The golden rule of testing is: TEST ONLY ONE ELEMENT AT A TIME!
If you’re changing the headline don’t fool with the offer. If you change the body copy don’t change the headline.
It’s very easy one you learn about direct marketing to go off into a frenzy and try to test everything at once. Restrain yourself. Remember you’ve been in business this many years without using these principles — so you can take your time while testing.
You will find that as you change different elements you will get different results. And it could be a minute difference.
Here are a few examples of what simply a change in headline can do:
A. “If you are a careful driver you can save money on car insurance” vs.
B. “How to turn your careful driving into money”
Headline A outpulled the other by 50%.
A. “Good news for men who want attractive, well-groomed hair” vs.
B. “Will your scalp stand the “fingernail test”?”
Headline B brought in 56% more responses.
A. “Moisturized Shave Cream” v.
B. “Push-Button Shave Cream”
Headline B outpulled A by 82%
A. “Tension Headache” v.
B. “When Doctors Have Headaches What Do They Do?”
Headline B drew 71% more responses than A
A. “How To Keep Your Hairdo Prettier Longer” v.
B. “Tired of Sticky Hair Sprays?”
B pulled a full 79% better.
Could you have picked the winners from that group before they were tested? If not, then you know that’s why guessing is so dangerous.
These are just a few examples of the dramatic difference one headline can have over another. But what else should you test?