17 Things You Need to Test Regularly
The entire point of copywriting is to boost sales. Even if you write copy with the objective of getting more newsletter sign-ups, the entire point is still to boost sales. But, how do you know if what you’re doing is working? You’re writing, and hiring, and writing some more – but do you even know if all the work you’re doing is paying off? The best way to know is to test, test, test. Here’s a list of things you need to test regularly.
1. Your Headlines – How do you know a particular headline works over another? You conduct an A/B test. Make two slightly different headlines and send each headline to half your list. Which performs better?
2. Your Offer – If you’re not sure about your offer, try testing more than one offer. Like the A/B testing mentioned above, only change something small, and send each to half your list. Or if it’s a sales page, put both up, and see which performs better.
3. Your Copy Format – Are you considering where the reader is reading the copy? If your audience is reading on a mobile device, is the copy format effective? How do you know? Test it.
4. Snippets of Your Copy – If you have a long sales page, you can take snippets of the copy and reuse it on social media or other places to see what the response to the words are.
5. New Products – This doesn’t mean create new products, but test out new products such as project management systems, social media marketing automation, email marketing programs and more. Stay on the cutting edge by regularly spending a small time testing new products.
6. Graphics – Are your graphics the right graphics to use for your particular audience? If you’re not sure, conduct more A/B testing. Change nothing but the graphics and see how it affects conversion rates.
7. Functionality – Of course, you should test how your websites function. Does the checkout process run smoothly for your customers? Is something hanging them up along the way to prevent making a purchase?
8. Audience Responsiveness – Are you posting your heart out on Facebook but no one is responding, even though people are reading? If you’re not sure why, ask them.
9. Accuracy – Your copy should be well studied to be accurate. Don’t post false information either on purpose or by accident. Check your sources and check your facts.
10. Complexity – You don’t want things to be too hard for your reader to understand. If you’re using too many big words, change them to small words. Speak directly to your audience, not over them.
11. What’s in It for Me – Remember the fundamental test for effective copywriting. It doesn’t matter what platform you’re posting the copywriting on; your audience wants to know what’s in it for them. If the copy doesn’t answer that, start over.
12. Double Entendres – Sometimes double entendres are okay, but sometimes they can be disastrous. Be very careful with accidentally posting something that really means something else, especially if it’s controversial or dirty.
13. Spelling – Yes, spelling matters. Even on Facebook.
14. Sequence – If you post something that has a sequence, such as creating a recipe, or steps to accomplish something technical, does it flow in the right order? Ask someone who knows nothing about the topic to read it to test if it works or not.
15. Clarity – One of the most important aspects of copywriting is to ensure that what you are trying to impart to the reader makes sense. You don’t want to accidentally offend someone with your words. Read and re-read, and have others read for clarity.
16. Above the Fold – No matter what medium you’re putting your copy on – whether it’s print, webpages, or social media, the important stuff needs to go at the top, or you need explicit directions to scroll down to read more.
17. Originality – Is the copy original? There are a lot of ways to test this out such as with Grammarly or Copyscape. You want your words to feel familiar to the reader, but you don’t want them to be copied.
Grammarly – http://www.grammarly.com/
Copyscape – http://www.copyscape.com/
Since the entire point is to boost sales your first thought might be to look at your sales numbers, but you would not be looking deep enough. Plus, if you don’t look at a variety of factors and perform several tests, you may very well continue wasting time on activities with no payoff, or you might stop doing some that are paying off.