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When you run tests on your web site, do you calculate the statistical validity of your tests?

Whoa you say, I not sure what you just said. It really isn’t that complicated, just a few big words, but very important words.


Amanda Dhalla writes:

According to the 2011 Marketing Sherpa Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Report, 40% of the over 2,000 marketers surveyed did not calculate the statistical significance of A/B and multivariate test results in 2010. 40%! That’s a big chunk of marketers.


That means that 40% of the marketers surveyed didn’t really know if the tests that they just ran are giving them true results or are just random occurrences.


But how can you tell when there might be problems with your numbers? Look out for these 4 types of validity threats:

Too small a sample size

To find a winner, test your layout and copy variations with enough test subjects to reach a high level of confidence in your results. But how many is enough? Several factors impact the sample size you’ll need including:

  • The current conversion rate of the page you are testing (note: not the same as the conversion rate of your entire site)
  • The average number of daily visits to the test page
  • The number of versions you’re testing
  • The percentage of visitors in the experiment (sometimes you want to test with just a segment of your traffic)
  • The percentage improvement you expect over the control
  • How confident you need to be in the results (usually 95% but could be higher if the risks of being wrong are high)


You will need to set up in advance what you will consider significant [Read more…]

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Seth Goden wrote

Put random folks in at the top and loyal customers come out at the bottom…

A billboard leads people to a website, which gets some people to subscribe via email which drives some folks to respond to a promotion which leads a few to come back for the stuff that isn’t onsale, which leads to someone who can’t live without you.

That’s the obvious path of outbound marketing. Most people you pour into the funnel hop out long before they become loyal customers.

Many marketers don’t think beyond this simple formula. This formula works, but it is hard to make it the basis of a successful business because of competition.

The thing is, some funnels are more efficient than others. Expose your idea to ten of the right people and it catches on with three of them. Other ideas or offers need to be exposed to far more people (and go through more steps) before they’re likely to convert someone.

This is the beginning of the answer as to why some people make great ROI and some don’t. You need efficiency as much as you need volume. If fact, you need efficiency more than volume.

[Read more…]

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Darren Rowse wrote:

Over the last three years as an online publisher, my business has undergone a complete transformation in its approach.

Whereas I previously slapped some code from a couple of ad networks into my blogs’ templates and relied upon people clicking those ads to generate income, I’ve increasingly focused my energy upon creating my own products (largely ebooks) to sell.

This is the approach that I believe you have to take if you really want your web site to be a business. It takes a great deal more work but the rewards are a great deal more.

Affiliate banners and CPA ads can only do so much. In addition, I believe you are better off concentrating on quality traffic [Read more…]

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John Carlton wrote:

Empathy is not just a secret weapon in your tool kit…

… it’s the freakin’ nuclear bomb of high-end communication.

And it’s so powerful, because most folks simply do not possess it.  The vast majority of your neighbors and brethren think, speak and act from inside a confining little echo chamber where their own prejudices, beliefs, notions and cockamamie thoughts completely dominate.

John Carlton is a genius in the copywriting field and uses empathy like no one I have ever seen. Many copywriters are so busy trying to sell their prospects that they never consider how the prospects feel about the product and they don’t connect with the need that the prospect “feels”.

Thus, marketers get mad at customers, entrepreneurs ignore opportunity and pitfalls with equal obliviousness, and biz owners with superior products are passed over by prospects.

Politicians and many people who are selling [Read more…]

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