Lawn Care Business Tips – Split Testing Lawn Care Advertising

So let’s talk about split testing, I will also call AB split testing
Yeah
On which book you read
Yeah
I have been very important part of online marketing, something that everybody should be doing
Yup
We do it religiously *
Not enough, I still didn’t do it enough
Now *
Every time we test and realize, we don’t test enough
* a way you can test and * variations but
Yes
It is something we do religiously. I know back before we were handling all of your online marketing. You were doing it


Oh yeah
Then
Yup.
It is crazy * amazing, amazing, I am sure you have as many resources as we do about the little * that you have made *
Yeah
So I want you to just give us a quick definition, what is it
Yeah
Why people should do it
Oh yeah I am in selling the absolute simplest form because there are some, there are some concept, or some more complex types of split testing, just keep this simple. I mean just even doing it simply is enough so the most simple analogy is you are running, let us just use a post card for example. You have a street of hundred homes and you have fifty on each side and fifty on one side the street you send the postcard that looks identical to the postcard that you are sending to everybody on the other side of the street except the headline at the top is different. Ones maybe more benefit oriented and the other ones more featured oriented and you are just testing to see of the fifty people that each get a different postcard come any call. Now fifty is quite another big enough test based on probability.
Right
But it is a perfect example of, if at the end of the day you sell zero that to the people who have the postcard that has featured based headline and you sell four and on the other side of the street with the headline it was benefit based, pretty telling maybe that you should go with the benefit based headline. Well then once you do that, when, they call that the control. That becomes your new wining piece and so now next time you send out a mailing piece and we are going to talk about this is an online concept.
Sure
Now you go to another street and again fifty homes on each side and you send the one that was benefit based, the fifty and now you test it against a new piece you have never used before, looks exactly the same but now the headline is we are going to change it life based, you know that is kind of a benefit but now it is about how we are going to change your life and everything in your life is going to become rosy and great because you are going to use our service
Right
And you test that against the other one that one before and you see * and constantly retesting. You are, the rest of your life you are going to test, you never not going to be testing. Yeah so you are always using the one that just won against another new one. This is a lot of work in print. I mean that is a lot of work. The guys that were thirty years ago, twenty years ago, maybe even ten years ago, there guys had to do whole lot of work than we have to do now.
Yes
Now we just use Google pay per clicks
Those *
Oh yeah yeah,* those guys you can do like three four tests a year. Now we can do tests a week you know so it is pretty awesome. So that is split testing and I gave the headline as an example but it could be, we will talk about the second. Anybody could be moving a button on your webpage. It can be moving where the link is to sign up on your estimate form. Where is the estimate form link, you moved it from your head or down to a big yellow box in the middle of your website
Exactly right, it can be any number of things not just, not just topic, not just text, not just sales speak but actually the way things look, the way your ads look, the way your mails look. It can be anything you possibly change that is something that you can test
Yeah. Yup so let’s talk about layout for a second
Okay
And then let’s talk about pay per click
Sure
So okay we just kind of eluded to a layout so the layout could be a headline on your page. lay out could be a button. It could be where the estimate box is. you know interesting things have been found that were in the America you know we still tend to read down the left side of the page, now we are down to the left side of the website. You know we have done heap tests to map where your eyes go and you know we tend to read across the top and then skip them down and read the bullets, skim down the left side, read you know so there is a lot of testing you do about just moving things around the page
Yup
Very smart to test one element at a time.
Yes
Don’t change the headline, move the button and change the estimate form you don’t know what had the, what caused the effect
Yes
Okay what else would you say, what is another lay out
You mentioned positioning, something that a term we use in the industry is above and below the form
Oh yes
And what that simply means is everybody is browsing a window in a certain size depending on the resolution of their mind and they are going to see more or less of your website on the screen depending on the resolution that you are using so above the form would be everything that you see in the window without having to scroll down.
Yup
Anything below the phone is below the window that you have to scroll up to see
and monitor sizes are different so it does vary by potential client
Ya and so with that in mind our designers target what the most
Common
What the most common settings are and so you obviously want to keep your most important message above the fall like you said everybody read top down left to right and it skips
Yup
So, we would test a number of different things. Bullet points
Yup
Positioning of a video, positioning of a call to action, position of a form
Auto starting video play when they get the side versus not, exact click
Exactly right. How much of the information you are requiring for them to submit the form
And one word in a headline
Yup
How to instead of why or when or whatever
Everything, I mean the testing should be on going and continuous and it is the number one thing that can help you increase the sales of your services
Yup
And your products
And so real quick before done, pay per click, testing, no faster way then what say Google ad words
Yup
To test, you can run these little three line ads, test headlines, test concepts, test you know everything from given, having a contact with a phone number versus you will send them an email or through email, I mean you can test all kinds of things
I think one of the things you have mentioned before is you know we recommend our clients depending on their business, they do a combination of obviously online marketing is our big thing but they also do combination of offline marketing, send postcards, door hangers, different things, different techniques like that and you know I think one thing that you did previous is I think you were testing some headline and some sales copy actually that you were going to include in, was it a door hanging or a postcard that you were sending to your clients
Most of my door hangers are postcards as well so they can be both
I think you are using Google ad words ads that can test
Yeah we did and what is that, okay we do pay per click, we used Google ad words ads to test it and then we also used * website optimizer just for that free tool through Google, we set up for Google analytics
Right
And in fact where you manage your Google ad words account you can set up the Google website optimizer and basically it just rotates, every time somebody comes to your site they will see, somebody will see this site and then somebody else will see site b
They will basically give you two different versions of the same
Right and you just change one element on their see, that is how you test removing buttons and lay outs
Exactly right
So yeah we tested that and then tested headlines and the winning headlines of what we put into out print
And then actually print what forty thousand how, what runs are you doing these days? Forty thousand?
This year we have done less than normal because the online, we can find it in place to keep up with it but the biggest one is four hundred thousand so yeah
Okay
And
So much cheaper to run forty pay per clicks ads and then
And then * printing hundreds and thousands of pieces and then finding out they don’t perform so you know anyway and by the way I mean when you start to print those volumes you start to get full color two sides for a couple of pennies. I mean crazy savings so anyway it is just I mean, it is just a no brainer.
The third things, let’s talk about something that you guys have been really good about your company is and the special offer. Your guarantees, your bonuses, on and offline, I know that you guys are big about offers
Yeah
And sort of referral bonuses and different things like that
We don’t do discounting, we are like * so but we throw in special things like sign up and get a gift card for your friend you know get a gift card you know get something, some kind of a bonus or something, some form so you know we just test different things to see what resonates with people, we try different offers and again if you do that you have website optimizer and you have two websites, everything is about is exactly the same. It is just maybe the end where our call to action is, where we are making our offer, what we are offering will be different and we will just see*
Great way to test what offerings is best
It is easy, so easy and then that goes on to your print marketing. It is, I don’t know genius
It is great

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Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, the largest online marketing agency in North America specializing in marketing strategies for the lawn care and landscaping industries.

Official Consultant of PLANET Conference

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