Testing, Testing 1 2 3 …. 4 5 6 7 8….

LB ScreenI am often asked if I can take ‘five minutes’ to critique various websites or emails, and, as flattering as it is, I nearly always have to decline. The main reason is that I just can’t help everybody, even though I’d like to, simply because, if I wanted to offer some useful advice, something beyond the obvious stuff you can get anywhere, it takes so much more than just ‘five minutes’ to take a look…

Let me explain … when I’m locked away with my copywriter on a big project, it can take weeks rather than days to come up with something I’m entirely happy with and every last detail is gone over and over to make sure it’s the best it possibly can be. It is this attention to detail that has contributed greatly to the level of success I continue to enjoy, and is also why if I ‘critiqued’ somebody’s work it wouldn’t be fair on everybody else who had the same request, because quite simply I would never get round them all…

It was for this reason, of course, that I ‘assembled’ my ‘Minions’ (their choice of name, not mine) 😉 to help with things like this, and since they started last year, have helped hundreds of Lowedown readers (and a few followers of their own) with their various queries and problems.

However, there is one common problem you won’t need myself, a Minion or anybody else to help you with, and is one I had myself just the other day…

I had been working on a written piece with my Head Minion, and got it all to a stage which I thought to be exactly right, straight to the point and really powerful. Even my copywriter could only offer a couple of tweaks and it was considered to be, pretty much, ‘job done’…

Then, the theory that it was maybe too direct, too straight to the point, and that it might exclude some people was re-considered and more tweaks were made … but by taking some of the directness out of it, it made the whole thing, I thought, a slightly ‘weaker’ piece.

So we were left with the quandary of whether to stick with the direct approach and possibly exclude some people … or go with the ‘weaker’ message and run the risk of getting a lower response overall.

Now, in situations like this, when you don’t know what to do, the easiest thing to do (and by no small coincidence the worst thing to do) is absolutely nothing. You will, however, get exactly nowhere dithering and blithering around … so what you need to do is precisely what I’m doing myself and test both theories on a small sample and see which gets the best result.

So, when you’re torn between two (or more) ideas about which is the best choice to make … of course experience helps, as does having greater knowledge on the subject, and yes I’ve found that these give me a ‘feeling’ for which one will be most successful, which is nearly always right … but the only way I know it’s right, is by testing it … and I suggest you should always do the same.

All The Best,
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Tim Lowe