Every day we fail and in this article I’m going to argue that failing in online marketing is a really healthy thing to do. In fact, we all need to do it more often simply because failing is central to online success.
Without failure we wouldn’t have most of life’s inventions; aeroplanes, the microchip or the light bulb. (Edison worked on about 3,000 different theories to develop the light bulb. In other words he failed 2,999 times before eventually succeeding.)
Put simply, nothing new is perfected in one go. This is particularly true of internet marketing. In order to perfect your website you’ll have to test lots of different ideas; price changes, new headlines, different page layouts, colours, etc.. Frankly, if you can name it, you can test it. By testing different approaches you are identifying which idea or marketing approach works best and, therefore, wins you more business.
The internet gives us a unique opportunity to test several ideas at the same time and get the results back almost instantly. For example, if you sent out two different emails to different halves of your database you’d instantly see which got opened more often and which won more business. Or you could create lots of different landing pages each selling the same product but with slightly different offers. By driving traffic to each one you’d eventually find which one performed best and, therefore, the best offer to present to your customers.
And because you can often get the results back in (nearly) real-time it means that you can fail faster than ever before!
When it comes to measuring the results of your ideas (or tests) you’ll probably notice that some are miserable failures, some work ok and, perhaps 20% outperform all the rest put together (there’s that 80:20 rule again!).
However, if you weren’t testing lots of different ideas you wouldn’t find the amazing 20% that earns you 80% of your money!
The bottom line is that when you test 10 ideas you give yourself 9 more opportunities to find make more money than if you had only tested 1. To me that not only makes commercial sense but is also a great ‘boardroom argument’ against anyone who says that you shouldn’t try anything new.
Unfortunately, lots of people don’t test different marketing ideas on their website simply because they don’t want to fail and that’s natural given that failure can be off-putting.
In truth failure is simply a result. It’s not good or bad, just a result. The key is to learn from it and not regard it as a personal failure but as one less failure you need to have en-route to your success.
Here are some other notable failures to keep in mind whenever you fail:
- Bill Gates dropped out of University
- Einstein’s Teacher said about him “He will never amount to anything”
- Walt Disney was a bankrupt
- 20 Century Fox dropped Marilyn Monroe because they said she was “unattractive”
- Beethoven’s music teacher said as a composer he was hopeless.
- Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team – or so he claims
- The Beatles were turned down by the Decca recording company stating “guitar groups are on the way out”
Be a failure; you’ll be in great company.