Web Development Processes and Technical Environmen

Web Development Processes and Technical Environments

by: Bruce Zhang

The process of Web application development is critical to the success of webbased projects. The proper processes can not be enforced unless technical environments are properly setup. Technical environments are required for development, test and production.

Web applications architecture ( http://www.sysoptima.net/architecture/technical_architecture.php ) is typically in 3tiers. Applications are developed on NT platforms, and deployed to production on UNIX platforms. Without streamlined procedures and proper environment settings, deployment and testing is not only a frustrating experience, but also a major detriment in application failure and budget overrun.

Development and test environment may be powered by less powerful computers, but the configurations should be the same for all three environments. Development and test environments should be populated with production data periodically.

Development Environment

Role The development environment is a place where development team develops and tests the applications. If applications are developed on NT, deployment to UNIX environment helps developers to port NT applications to UNIX environment and test UNIX specific tasks, such as shell scripts and cron jobs.

Security Concerns Development team should have full control of and access to the environment, though installation of new software should be consulted with UNIX admin and DBA.

Test Environment

Role The test environment is a place where QA team (configuration management and software testing http://www.sysoptima.net/software_testing/software_testing_procedures.php ) practices deployment. The deployment of large and complex applications may take many trials.

Security Concerns QA team is fully responsible for the test environment. Development team should not be aware of the existence of the test environment. In reality, development team members are often involved with deployment to test environment largely because organizations trend to place staff with less technical expertise on QA team.

Production Environment

Role The production environment is a place where you serve your customers. The deployment from test to production should be automated using deployment scripts to avoid the potential human errors and to reduce the deployment cost.

Security Concerns Both development team and QA team should not be aware of the existence of production environment. It is the sole responsibility of operation team to maintain the production environment.

The procedures and technical environment settings described above have been proven to be valuable in eliminating many problems in webbased system implementation. The successful implementation of the procedures, however, depends on management commitment and the technical competency of all teams involved.

About The Author

Bruce Zhang has over 10 years experiences in architecting ( http://www.sysoptima.net/architecture/ )and developing webbased applications. He operates a website http://www.sysoptima.net/ that accumulates knowledge of web development.

This article was posted on March 26

by Bruce Zhang

7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

7 Tips for Testing Your Sales and Marketing

by: Angela Wu

One marketing technique may work wonders for someone, but that doesn’t guarantee that itกll do the same for you. The only way to really know what works for YOUR products and YOUR target audience is to experiment. Testing and experimentation are crucial to increasing your profits.
1. Try using the occasional popup window to get more subscribers to your newsletter. Some people *really* hate these, so use them sparingly. For example, you could have a window pop up only the first time someone visits your site … or you could have one appear whenever someone leaves your site. Try different scenarios to see what works best.
2. Change the price of your product and see what impact it has on sales. Even if your sales drop, you may still come out ahead when it comes to profits. Note: your sales may not drop at all; I increased the price of my own booklet from $12.95 to $19.95 and sales stayed the same. You never know until you try.
3. Test different sales copy on your website and in your autoresponder. Should you come on strong, be subtle, be extremely detailed? Does long sales copy do better than short copy, or vice versa? Do you get more sales by spreading your sales copy on multiple pages, or by putting it all on one page? Be sure to make backups of your previous work; if you find the new copy kills sales, you can always restore the previous version.
4. Track your advertising. There are a number of commercially available ad tracking packages that can help you see which ads are working well and which aren’t. Discard anything that doesn’t work, and try to improve on ads that appear to work well.
5. Experiment with the navigation of your website. For example, change the number of clicks required to get to your ordering page, or change the flow of navigation so that your visitor always ends up at an ordering page.
6. Test different types of links. You might try short ads in the margins of your web pages vs. text links within the context of an article, for example.
7. Test response rates between direct links to your sales page and the use of a followup autoresponder. Sometimes people just need an extra กpushก or a reminder to order. (make sure your autoresponder has an easy way for your prospect to unsubscribe)

About The Author

Angela runs several successful sites dedicated to helping beginners profit from the Internet. Her new web magazine, Online Business Basics, features stepbystep tutorials for eBusiness กnewbiesก. To take the guesswork out of starting and building an Internet business, click over to http://www.onlinebusinessbasics.com/

This article was posted on February 4, 2002

by Angela Wu

7 Steps To Test Prices and Convert More Sales

7 Steps To Test Prices and Convert More Sales

by: Charles Kangethe

Hereกs a really simple way… to customise your product offer from the headline to the prices in order to suit local tastes.

We all know people do business with people they กknow and trustก. So how can you convince shoppers half way across the world that you are reliable and someone they should do business with ?

What I am about to show you will make your business กLocal to the Localsก, wherever in the World they might be.

Step #1 What Is A Split Test

Split testing is a vital task for any Online Business.

By testing different headlines, captions, graphics, copy and prices you can gradually point your business towards better conversion rates.

A basic split test adheres to these guidelines.

