Testing is an integral part of successful Internet business. With a few tweaks you can take a so-so marketing campaign and grow it exponential levels.
On the other hand, testing can also have disastrous results. Often a single mistake results in a significant loss in revenue.
Today I’d like to talk about how one mistake could have resulted in a $7613.90 decrease in my yearly income.
There’s a lot to be learned from this mistake.
Specifically it’s a classic example of what to not do while testing any marketing campaign…
In the last few weeks I’ve seen some decent results with my two Amazon Kindle books. At one point the guide How to Make Extra Money Fast Online with Your Computer was averaging 13 sales a day which works about to be $27.13. Not bad for a simple eBook that I put together as a test project.
Seeing these results, I did what any marketer would do:
Try to increase my sales profits
The idea was simple. I would improve a few different things to make the book more interesting to prospective buyers. So I:
- Edited the title using a benefit-driven headline
- Uploaded a brand new cover image using my favorite Fiverr designer
- Changed the tags of the listing
I did all three of these things in a single day. I felt that the previous version of the eBook had a mediocre eCover and the title was uninspiring. So changing them would definitely skyrocket my sales numbers..
3 sales the next day. Then 3 on the next. Finally on the 3rd day, I hit the panic button and reverted everything back to the original listing.
In a single day, I took a book that was on track to generate $9902.45 a year (13 sales at $2.09 profit * 365 days) and brought it down to $2288.55 a year (3 sales at $2.09 profit * 365). Or a $7613.90 loss in income.
The mistake was one of arrogance. I didn’t slowly tweak my marketing campaign. Instead I got cocky and broke the cardinal rule of Internet marketing:
“ Only test a single variable at a time.
With testing it’s important to know the EXACT reason why a campaign is successful (or unsuccessful). Tweaking multiple variables makes it impossible to know the exact reason why you’re getting a specific result.
My mistake was to change three different things at the same time (eCover, title, and tags). When I saw a negative result with my campaign – It was impossible to pinpoint where things went wrong.
In addition, Amazon is tricky when it comes to their ranking algorithm. Success breeds success. The higher your book ranks on the “Top 10 Kindle Category Lists,” the more sales it’ll generate on a daily basis. So I’ve hurt the long-term profitability of this particular book because I tested too many things at the same time.
What’s the lesson here?
“ Never, EVER Test More than One Thing with your Internet Business
I know that feeling you get when you see a positive result with a marketing campaign. You want to take immediate action and maximize the results. So your first impulse is to immediately “improve” everything about the process.
Patience young grasshopper. Don’t make a boneheaded mistake like me and try to do everything all at once. Instead make a list of what you want to test and slowly roll them out.
Test one thing and see what happens. Then make increasing improvements on whatever gets a positive result. Rinse and repeat. Focus on slow, continuous improvement till you’re making a lot of money with this income stream.
Originally I titled this post: How ONE Mistake Cost Me $7613.90 in Yearly Income
But I had to add the (Almost) in the middle because I’ve recovered slightly from this mistake. In the last few days, I’ve climbed back to the 7-10 daily sales mark. While it’s not at the previous level, I’m still happy to see that this error was somewhat fixable.
Moving forward, I will make absolutely sure to never test more than one thing at a time!Take Action. Get Results.