Split testing sales copy

Here's a question I was asked on a copywriting forum about split-testing sales copy...

"I have one major question not asked below. How large does your sample need to be to get an adequate test?"

"But which word, which sentence and which headline should you change?"

"And what should you change them to?"

"How do you know exactly when to stick with one test that doesn't seem to be working and when to move on to the next test?"

"And how do you find the time to set up the split-testing code and keep track of it all?"

First of all I rely on Frank Bauer to keep track of all the split testing!

Actually for most marketers our $1,997 split testing and copy service is a real bargain simply because you don't have to worry about setting up the split testing code, keeping track of it or which copy changes to make.

It's all done for you.

Having said that I will give you a few secrets.

1. How large does your sample need to be to get an adequate test?

It must be statistically significant which is dependant on the number of visits to a page and the price point, response rate etc etc.

We use software to determine this.

What's even more important is the quality of the sample.

All visitors are NOT created equal.

You can get huge variation between visitors from two different affiliates (their list quality can vary widely) or between free search engine traffic and google adwords traffic.

This is why it's important to send different kinds of traffic to separate sales pages if possible to give youself consistent samples.

2. How do you know exactly when to stick with one test that doesn't seem to be working and when to move on to the next test?

Same as above. Fortunately with experience you learn what are the most
likely changes that will increase response so big split testing failures
become uncommon.

3. But which word, which sentence and which headline should you change?

Here's a BIG secret.

Focus very heavily on testing changes that will appear in the first screen shot your visitor sees.

That would usually include:

1. The prehead.

Free offers or highly niche targeted lead ins work well. Lately interruption style preheads have been getting a slightly higher response.

2. The headline.

Copy focused more around "free report" information style copy seem to be pulling better at present which is a bummer for non writers because it takes a LOT more writing skill to write a good report information based sales letter than a regular sales letter.

Personally I love writing report style sales letters. I consider them superior marketing.

3. The opening line.

I've covered this in detail in this thread...
Opening Lines In Sales Copy

4. The first image.

My friend young copywriter Jesse Forrest loves telling you that "action" photos create a better response than passive head shots and non active images.

And he's right.

If you were doing a martial arts sales letter a picture of the person featured in the sales letter showing someone successfully how to kick through a cement block is far more compelling than the teacher's headshot.

Newspapers know this.

Pay attention to the way they use action photos on the front page.

Also read Action Photos Dramatically Increase Response

5. Captions under your photos.

Most people scan copy looking at the photos and reading the captions under the photo.

Just changing one caption to something sexy that draws your reader into the body copy can increase your sales by 40% to 95% or more.

I cover captions in detail in this post...
Turning Tables And Captions In Your Copy To Gold

And this free report...
3 Secrets To Changing the Behavior Of Your Prospects Online

Those are the simple changes most likely to make the biggest difference.

There are hundreds of other changes I could suggest but that would take several books to explain them all.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

More FREE High Value Online Copywriting Secrets Than Any Other Site On Earth. Andrew Cavanagh's Online Copywriting Blog

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