1) You start with a base sales page This is called the กControlก

2) Set up a new page for each component you want to test.

For instance set up a new page where everything is the same as กControlก except the Headline. Test various components such as price, ad copy and bonuses, each with its own page.

3) Using software, set the test criteria in terms of how long you want the test to run or alternatively set the number of visitors you want to visit each page.

During the test the Ad tracker will record the statistics, and you can tell which page converted the most.

For future tests, that page can then become กControlก as you change another component.

Step #2 A Shortcoming Of Many Split Tests.

Your Online Business has a big advantage over local Bricks and Mortar businesses.

Your marketplace is Global.

However, this is also a weakness.

Despite the shrinking of the World, depending on what you sell, people still feel more comfortable doing business with กLocalก companies.

Until now…

If you could tell which specific region converted best for your product offer, you could concentrate your offers there instead of wasting advertising money trying to capture a huge unresponsive Global Market.

Step #3 Breakdown Your Marketplace Into Regions.

Decide the level to which you want to breakdown your global market place.

Depending on your knowledge of the World and the type of product you sell, you may want to target sales at a country level.

For more specific products you may feel a regional approach within each country is best.

Finally for some offers you may want to target people in specific named cities within a region in a country.

Once you have decided on your breakdown you need to set up your sales pages.

Step #4 Set Up Test Pages

If you have decided to track sales at the lowest level, then you will need a page for the country, the region and the city in addition to กControlก

For each regional page, change your product offer so that it appeals to the people of that region.

Do this by use of text and graphics that appeal to :

Local Language

Local Arts

Local Cultural references

Local Historical references

Local Geographical references

Local Social, political and economic references

The aim is to build an impression in the visitors mind that your business is กLocalก to them.

Step # 5 Redirect Traffic To The Relevant Local Page

Now that youกve set up the regional pages, you must redirect people from that country, region or city to the relevant กLocalก page when they visit your site.

You want visitors from your Local region to be redirected to the correct Local page rather than กControlก. Redirecting traffic is as simple as applying JavaScript code to your กControlก page In Relevant Resources, below, I tell you where to get these scripts for F’reE.

Your visitor IP addresses are cross referenced against a database by the script so they are directed to the right page.

On their relevant กLocalก page your visitors can order at discount Prices or with different bonuses that you set up.

If you do this right, your กLocalก business pages can outperform the conversion rates you get on กControlก.

Step # 6 A Few Words Of Caution

Use the tactics in this article to make Local offers that are of big relevance to locals in specific, chosen areas of your Global market.

However, when people realise that you are giving discounts to กLocal area Xก, they may try and find a way to get the discount even if they are not in กLocal area Xก.

Theft and fraud online are a price all direct marketers have to bear from time to time.

There are two pieces of advice I can give you :

1) Make it difficult for opportunists to read your JavaScript by hiding it in a .js file

2) Make your กLocalก offer one where you are better off with a sale than without. In other words do not give the product away for F’reE. That way you will always make some money on the offer.

Step #7 Become Local To The Locals

Develop your knowledge of the World and with your product range you can rapidly target small markets rather than the universal Global Internet market.

This can do wonders for your conversion rates.

Relevant Resources

* Split Testing Software

Pro Analyzer from http://www.proanalyzer.com/ DynaTracker from http://www.dynatracker.com/ AdTrackz from http://www.adtrackz.com/

* GeoBytes

Get your Javascript for redirecting your visitors according to location from here http://www.geobytes.com/

More Information and Software For Ad Tracking http://profits.cc/tracking.html?16oct


Good marketers split test.

Take this a step further and test your market in terms of location.

Be กLocal to the Localsก and see your conversion rates rise.

(c) 2004 Charles Kangethe

About The Author

Charles Kangethe of http://www.simplyeasier.com is a leading new wave Netpreneur and a published author from England. The กSimply Easierก brand name is your guarantee of high value, quality Marketing Products, Services and Resources.

[email protected]

This article was posted on April 08, 2004

by Charles Kangethe

What Does An ExBasketball Coach Know About Pullin

What Does An ExBasketball Coach Know About Pulling Web Metrics?

by: Jason Blackston

In my previous life…..

Actually, my previous JOB life, I was a physical education teacher and the varsity girls basketball coach. This is where I learned about testing, or as my mentors on the internet say, กPulling Web Metrics.ก

Simply put, pulling metrics is just testing your product or service. Your objective is to see how many sales you get out of a certain amount of clicks to your web site.

So what does my previous life as a coach have to do with your success on the internet? Great question, and now I will give you a great answer.

As a coach, I would test my girls in practice to see how many free throws each girl could make out of 100. I would do this everyday.

*For those of you who are not familiar with Basketball: A freethrow, also known as a foul shot, is awarded to a player who gets fouled by a player on the other team.

*I could get more technical with the rules, but this is all you really need to know about, for me to get my point across.

