us and because the advice is good and has value, they’ll trust us. These emails should also send subscribers to the blog for more information to expand on the few lines that we put in the email.

After that just keep up a mix of sales and info, sales and info from the autoresponder, usually in the form of broadcast messages which are more spontaneous than the pre-set messages that we loaded into the autoresponder.

Because we are now building an email list, we now have the chance to build a relationship with our subscribers. Subscribers who trust us become buyers and will buy again and again, so long as we don’t lose that trust.

I know it seems slower, it is a long term strategy. But it’s long term because we can sell to the same buyer repeatedly, not just once as would happen purely by driving traffic to somebody else’s offer.

At almost every step above there is a chance for us to use our own products so that we get 100% of the deal if we send the traffic or 50% if an affiliate of OURS brings the buyer. Let other people affiliate our products (because WE then have the buyers details) rather than us drive buyers to other people’s products. Sure we’ll still get 50% of the deal but we can only sell to that person once (unless we capture their details too – possible, of course). Our list, our subscribers.

Make sense?

That is Alex’s training in a nutshell. Sure he will expand on that. He’ll tell you his back story. He will make those couple of hundred words above last a couple of hours, because in many people’s minds, volume equals value. Big products have more apparent value.

Do you know, in the cost of the metal and manpower it costs very little more to build a big car over a small one, but the big car could sell for 2 or 3 times the price of a small one. That’s why internet marketers make hour long+ sales videos, because it looks like value! I’m not knocking Alex for this or any other marketer. Hell, I’ll probably be doing it myself soon and I’ll certainly be encouraging others to too.

If you feel you must go down the ‘advertising affiliate products’ route then consider jvzoo.com, warriorplus.com and paydotcom.com as they all act as intermediaries for affiliate products.

 

As always, I’d love your comments below. Have I over-simplified Alex’s training? I know he gives far more than the little bit I’ve put over but I don’t want to give away his farm either and I definitely need to keep something back for my own training system.

If you haven’t tried any of Alex’s products yet, I can thoroughly recommend anything with his name on it (I haven’t tried everything yet, but every product he brings out just oozes quality, so I don’t have any doubts even over stuff I haven’t tried). The Secret Affiliate Sniper 2.0 is a great place to start from, whether you are a newbie or an experienced marketer and shows how much Alex is willing to tell you, show you and give you for such a small amount of money.

Highly Recommended Marketing Tools That Are FREE!

7 Zip: http://7-zip.org (free download) An open source, free alternative to WinZip.
Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net (free download) An open source software used for recording & editing audio files.
AVG: http://free.avg.com (free download) Anti-virus and anti-spyware protection.
BrowserShots: http://browsershots.org (free online tool) Use this site to view how your website look in various browsers.
CamStudio: http://camstudio.org (free download) Lets you record all screen & audio activity on your computer and create video files.
CCleaner: http://ccleaner.com (free download) Removes unused files from your pc allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up space.
Color Cop: http://colorcop.net (free online tool) A multi-purpose color picker – great for web designers and programmers.
Down For Everyone: http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com (free online tool) Is your site down? Use this tool to see if your website is down for other people.
DupeFree: http://dupefreepro.com (free download) Quickly check for duplicate content & LSI keywords.
Evernote: http://evernote.com (free download) Scan your notes, receipts, etc. … it will OCR the content, search it, and make it searchable)
FileZilla: http://filezilla-project.org (free download) Open source FTP program for uploading files to your host.
Firefox: http//mozilla.com/firefox (free download) Alternate web browser.
GIMP: http://gimp.org (free download) An open source program used to create & edit – free alternative to Photoshop.
Give Away Of The Day: http://giveawayoftheday.com (free download) Unique site that offers you a free license digital product daily.
Kompozer: http://kompozer.net (free download) An easy to use WYSIWYG HTML editor.
Marketing Forum: http://resell-rights-weekly.com/forum (free online tool) Very helpful forum with lots of good info on internet marketing. Friendly members too.
NicheBot Classic: http://nichebotclassic.com (free online tool) Online keyword research tool helps you target the correct keywords.
Open Office: http://openoffice.org (free download) Open source office software – word processing, spreadsheets, databases, presentations …
OSWD: http://oswd.org/ (free downloads) Open Source Web Design offers free web design templates.
PDF995: http://pdf995.com (free download) Use this tool to easily convert files to PSD format.
PDF to Word Converter: http://pdftoword.com (free online tool) Easily create editable Word Doc files from PDF content – for legit purposes only! 🙂
Pixie: http://nattyware.com/pixie.php (free download) Great for web designers – just point to a color and discover the code value for that color.
Resell Rights Weekly: http://resell-rights-weekly.com (many free downloads) Free membership where you can download over 300 PLR/RR products for free.
Roboform: http://roboform.com (free download) Easily & safely manage your passwords.
ScreenHunter: http://wisdom-soft.com/sh/sh_free.htm (free download) Software that allows you to “capture” any part of your desktop, a window or full screen.
Skype: http://skype.com (free download) Make free calls over the internet to other people on Skype.
Textpad: http://textpad.com (free download) A powerful text editor. I personally like Textpad for editing HTML code.
VLC Media Player: http://videolan.org/vlc (free download) Media player capable of reading most audio and video formats.
WordPress Help Sheets And Resources: http://1stwebdesigner.com/wordpress 23 extremely helpful WordPress help sheets and resources.

