I can't stress enough how important it is to always be testing in your marketing campaigns. Whether it be creative, audience, format, or offer, developing a test and learn plan with your client is a necessity if you want to keep growing and evolving. Here are some tips on how to get started, along with key milestones for planning.
1. Develop a testing calendar:
It can be as simple as making an excel document with testing ideas planned for each month. Break it out by channel and distinguish if each test is a modification of the control (ex. testing CTA, imagery, headline) or a complete challenger, meaning brand spanking new creative.
2. Prioritize what to test first:
If you have a team like mine, you can find yourself with over 100 tests ideas and not enough manpower or money to test it all! The next step is to prioritize. Map out the level of effort vs. the level of impact. Make a scale from 1-5 — the higher the number, the more effort the test entails; the lower the number, the higher the impact. Multiplying those two numbers together will provide you with the priority ranking. Higher ranked tests should be prioritized first, especially those that yield a higher impact with a lower level of effort.
3. Get Client approval:
Before you execute anything, be sure to get client approval. Even better when you get that approval in writing.
4. Launching tests:
Before you launch anything, it is important to set up a hypothesis, goals, objectives, and timing of each test before it is deployed. Consider housing all of this information where you can find it in one place like a slide in PowerPoint. Once the test is done, and results are ready, throw the results into the slide too. Anytime you need to look up how a test performed, you now have a deck inclusive of all tests — each cleanly displayed in a slide. Voilà!
It could also be used as your new brag book, and a resource to use when making case studies for your agency.
5. Always be prepared with a new test:
It always depends on your client, but keep testing and learning. Once a test is launched, work on setting up the next one. That means you can ALWAYS BE TESTING, with little downtime.
Testing can be fun and exciting and is essential to optimizing the marketing performance for your clients. Don't feel like you always have to come up with "big ideas" constantly to increase performance. You would be amazed at how simple a test like changing the CTA color from orange to blue can drastically increase results. A solid mix challengers and control modifications is key. Happy testing!