Now if Jane averages 70 made shots out of 100 freethrows, she is a 70% freethrow shooter. Oกkay, next letกs say Cathy averages 45 made shots out of 100 freethrows. This means Cathy is a 45% freethrow shooter.

Hereกs what Iกve learned from testing these players:

First, Jane makes more freethrows than Cathy. So if the game is close at the end, I want the ball in Janeกs hands.


Well, if the score is close and Jane gets fouled, the odds of her making the freethrows are better than if Cathy gets fouled. This means more points…

And more points means victory for Jane, Cathy, and the entire team!

**Online Business is not much different**

On the internet you can test your products similar to how I tested my players in basketball. Now as a coach, I put my players on the freethrow line and asked them to take the shot.

Same rules apply online. You want your products put to the test. An easy way to do this is by utilizing PayPerClick search engines. Google Adwords is a great place to start.

You can find out more about Google Adwords at: https://adwords.google.com/select/?hl=en

By utilizing Google Adwords you can test your products. PayPerClick means youกll pay a certain price each time someone clicks on your advertisement.

However, you can find great keywords at low cost. If you need help finding good keywords, I suggest downloading Good Keywords. Itกs a free software program and has helped me find some great search terms.


Marketing on the internet is somewhat different than my coaching experience. The statistics are much different. In basketball, I wanted someone who could make 70 to 80% of the freethrow shots taken in a game.

On the internet, I am shooting for a 2 to 3% conversion rate. Thatกs right, Iกm looking for 2 to 3 sales out of every 100 clicks. That doesn’t mean I don’t want more, but 2 to 3% conversion is a good mark.

Letกs you are paying 10 cents a click, and out of 100 clicks you got 3 sales. And your price for your product is 40.00.

* 3 x $40 = $120.00

* .10 x 100 = $10.00

* $120.00 $10.00 = $110.00 Net Profit.

Youกve got a good product that you can continue to test and market. If you had gotten 300 to 400 clicks and no sales, youกd have to take a good look at your product.

Sometimes people fall in love with a product before they test it. Iกve been there! Itกs always best to test, test, test!

Going back to my basketball analogy. The fact remains that Jane made more freethrows than Cathy. I want her on the line when the game is on the line.

Same rules apply when it comes to marketing online. I want to promote the products that กPull the best Metrics.ก

And you heard that straight out of the exbasketball coachกs mouth!

* You can download this article at:


About The Author

Jason is one of the owners of
© 2003 GoVistiors.com which offers website traffic and the best traffic education. Your free 5 day ecourse is waiting for you at http://www.govisitors.com/epackage.html

[email protected]

This article was posted on December 10, 2003

by Jason Blackston

Testing PayPerClick To Build A Subscriber List F

Testing PayPerClick To Build A Subscriber List Fast

by: Tom Beal

Every successful salesperson knows the value of owning a list of targeted potential customers. Itกs a strategy I used to break sales records and also taught in my sale training sessions.

Coming from ‘realก world selling into virtual world selling presented some unique challenges.

How does one build a list online?

Research revealed many successful marketers recommend using PayPerClick (PPC) search engines to quickly and effectively build your list.

Selecting targeted keyword to reach your ideal potential customer give PPC a distinct advantage over other list building methods.

I decided to put PPC list building method to the test. I choose to set up a advertising campaign at Google Adwords and the lesser known http://www.mpstrategiesfirm.com. The two companies can have your campaign up an running in a short time.

They display the ads differently. Google Adwords displays the ad on search engine results and mpstrategiesfirm.com uses contextual advertising showing the ads on keyword topic based pages within their network.

Every test needs an objective outcome to gauge the results. The objective of this test? Visitors sign up to receive a free health report from a new affiliate program I choose to promote.

The Test Results

Google Adwords

number of clicks 700

cost per click .23

total cost 161.00


number of clicks 800

cost per click .20

total cost 160.00

Even though they used different methods to display the ad, both produced excellent traffic results for the investment.

Sending traffic was only one factor of the objective. Remember the ultimate goal is to gain subscribers to build the list.

Here is where PPC marketing provided a valuable lesson in online marketing.

1,500 people clicked for the free report, but only 89 put in their name and email address. I receive 53 subscribers from mpstrategiesfirm.com and 36 from Google. Surprisingly

About The Author

Tom Beal assist his clients at positioning themselves as the experts in their field and creating the law of attraction in their business. He is also the President and Founder of numerous successful companies and websites including the recently formed membership site for top performers at: http://www.nobossclub.com Contact Tom at [email protected] or 5857485818

This article was posted on September 08

by Tom Beal

Testing Headlines

Testing Headlines

by: Patrick Quinn

A correspondent to AdBriefing, my monthly newsletter, has posed a very sticky question. How, she asks, can you tell whether a headline you have written is a good one…or not? What she means by this, I imagine, is whether the headline will actually help to make sales, rather than just act as a passing amusement to its readers.

