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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Follow-up to those guys holding me up

Alex Gibson, who clearly does strange things at the dentist wrote this to me:

I was listening to you on my mp3 player in the dentist's waiting room on Monday.

You said something along the lines of:

"One of the best things about the internet is that it makes it cheap to do the most important thing in marketing, which is testing".

Like the two guys in your post, I do split-testing for clients using Website Optimizer and bumps of 20% to 40% are commonplace. But, for some reason, getting clients to test is like pulling teeth.

(Particularly if they're "testing virgins")

It's the damnedest thing.

If I propose something that'll get them 10% more traffic, they jump at it.

But, suggest getting 10% more out of their existing traffic and they either think it's voodoo or too much like hard work (even when I show them examples and offer guarantees).

I'm wondering, is this normal?

Do you find that it's easier to sell clients on brand new advertising than it is to sell them on a re-write of their existing copy?"

The answers Alex's questions are "yes" and "yes".

This is even though it is always more sensible to try and improve something that's working than strike off in an entirely new direction - and even though you'll make more out of improving your approach to people you've got than people you're just acquiring.

I think people prefer to test new creative and on getting new traffic rather than making more from what they've got because of the human preference for the new. I often used to say at seminars when people asked me about this new thing and that new thing, "Why don't you try and get the basics right first?"

By coincidence I had a colleague in today who was moaning that it's hard to get any client to do enough testing. He has conducted over 100 tests that we're thinking of making into a book. Some of what he's done is really revealing, especially in the use of colour.

Incidentally, as further proof of the speed of change in our little world it seems my friend Ben and Karl are no longer the only Authorised Google Optimiser Consultants in Britain - just the first ever.

But they remain the only ones to hold me up.

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