The Importance of Split Testing to the Internet Marketer

You’ll find no end of mentors telling you, especially when you get to the intermediate to advanced stages, that split testing everything you do, is vital. But what is it and more importantly, how can you carry it out?

The first thing you need though is a definition of split testing, which is: Comparing the effectiveness of two or more methods of communication with respect to your visitors. In other words, which email gets more click throughs, which squeeze page gets more sign ups, which sales page makes more sales? Which immediately leads to the next question – How to set it all up? The answers are actually, remarkably easy.

In GetResponse, the autoresponder that I use, there is an A/B select which allows you to send two different emails at the same time, equally to half of your list. Even if your autoresponder doesn’t have this convenient feature, it would not be difficult to send one email to half your list and a different one to the other half.

How different should these emails be? Very slightly, perhaps no more than the subject line. This is the first thing about your email that gets seen and therefore has the biggest impact. The statistics of your autoresponder will tell you how many emails get opened (open-rate) and how many links get clicked through (click through rate). By using Google Analytics or a similar tools, you will be able to tell where your visitors came from. If you change the click-through link in the email, perhaps by leaving the www. off one of the addresses (there is a difference between domain-name.com and www.domain-name.com), you will be able to tell which email sent the most visitors.

There are methods for deeper checking of the effectiveness of emails but by the time you’re ready to know about them and use them, somebody will be there to introduce them to you. They are subtle, deep and require a bit more time and knowledge to be able to make full use of them.

When it comes to split testing pages, whether squeeze or sales pages, we need to go back to a friend from the early days of page advertising on the web. The link rotator.

Originally used to allow a web page owner to rotate between different advertisers on the same page, link rotators now allow a web site owner to show different pages to successive visitors. Link rotators can be a script that is run from your own website or web based in their own right. The advantage with using an externally hosted rotator is the statistical analysis packages that often come with them, although if you self host the script, some basic analytics are often provided too or you can use the ones that are built into most CPanel installations.

Again the difference between pages should be minimal and after a couple of hundred visitors you will probably find that one page or the other starts to show a definite lead in visitor effectiveness. Discard the losing page and create a new copy of the leader, making another small change. In this way, over the course of a couple of thousand visitors, you will have a page that is converting at a far more satisfactory rate than the original – unless you got it exactly right first time, of course!

What to change on a page? Start with headlines – same headlines in different colours, slightly reworded headline, introductory text, even the greeting. Whatever you change, just make it one small thing. You might be surprised at what has the most effect. A headline in red instead of blue. 20 point font size instead of 24 or a green ‘submit’ button instead of yellow. A submit button that says ‘Free Report’ instead of ‘Sign Up Here’ – these are all things that could make a difference to how many people click through. Just discard the less successful ideas and keep the good ones, using them as the starting point for your next variation or campaign.

Until you get a feel for what your subscribers and customers want, split testing can take a great deal of your time and effort. You don’t want to sit and hatch each visitor as they come through, but assuming you have plenty of them, you will soon be able to spot what is working, or more importantly, not working, for your pages. And bear this in mind… If you have 3 stages of products to your sales funnels then doubling the number of successful click throughs at all three stages could mean 8 times more sales of the final product for little extra work than improving how many make it through.