The latter precept, that a headline should actually try to sell something, is not as universally known as it might be. The vast proportion of headlines actually say nothing whatsoever about the product and the benefits of owning it. And the reason for this is that good, selling headlines are not easy to write. So the majority of socalled copywriters take the easy route and produce something which they think is humorous or eyecatching and hope that this will do the job. That it won’t and doesn’t can be witnessed day in and day out in press ads, brochures and websites worldwide.

But I digress.

There is sadly no absolute test that a headline will do the job it is paid to do. If there were, we benighted copywriters would be earning ten times what we are earning now, on the grounds that our work would be foolproof. Every headline we conceived would be irresistible; and products would move off shelves like Spring snow off a dyke.

But there is a test – a very good and worthwhile test – that you can apply to any headline you create. I call it the ‘So What?’ test.

Allow me to give you an example of ‘So What?’ in action. If you produce a headline that says: Our Widget works twice as fast as any other Widget, and then ask yourself ‘So What?’, it immediately becomes clear that the line is bereft of a sales proposition. Because there is no obvious benefit to the potential customer.

On the other hand, if you write: Our Widget works twice as fast, so you do the job in half the time, then the ‘So What?’ has been answered. Your customer can cut his production time by 50%.

Likewise, were you to write: Our Widget is so small, it fits into the palm of your hand, you simply invoke ‘So What?’. Which results in: Our Widget fits into the palm of your hand, so it goes wherever you go. In this case, the benefit is portability. You can use it anywhere.

Over the years, I have found the ‘So What?’ test to be invaluable. You might care to give it a try yourself.

And on the subject of headlines consider this.

When trying to write a headline many people tend to go off halfcocked. They consider the marketing brief, then bash down a headline or two to satisfy it. After that, they write the body copy.

Experience shows, however, that if you write the body copy first, the odds are that there will be the makings of a headline within it struggling to get out.

Body copy is, or should be, a carefully worked and logical encapsulation of the marketing brief. In other words, the whys, the wherefores and the benefits of owning the product or service. It makes sense, then, that if it is properly written, there is a very real chance of finding an embryo headline lurking within it.

Why not give it a whirl? You may be agreeably surprised.

About The Author

Patrick Quinn is an award winning copywriter with 40 yearsก experience of the advertising business in London, Miami, Dublin and Edinburgh.

He publishes a FREE monthly newsletter, AdBriefing. Subscriptions are available at: http://www.adbriefing.com

[email protected]

This article was posted on October 18, 2004

by Patrick Quinn

Why You Should FORGET About Website Traffic!

Why You Should FORGET About Website Traffic!

by: Willie Crawford

The headline read, กA funny thing happens when you don’t promote your website… NOTHING.ก Experience has taught me that thatกs a fairly accurate statement. If you are not promoting your website, you’re not building your web business.

However, there is one thing you need to focus on MORE than generating traffic. That is converting that traffic into buying customers. If the visitors aren’t converting, and you’re spending money to generate traffic, then you’re probably worse off than you would be if you did nothing.

If you can improve your conversion ratio, then your existing traffic and new traffic is worth so much more to you. First, improve your conversion ratio, then aggressively seek new traffic.

Consider an example of a site getting just 500 unique visitors a day, with a conversion rate of 3%. Letกs assume this site markets a report that costs $49 and offers the site owner $30 profit after all expenses. This site is making 15 sales a day or $450 in profits. If this site can increase itกs conversion rate to 5%, it would be making 25 sales a day and $750 in profits… a big increase with no additional expenses!

Increases in conversion rates of 23% are very common. Conversion rates of 20% or more are also not unheard of. After a site has increased its conversion rate, earnings from backend sales also skyrocket. Thatกs because a VERY high percentage of first time customers become repeat customers if you offer them backend products. Increasing your conversion rate for first time visitors has an exponential effect on your bottom line… not a linear effect!

What are some way that you can increase conversion rates?

In a word… TESTING!

Test new headlines

Test new opening paragraphs

Test new guarantees (different wording, longer or shorter time periods, etc.)

Test offering different bonuses

Test offering no bonuses

Test new header graphics

Test removing header graphics

Test offering payment plans

Test different upsells on the order form

Test rearranging the elements on the order form

Test different wording in the call to action

Test different colors used for emphasis

Test different background colors

Test different prices

Test using different numbers of testimonials

Test putting testimonials in different places on the page

Test using audio or video on your page

Test long copy vs short copy

Test using different number of กorderก links

Test using different images within the page copy

In other words, test everything. Test one element at a time on your page, and track the difference that this made in your conversions. Do split testing where you compare the results on 2 or 3 different pages. Then use the page that did the best as the control and move on to testing the next page element. Thatกs how you increase your conversions over time from 23% into the double digits.

Seasoned marketers will tell you that marketing is nothing more than tracking and analyzing your numbers. This is true. You need to know exactly what result each change on your page had. Fortunately, there is software out there that makes this job very easy. Some of it is even free. There are also manuals that explain how to test most effectively. These manuals are how I was able to not be intimidated by the math and calculations that you DO need to do.

