The biggest thing you can do in your business early in 2016 is test against what you think is working. Sound crazy? Maybe, but it's important for you to always try to improve things instead of being stuck in the status quo.
Testing can get complicated but it doesn't have to be. Testing easy things in your business can make a dramatic difference. It can be website testing, how you communicate to customers or simply testing a process, but let's start small. Here are 5 things you can do with little disruption to your business that might move growth up and to the right.
Test a Sales Process
Assess the number of steps it takes to make a sale in your business. If you've got two emails that go out to leads before you make a live call to them, try three emails or better yet shorten that sales cycle and try one. Try including your salesperson's image and have it come "from" them personally. And carve out a portion of overall leads that participate in the test so you don't disrupt the business too much.
Also, test removing a field on your lead forms, you might find that asking for a zip code isn't that important to your business if you're also asking for state information. And perhaps this one field being removed will cause your lead to click "submit."
Stick It To Them!
If you're shipping something to your customers, test putting stickers or something fun into the box. Print the sticker out (Sticker Mule is great) and include a hashtag in your logo. Then track on instagram if anyone is taking pictures using the hashtag. If they are,send them something cool & they'll be a customer for life and better yet, tell all of their friends how cool you are!
Test a Landing Page for a Keyword
Identify a keyword you're not known for but want to be. Then build an informational landing page that is optimized for that keyword. Track your placement in the search engine results pages (SERPs) where you climb for that keyword and track how many times people come to your site using that keyword in Google Analytics. If it works, move on to the next keyword. More traffic = more business.
At Dasheroo we tested landing pages for the term "What is a KPI?" and built a mini site around it because we knew that building this traffic was important. Out of nowhere we made it to page two in just weeks.
Using a tool like Optimizely it's easy to do A/B testing on your site. You can test copy on buttons, colors, placement, headlines, images, anything! And after a period of time these tools will automatically serve up the winner. You can continuously test to get a better performer. Also check out Which Test Won for inspirational ideas.
Test subject lines in your emails. Campaign Monitor has a great testing tool where they'll send out a portion of your list automatically, wait until a statistically significant response comes back, then choose the winning subject line and send the entire email.
Test Social Media Participation
Take one month and test how engaging more in social media might impact your business (or not!). Perhaps one social network is better than another for you; focus on it to see how it might create awareness or drive business. Publish frequently, re-publish great content, engage with people, like, share and comment. You might find that it's either a waste of time or you're getting a lot of people to engage back. But put your best foot forward and really try to make it work.
If LinkedIn is your social network of choice, re-publish your blog in a long form post. Like what your connections are talking about, & share their content. Look at "People You May Know" and connect with them. Do an advanced search on your industry keywords for people to connect with. Accept invitations to connect. You can do this in just a few minutes a day to potentially make a difference.
And as always analyze what's working. If you find you're getting a ton of chatter on Instagram and you've got lots of people talking about your stickers, great! It's working for very little effort. If you see that your MOZ ranking for your keyword went from nowhere to page one, you're getting more traffic to your site! If you had to add another email into the mix in order to warm up your leads even more, great, you've got more sales coming in the door.
Testing should always be a part of your business and the less disruptive with the most potential growth the better!