Tuesday, 6:33 AM
Last week I sent a message endorsing Ben Settle’s new hard copy newsletter.
Since I know that negative news always gets more viewership than positive news, I split-tested two “negative” headlines on one of my subscriber lists.
- Ben Settle SUCKS (By the way, it was Ben who suggested this.)
- Why I HATE Ben Settle
Here’s a screen shot from my Aweber account with the results:
Notice that the headline “Why I HATE Ben Settle” got a 37.2% open rate and a 18.8% click-through rate.
The headline “Ben Settle SUCKS” got a higher open rate, 44.6%… but a lower click-through rate, 12.8%.
I have no idea how many sales it brought in because the link in the e-mail was not an affiliate link. It just linked directly to Ben’s newsletter site. (I believe so strongly in Ben’s new newsletter I endorsed it without any compensation.)
Looking back, we SHOULD have used a tracking link from Ben’s 1shoppingcart account so we could see how many new subscribers he got from this endorsement.
Anyhoo… would you like to know why one headline got a higher open rate but the other got a higher click-through rate?
So would I.
The truth is… I have no earthly idea.
We can guess why we THINK it got these results, pontificating for hours… but the truth is, we don’t really know why. The only thing we know for sure is the results.
And why do we know the results?
Because I TESTED it.
You can theorize for days and try to rationalize why you think this or that headline is better… but in the end, you’re just guessing.
The only way to know for sure is to run that puppy up the flagpole and see how many people salute it.
And it’s so easy to test this stuff online nowadays there’s no excuse for not doing it.
P.S. If I were sending a direct mail pitch and had access to a list of customers or subscribers like this… this is EXACTLY what I would do to figure out the best headline for my direct mail piece.
If I didn’t have access to a list I would do a headline split test on Google Adwords.
It’s a lot cheaper and faster to split test your headlines this way than in direct mail.