If youกd like to know what split testing software I use, and what I consider to be the best book Iกve ever read on the topic is, just send a blank email to my autoresponder at: [email protected]. This information will totally blow your mind and put you ahead of 99.999% of your competitors. Thatกs not hype, thatกs a fact.

You test because you cannot guess what the market wants. Top marketers and copywriters such as Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and Gary Halbert all relate that when they tried to guess what the market wanted, they guessed WRONG! Thatกs why they are consummate testers.

Testing often reveals surprising results. Iกve heard of marketers improving result for example by REMOVING the guarantee. Iกve heard of marketers improving results by doubling their price, or getting rid of a header graphic on a webpage. Those little things often prove to make a big difference and over time these differences can equal an over 1000% improvement.

After youกve gotten a decent conversion rate, THEN you need to focus on getting more traffic. The secret to doing this is to learn what those getting tons of highly targeted traffic are doing, and do something similar. Study why the techniques that they use are successful at attracting not just any traffic…but highly targeted traffic, then apply those lessons.

Youกve invited to join me and 2 very successful marketers as we reveal ways of generating highly targeted traffic. This traffic is people who come to your site, looking for what you are selling. This is the only type of traffic you should put your time and other resources into generating… and itกs a lot easier than you think. For details on a teleseminar we’re hosting, visit:


Iกve just revealed to you the very essence of a successful website. Continuously test and refine the website until you have an OUTSTANDING conversion rate. Then drive massive traffic to that site using techniques others have already discovered and proven to work. The third element that separates the ultrasuccesses from the failures is simply acting upon what you learn. What are you waiting for?

About The Author

Willie Crawford has been teaching others how to build an online business since late 1996. Willie demonstrates the power of automated residual income through his system at: http://ProfitAutomation.Com Visit now for a business boost.

This article was posted on February 11, 2004

by Willie Crawford

CCNA Cisco Certification Test Taking Tips

CCNA Cisco Certification Test Taking Tips

by: www.SemSim.com

Here are some tips to follow for the CCNA test:
Relax before exam: In order to avoid last minute stress, make sure that you arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and relax before exam.
Familiarize yourself with exam: Before taking the CCNA exam, you are given an option of to familiarize yourself with the way the exam is carried out (the exam interface). You must make sure to take advantage of this.
Time Management Tips:
Manage Time Spent On Each Question: The duration for the exam is 90 minutes. You must determine how much time you will spend on each question. While determining this take into consideration that simulations take more time to answer. Also keep in mind that some other questions are weighed more heavily and may take more time to answer (e.g. difficult subnetting problems).
Be Sure Of Exam Interface: Clear your doubts, in case if you have any, regarding the rules for the CCNA exam or using the testing computer/software with the supervisor after he sets up your machine and before you start the exam. Remember that the exam is timed and you may loose your valuable test time for such questions, which you could have asked earlier.
Jot Down Important Points Before Exam: Before you start the exam, ask for scratch paper and jot down points that you may require to recall when taking your exam. This is always allowed and proves to be very helpful while taking the exam. These may include:

OSI Model layers
Access lists
Important tables such as powers of 2 (2^1 = 2; 2^2 = 4…2^8 = 256)
Class A,B,C address range and properties e.g.
Class A: Denoted by network.host.host.host; first octet is between 1 to 126;
Important formulae such as 2^x2 gives the number of hosts per subnet where x is the number of กoffก bits in the subnet mask
Binary to decimal conversion table & tips

All Answers Are Final: Remember that you cannot return to a question once you have answered it. So, be very careful while answering to the questions and don’t rush as it might cost you valuable marks.
Don’t Panic. There Is No Negative Marking: Although the exam software does not allow you to review questions you’ve answered, there is no negative marks for a wrong answer. The CCNA exam does not penalize you for wrong answer, so never leave any question unanswered. If you are not able to find out the correct answers to some questions, eliminate the possible answers that cannot be correct and narrow down your guess.

About The Author

SemSim.com provides training resources for Cisco certification exams: CCIE, CCNP, CCNA, CCDP, CCDA. It offers FREE learning resources to students such as study guides and router simulation labs at itกs online learning center located at: http://www.semsim.com/ccna/learn.html

http://www.SemSim.com : Making Cisco cetification easy!

[email protected]

This article was posted on July 02, 2004

by www.SemSim.com

Test Your Headlines for Maximum Profits

Test Your Headlines for Maximum Profits

by: George Dodge

Professional copywriters do not simply write or select one headline and then hope for the best. They create a number of different headlines; often times as many as a hundred before selecting the headline they think will perform the best.

But they don’t stop there! Professional copywriters know that their choice will often not be the choice of the public and therefore they test their headlines in the market place.

Believe it or not, even professional copywriters find that half or more of their ads, sales letters, or campaigns fail to become winners. But, by testing, they are able to cut their losses early and maximize their successes.

The method of testing most commonly used is known as split testing. With headlines, split testing involves the exposing of two different alternating headlines to prospects. This can be done both online and offline, but online is much easier and the testing process is quicker.

