Zip, Zero, Zilch

Zip, Zero, Zilch image Zip Zero Zilch Illustration e1368509293215Zip Zero Zilch IllustrationZip, Zero, Zilch

That’s what we get if we are off the mark. If our products don’t perform or our services are unsatisfactory, our results are zip, zero, zilch – or somewhere in between where we’d like to be and zip, zero or zilch.

It’s also what we get if we learn something new that could help up improve our person, product, presentation or other something and don’t act upon it. Or at least consider it.

I heard recently that a certain email program was better at getting through to my readers than the one I am currently using. So I built a version of my Connections™ newsletter in the new program, which I’ll call “Product B,” which was no small task, and one that I had to pay for the privilege of using even for my test purposes, and sent it out for opinions.

It fared no better than the current version in terms of “opens” and click-through rates. It did a little worse, in fact. And both were sent in the early AM on Mondays so I don’t think timing was a big factor. I got some interesting comments back:

  • “Either is fine. Go with the one that is easiest for you to use.”
  • “Format looks better.” (This respondent didn’t say which format looked better!)”
  • “You are sending out free advice and helping others & you are used to it. Why change?”
  • “The new one is easier to read and follow with the eye. Maybe it’s because I’m an old guy, but as a marketer, I’ve always felt the content of a communication was more important than the holder. But, if a fancier format makes you money, go with it!”
  • “Also remember that if you change any of the images you’ve used in past issues, those images will no longer appear in your archive copies. I switched FROM (Product B) TO (Product A).”
  • “The new format is easier to read.”
  • “I’ve used (Product A) for years for both profit and non-profit firms. It has been a great asset!”
  • “This (Product B) version is too busy and requires too much scrolling.”

I’m going to stay with Product A for my monthly newsletter. I’ve looked at the results and I can find absolutely no reason – Zip, Zero, Zilch – to make a change just for the sake of making a change. Especially one that will cost me money, require a new learning curve and not provide the majority of my readers with any discernible advantage.

Was this test a waste of time, effort and money? I don’t think so, because I got valuable experience and information that I didn’t have before and thus would have been trying to make a decision with absolutely no guidance from my readers. And that decision would have been worth Zip, Zero, Zilch.

Do you make decisions with gut feel or based on rumor and without real prospect or customer feedback? Or without doing real tests? Let us hear from you, positive and negative. Because real information is worth lots more than Zip, Zero, Zilch.

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