Aim for 100 actions not traffic

You Need “Actions” To Take Action

December 20, 2004

Someone once asked me, “How many visitors do I need to determine the validity of my split-testing?” For example, if you're split-testing two different headlines, how much traffic do you need to make a good judgment call on which headline is the real winner?

That's an interesting question, and one with no real answer, other than “a lot.” And there's a specific reason why…

Gary Halbert once said you need 40 actions. John Reese says 200.

Personally, I like 100. You see, both Halbert and John are right, since Gary is referring mostly to offline direct mail and John to online marketing.…

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printer, scanner, technology

Ordering Offline Boosts Online Sales?

December 4, 2004

In another forum, a listener to my call with Gary Halbert, where Gary mentioned that ordering online is a strategic error, asked me the following question:

“After listening to your seminar with Gary Halbert, what's your opinion on Gary saying not to take orders online?”

That's a great question. As you know, I conducted a free teleseminar with Gary Halbert Tuesday night. (You can access the recordings by clicking here.)

My personal opinion is that Gary's right in principle — but not in practice.

Here's why…

For example, he's right about efficiency versus effectiveness, and that it's better to be effective than to be efficient.…

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students, adult, asia

Long Copy Or Short Copy?

October 1, 2004

Here's a reprint of an answer I gave a student in another forum who asked:

“Long copy? Or short copy?”

1. Long copy versus short copy has been the single greatest debate since the beginning of the printing press. But long copy always outperforms short copy. Don't be long for the sake of being long. Be long for the sake of providing as much information as is needed to make the sale — and not one word more.

2. People object to reading copy because: a) they are not targeted and b) the copy is boring. “Length” is the excuse because it's a common currency.…

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coffee, caffeine, beverage

How Long Should Headlines Be?

September 21, 2004

Someone once asked me what my strategy is behind using long headlines.

As I'm sure you know, various other marketers teach that one should write headlines no longer than 17 words. Whereas others teach that headlines should be real short as their testing has shown those headlines to pull better than long ones.

Here's my answer.

Either one is fine. I usually like to test both.

Granted, I'm a follower of Dan Kennedy, who's a big believer in long headlines. And I've tested short headlines, too, and they do pull better in terms of response, clickthroughs and readership.

But not necessarily sales.

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