Here is the way headline split testing works online. Visitor A comes to your website and sees headline #1 while visitor B comes to your website and sees headline # 2. When visitor C comes to your website, headline # 1 is shown again and the alternating process continues for the length of the test.

After a number of actions have been recorded for each headline, such as clicking through to the order page, the results are compared to determine which headline resulted in the largest number of desired responses (the click through to the order page, in this example).

The larger the number of total responses recorded, the greater the accuracy of the test to determine the headline winner. Once a winner is chosen, that headline becomes the new control. A control is the current best performing item being tested, in this case, a headline.

Now that a control has been established, a new headline is tested against the control to see if the response can be improved. This process continues on until a given headline has been the control for a large number of tests.

Initially the two headlines that are being tested can be quite different. What you are looking for in the early test is what general kind of headline seems to work for the target market. Once a general kind of headline appears to be a winner over competing types of headlines, then you begin to tweak and split variations of the winning headline itself.

Letกs take a look at an example.

This headline example comes from Jimmy D. Brown, a very successful Internet marketer. The following two headlines were split tested to determine a winner.

Headline # 1: ‘the Power of Viral eBooksก

Headline # 2: กHow to Create Automated Profit Generatorsก

The Result? Headline # 2 out pulled headline # 1 by multiple times.

Now to simplify this process, letกs assume for the sake of this example that Headline # 2 proved to be the winner, not only of this test, but a number of follow on test against a number of other headlines. So, you have determined the type of headline that seems to work well for your particular target market. Now, it is time to tweak the headline by split testing variations of this particular headline.

When you split test variations of a headline, you want to only change one thing at a time. Perhaps you will change only one word in the headline, or the color of the headline, or the using of quote marks around the headline, etc. But you only test one item at a time. Each item you test is called a variable; it is the thing that varies between the headlines in the test.

Everything in the headline can make a difference in the headline response rate. Things that make a difference in response are called response modifiers. In addition to the items mentioned above, other response modifiers in a headline might include the font used, the size of the font, the capitalization of the first letters of each word, etc. Everything in your headline can and should be tested.

For an example of how a very minor change can make a difference in your headline response, take a look at these two headlines:

Headline # 1: กPut Music In Your Lifeก

Headline # 2: กPuts Music In Your Lifeก

The only difference between the headlines is the addition of the letter กsก to the first word. Again the second headline greatly out pulled the first headline. Some copywriters assume that this is because the first headline implies some work on the part of the reader, while the second headline implies that something or someone else does the work. But the reason is not important, only the results matter.

Each tweak of your headline that results in a new control improves the desired response rate of your headline leading to a maximization of profits, if your headline involves the selling of a product or service.

You can never know for sure why one headline out pulls another, but while you can guess, the reason is not important. What is important is the results, no matter what the reason.

Jim and Audri Lanford of www.netrageous.com, now www.scambusters.org, once made a change of color to a sub headline on one of their online sales pages and orders almost dropped to zero. When they changed the headline color back, their normal order rate returned. They guessed that this was because the color change may have caused the headline to look more like hype, but as noted above, the reason is not important. What are important are the results.

Are you testing your headlines? If not, you should be. Every little positive change continues to increase your profits and it all adds up in the end. While some changes may only increase your desired response by a fraction of one percent, some people have seen changes of as much as 1,500% with a single headline change while the rest of their copy remained the same.

How would you like to see either a single or cumulative improvement over time of 1,500% in your desired response rate? I thought so! Then go forth and test, test, and test some more!

About The Author

George Dodge is owner of the Headline Creator Pro Website at http://www.HeadlineCreatorPro.com where you can download software that saves you time and effort by allowing you to quickly and easily create headlines with push button ease.

This article was posted on September 12

by George Dodge

Five Tests Every Press Release Must Pass

Five Tests Every Press Release Must Pass

by: George McKenzie

Youกve heard ‘themก say it, haven’t you?

By ‘themก I mean the experts. The teachers. Even some people from advertising & PR agencies.

Theyกll tell you thereกs only one way to do a press release กright.ก

Single page, double spaced, 12 point type.


Iกve been working in radio and TV full time or part time since 1972, and that means Iกve seen thousands of press releases.

I never threw one away because it didn’t fit the กclassicก or กstandardก format you hear about so often.

A journalist especially a journalist working on deadline doesn’t care about that stuff…

There are, however, five things that *are* important, and if your press release doesn’t have them, it will probably wind up in the trash in seconds.

In my Instant Press Release Toolkit program at http://www.pressreleasetoolkit.com, I call them ‘the Five Tests Every Press Release Must Pass.ก

1) The Instant Eyeball Test

The person reading the release takes a quick glance at the overall appearance.

Does it have a catchy headline, or is the top of the page crowded with unnecessary information or big graphics (like PR agency/company logos)?

Is it readable? Does it look cramped, with block paragraphs that suck up most of the white space? Will the screener have to search through a lot of print on the page to figure out what’s newsworthy?

