Clients often ask my opinion about whether or not I think something (a new product, a certain price point, a sales page) will work for their business online. My typical response?
"Test it and see!"
The beauty of working online is that we can easily and effectively test and track the results of any marketing that we do. That means we can quickly figure out what’s working and what’s not, which saves us (and can make us) a lot of energy and money in the end.
For example, if you want to know which headlines are compelling enough that people keep reading your sales page, you can test that. If you want to know if a price point is too high or too low, you can test that. If you want to know which free offer you’re making is bringing in more leads, you can test that too.
How? By doing what we call a split test. Here’s a super-simple way for you to use a split test in your own business.
I got quite the surprise from James and Chloe for Mother’s Day this year ~ my very first sailboat! She’s 22′, solid and seaworthy, and I can’t wait to get her on the water. I’ve been sailing since I was a kid and had always planned to someday own a sailboat. Well, someday came a lot sooner than I expected – yippee!
We haven’t decided what to name her yet. Suggestions are welcome – just click the comments buttons below to leave yours.
So, after breakfast in bed, Chloe ran in with a little wooden sailboat in her hand for me "For Mommy…" And I thought, maybe we’re going for a sail on the Hudson or something that afternoon. But then James hands me a piece of paper with photos and "You’re now the proud owner of…" written at the top and "Happy Mother’s Day" at the bottom.
I was stunned – and then couldn’t get ready quick enough to go see MY boat! Chloe had even seen it and never let on – little secret-keeper. 🙂 We are going to have such fun on it this summer at the lake – I can’t wait!
* line from the Five for Fighting song, "If God Made You…"
More and more often, clients have been asking me, "how do you get it all done, Alicia?"
"I don’t know you how do it, Alicia…with a little one running around and so few hours in the day to actually focus on your work. Somehow you manage to write your weekly ezine, hold a bunch of teleseminars each month, run your 10-week group coaching program, AND be creating and promoting new offers and new products all the time. I’m so impressed and inspired by you, but more than that, I want to know how you do it all!?"
To be honest, sometimes I wonder myself! Something I often say to other, especially new, mothers is, "despite what everyone tells you to do, do whatever works for YOU." In a way, that’s how I started running my business after I had my daughter. I just did whatever worked. I still do.
Creating a profitable business online is a process, just like creating any other business. Regardless of what it is that you’re offering, your cash flow is based on your sales. Once you know and implement the online business sales cycle (which anyone can follow), you’ll be able to create consistent cash flow for your business, too.
Here are the six basic steps in the online business sales cycle:
Step 1. Choose Your Prospects
"Prospects" is basically business-speak for potential clients and/or customers. So, who is the person who is ideally suited for your product, program or service? Who’s your ideal client or customer? Who makes up your target market? Is it parents, health professionals, copywriters, dancers, artists, entrepreneurs, boat owners?
It’s critical for the success of any business to choose a group of people to work with, even if that group is very broad at first. As you become more and more aware of what kind of client or customer shows up for you, you’ll be able to more narrowly target that portion of the market, which will make your marketing a lot easier and bring you cash flow a lot quicker.
Whether you’re publishing an ezine, sending an ecourse, posting to a blog, or building an email list of clients and customers in another format, there are a few things you need to know to make sure that you’re complying with the legal aspects of sending email as well as for making your list-building efforts that much more effective.
1. Only Use Permission-Based Email Marketing
Simply put, opt^in email (also called ‘permission-based’) is email sent to people who have given you permission to contact them via email. So if someone hasn’t directly requested information from you, they should not be on your opt^in list.
2. Single or Double Opt^in?
Depending on the email list service you’re using in your business, you may have a choice between single or double opt^in email. With single opt^in, someone gives you their email address once and they are added to your list. With double opt^in (also know as confirmation opt^in), someone gives you their email address, to which they then receive an automated response from your list service asking them to click a specific URL to confirm that they do in fact want to be added to your list. Only once they click that link are they then added to your list.
So, which should you use? It depends, but for your main email list, I want to encourage you to use the double opt^in process. It means that you will lose a certain percentage of those people who signed up for your list because they then don’t confirm their subscription, but it protects you from being labeled as a spammer – something you want to avoid at all costs.