Test. Retest. Then Do It Again.

Test TubeInteresting conversation going on over at Copyblogger where Brian Clark is talking about calls to action.

He points to a MarketingSherpa test that suggests that using the word “click” — as in “click here” or “click to continue” — can boost response.

You can make a lot of arguments for or against using that specific wording (and people appear to be doing so in the comments).

But what stood out to me as the real lesson is…

Prioritize Test Results Over Your Opinion

Intuition and “gut feelings” are helpful.

After all, you have to start somewhere, and just sitting down and creating what you feel should be an effective landing page or email campaign is a great way to get something out there, which you then can improve over time.

But in marketing, hunches and personal opinion are no substitute for real-world proof.

Testing shows us what really works — what colors, headlines, calls to action and other elements make our email marketing more effective. It helps us better target our audience by teaching us what makes them subscribe, read messages and order products.

Start Testing Today

Testing is why you track opens and clickthroughs. It’s why you track track where subscribers come from. It’s why you can split test webforms and broadcasts.

Some things you can test:

  • Different text on your form’s “submit” button.
  • Personalization in your broadcast subject lines.
  • The order of fields in your signup form (should you put the name box first? or the email one? or some other field that you’re collecting?)

These are just a few elements of your email marketing campaigns that you can optimize through simple testing.

So get out there and start testing! You just may be surprised at what you learn.