Is there any bold print emphasizing important points?

And maybe the biggest factor of all: can he/she figure out in five seconds or less what this release is about, and what action the writer would like the news operation to take in response?

Flunking the Instant Eyeball Test doesn’t mean the release will immediately drop into the trash can. But if your release is poorly formatted and visually unappealing, it’s definitely a strike against you.

2) The Headline Test

Even if you’ve just flunked the Instant Eyeball Test, you’ll probably still get a chance to redeem yourself by offering a great headline.

In my opinion, this is the most important part of the release.

Give the reader a catchy, attentiongrabbing, interest provoking headline, and the battle is half won.

For a quick primer on headlines that motivate journalists to กbite,ก see http://www.publicitypro.com/articles/headlinespublicity.htm

3) The Hot Button Test

The next question in the screener’s mind relates to the subject of the release. Actually, there are probably several questions running through the screener’s mind simultaneously:

* Is it information people need to know, or would like to know?

* How much of a potential audience is there for this information?

In other words, how newsworthy is it?

There are certain universal themes, story lines, and angles that make something newsworthy. I call them news กHot Buttons,ก and they’re the subject of a Special Report Iกve written, available free at http://www.publicitypro.com/hotbuttons.htm

4) The กMedium Matchingก Test

The first question you should ask yourself is กWho’s going to be reading this, and what do they need to know from me?ก

Very few people take the time to tailor a release to the medium they’re pitching, but those who do tend to be more successful.

The decisionmaker looks for opportunities that are characteristic of their medium.

TV news wants visuals of people doing something.

TV/radio talk or กmagazineก shows look for engaging guests to interview or topics to discuss at some length.

Newspapers and magazines look for depth.

5) The กPerspectiveก Test

กPerspectiveก answers the question กWhat is this news release *really* all about?ก

Sometimes it’s obviously written from the perspective of someone who wants to sell a product. They talk mainly about that product or their company, and they offer little or no กnews value.ก (see the กHot Button Testก for more on the meaning of กnews valueก)

Remember, a news release is supposed to be about news. It reads like an announcement or a newspaper article, not a promotional flyer or sales copy.

Sometimes a news release is written from the perspective of someone who wants to pat themselves on the back. It’s the kind of selfglorification that you see in annual reports.

These news releases come off as boastful and selfserving, and usually offer little of interest to journalists.

The best news releases are those written with the media’s audience in mind.

They say to the decisionmaker, กHere’s something you can offer your viewers that will keep them from reaching for the remote…ก or

กHereกs something you can give your listeners to keep their fingers away from the pushbuttons on their radio…ก or

กHereกs something that will compel your readers to look at the page long enough to notice the deodorant ad to the left of the column.ก

In other words, news organizations don’t want you to ‘touch that dialก and switch your attention elsewhere.

Give them information that keeps their audiences tuned in, and youกve got a winner.

News releases written from that perspective are the ones that get attention and coverage.

To see a linebyline critique of two press releases I think are excellent, go to http://www.publicitypro.com/pressrelease1.htm

Both these release announce product rollouts, and both pass the ก5 Critical Testsก with an A+ grade.

About The Author

George McKenzie

Award winning TV anchor George McKenzie offers a

free 7part email กPublicity Crash Course,ก which

shows you how to turn the mass media into your

personal publicity machine. Register now

at http://www.publicitypro.com.

[email protected]

This article was posted on September 02

by George McKenzie

How One Word Or Even One Letter Can Boost Conversi

How One Word Or Even One Letter Can Boost Conversion Rates By Over 400%!

by: Eric Graham

Recently I was reviewing the keyword specific conversion rate data of a consulting client of mine. I have been working with this client for a few months now, helping her improve the sales conversion rate of her website and we have had very good results, taking average conversion rates at her site from below 1% to just over 4.3%.

(Your sales conversion rate is simply the number of unique visitors your site receives vs. the number of sales you make. If you have 3 sales for every 100 visits your conversion rate is 3%.)

Now, one of the keys to improving conversion rates is to continually test and measure every detail of your website, marketing and traffic. While reviewing the data from one of her Google Adwords campaigns I stumbled across a few hard to explain results that perfectly illustrate the very large effect small differences can have on conversion rates.

The keyword ขpiano lessonsข had a conversion rate over the last 30 days of 5.09%. The keyword ขpiano lessonข had a conversion rate of only 1.64%. Both of these keywords had the exact same Adwords title and description, the same average position in the search results and the exact same landing page on my clients website. The only variable is one letter in the keyword… an ขsข. Lesson vs. Lessons. That’s it! Yet the plural version of the keyword (piano lessons) out sold the singular version (piano lesson) by over 300%!

Another key phrase that had an even larger variation was ขhow to play the pianoข vs. ขhow to play a pianoข. Common sense would say that these two phrases would convert almost identically… Wrong.

Again, with identical titles, descriptions and landing pages, ขHow to play the pianoข converted at 5.92%, while ขHow to play a pianoข only converted at 1.42%. That is a whopping 417% difference between ขaข and ขtheข!

Shortterm variations and fluctuations in the conversion rates of individual keywords or landing pages are common. However, the data on both of these keyword pairs was measured over a full 30 days and several thousand clicks for each keyword. I don’t have any easy answers why adding an ขsข to a key phrase or changing an ขaข to ขtheข caused such a difference in conversion rates.

Sure, you can guess at it and draw a few conclusions such as ขplural keywords convert better than singular keywordsข or ขusing ‘the’ in a key phrase is more specific and targeted than using ‘a’ข. However, these conclusions are just guesses. The only real conclusion you can draw from this case study is that you have to test EVERYTHING!

If one word or one letter can have that big of an impact in an Adwords campaign, then a similar change in your main headline or guarantee can have an equally significant impact.

The lesson here is to test, test, test. What should you test?

Test headlines.

Test guarantees.

Test bonuses.

Test colors.

Test subheadlines.

Test your copy.

Test different prices.

Test layouts.

Test autoresponder messages.

Test your USP (Unique Selling Proposition.)

Test ads.

Test keywords.

Test policies.

Test images and graphic design.

Test deadlines.

Test navigation.

Test your checkout process.

Test font sizes.

Test payment options.


Now, when you are testing a change, only test one item at a time. This part is critical. Testing only one change will help keep your results as accurate as possible. If you change 4 items at once and see a 1% boost in conversion rate, it is possible 3 items are helping and 1 is hurting, so your conversion rate boost would have been greater with just the 3 changes.

The bottom line is this…

If you really want to take your website’s sales conversion rate to the next level, you must absolutely commit to a focused and longterm campaign of testing and optimizing every aspect of your site. You never know when a small change is going to give you huge results!

Copyright 2004 Eric Graham

Want to improve your conversion rates? Eric Graham is the CEO of several successful online companies. A top authority on eCommerce & Internet Marketing, heกs an indemand speaker & consultant. Visit http://www.websiteevaluations.com today for an indepth evaluation to boost YOUR websites conversion rate!

About The Author

Eric Graham is the CEO of several successful online companies. A top authority on eCommerce & Internet Marketing, heกs an indemand speaker & consultant. Visit www.websiteevaluations.com for a FREE subscription to his eCommerce Mastery newsletter.

This article was posted on April 29, 2004

by Eric Graham

Long Sales Letters vs. Short Sales Letters

Long Sales Letters vs. Short Sales Letters

by: Matthew Cobb

Everywhere I turn, Iกm being asked to weigh in on the issue of whether copy should be long or short in a sales letter. I receive countless newsletters on copywriting and marketing, and they are all still debating the issue.

I doubt that the question will be answered definitively, but after hearing from other Internet copywriters and after considering the issue myself, Iกve learned that if you follow three guidelines, the issue of length will become almost irrelevant.


Interested prospects will read even a sales letter of several pages long if they are interested and if your sales letter has good content. Many of us are more interested in telling prospects what WE want them to know. But we should all be telling prospects what THEY want and need to know.


This guideline is actually Rule #17 from Strunk & Whiteกs famous little book on writing, _The_Elements_of_Style_. (If you write, you really should read this small but influential book.)

Anything that doesn’t have a direct purpose or work toward winning over your prospect should be cut out. I don’t care how much you want to tell them about what a great reputation your company has and how successful you were last year. Unless that information takes the reader one step closer to buying (admittedly, sometimes it does), cut it.

Do the research and know your target audience. Then, write with their needs in mind. Write everything your prospects want and need to read, but write ONLY what they want and need to read. Cut the rest.

Guideline #3) TEST. TEST. TEST.

This is the best indicator of how long your sales letter should be. If you don’t like to test, you have to rely on luck. Not a good idea. Put together the best sales letter you can with everything a prospect needs to know to make a buying decision, cut out anything thatกs not essential reading for your prospect, then run it. Record the results. Rewrite a portion of the letter. Test again. Record the results. Keep doing this until conversion rates improve and youกll know how long your sales letter needs to be. Of course, this kind of testing is much easier online than in offline direct mail, but it needs to be done. (Offline direct mail will probably require a split mailing.)

Although many people will tell you that ‘research has shown longer sales letters pull better,ก the only research you should be paying attention to is your own. Long sales letters don’t pull well for everyone.

Thereกs an easy way to answer to the question of how long or short a sales letter should be. (Itกs the same for other similar questions of tone, diction, and how much text you should emphasize.) Determine the needs and desires of your readers and youกll have your answer.

About The Author

Matthew Cobb is an independent copywriter/consultant. Contact him at [email protected] or learn more about Sales Letters by Matthew Cobb by visiting his Web site at www.cobbwriting.com/salesletters, and sign up for his free monthly epublication, The Seductive Sales Letter Clinic.

This article was posted on March 19, 2003

by Matthew Cobb