Most people don’t have a clue what it takes to create a highly-successful, highly-profitable marketing campaign…

In fact, most of us suffer from a “if you build it, they will come” mentality.

That is, you have an idea for a product or service, or a campaign to sell an existing offer.

You create it.  You put it out there.  And, if it’s a winner, it will succeed.  If it’s a loser, you’ll go back to the beginning, and look for a new idea.

This is, in a word, delusional.

Yes, if you have a bad offer, it will fail.  No matter how much you test it.

That’s just the nature of the beast.

But if you have a great product, it will likely ALSO fail.

At least, the first time you try it.  Many sales letters, campaigns, funnels, ads, whatever don’t do that well on their first time out.

I fail consistently, too!

Take my recent “How to Create Breakthrough Big Idea Copy” webinar.

It was a hit on the content front.  One viewer summed it up with “mind blown.”

But that was hardly my most exciting feedback regarding the content.

The World’s Greatest Direct Response Copywriting Coach, David Garfinkel (who I also interviewed for The Masters of Response Summit) had this to say…

A comment: I review about 50 winning big idea pieces, in group meetings, with Agora Financial. I have to say, Roy, this is the first time I’ve ever seen the winning types categorized — and I would have to say you are ABSOLUTELY correct.  Just saying’…

And since I drink my own Kool-Aid and practice Value-First Marketing, I’m happy to have delivered a ton of value for the folks who logged on for that webinar.


From a directly-trackable sales perspective, I’ll admit the webinar came up a little short of where I thought it should’ve.

I’m not going to give the specific numbers publicly, but the ratio of sales to the number of people who attended live (and watched from beginning-to-end) was not as high as I’d expected.

Now, I have a longer-term goal of being able to re-use and re-cycle that webinar content, both to continue providing value and to convert prospects into buyers.

It’s just so dang good — and unique and proprietary content — that I feel a pull to sharing it.  But I need better economics if I want to really invest in rolling it out.

The question then becomes: how do you respond when you fail?

And this applies equally to client campaigns and your own work.  If you’re putting something out in the market and it doesn’t perform as expected, you need a plan for what to do next.

Here’s a pretty good process…

The first step is to do a post-mortem…

Unfortunately it’s a lot easier to see AFTER the failure all the reasons why it may not have worked like you wanted.  You’ve probably heard, “Hindsight is 20/20.”

In a perfect scenario, you’d actually do a pre-mortem.  Which is, you’d review your marketing campaign or new project before you test it.  You’d imagine yourself having just tested it, and discovering it failed.  Then, you’d ask yourself why it failed.  But, most of us — even those of us who know better — don’t do that.  So we review it after…

Once you realize your marketing campaign hasn’t done as well as you wanted, you ask yourself why.  And what you can change or tweak to make it work better.

Here the goal is to get as many ideas out on the table as possible.

Then, you plan your next test…

If you did a good job of your post-mortem analysis, you have way too many ideas for what you could improve than you can reasonably test.

So you prioritize.  You define the things you want to change for the next go-round.

You try to figure out what will have the biggest impact.  What was most likely to have been suppressing response in the past.  Or, what might improve response in the future.

Sometimes it’s really simple, like, “We forgot to include our phone number.”  Sometimes, it’s a much more complicated change, such as, “We need to re-structure the offer presentation.”

Whatever you decide, make a clear plan for what you need to change for the next step.

Finally, you test the next iteration and review your results…

Again, we’re just looking for success here.  The failure wasn’t a failure unless it keeps us from doing another test.  Rather, failure is ALWAYS a learning opportunity, if you ask yourself how you can do things differently next time, for a better result.

So you take your plan, and test it.  You compare the results of the initial test to the next test.

Sometimes, this next test will be WORSE!  Don’t fret, though.  That’s just more feedback from the market, regarding what they prefer to respond to.

Or, this test will yield similar results.  That just means the changes you made didn’t matter much.

There’s also the distinct possibility that your test will give you better results.  If it’s just a little better, you may want to continue tweaking and testing and refining.  Or if the new test yields a breakthrough, you roll it out.  (Of course, you want to keep trying to beat that control, too!)

This is the process the world’s best marketers continually follow…

And, in fact, the process is the secret to creating huge winners.

The better you are up front at creating campaigns that are likely to succeed, the better even your initial test results will be.  Get someone like Gary Bencivenga, and the likelihood of a winner out of the gate goes up tremendously.

But even so, there’s ALWAYS room for improvement.

The best way to figure out where that opportunity is, is to test.

And the more tests you do, track, and add to your mental storehouse of “what works,” the better marketer you’ll become.  And the process all along the way will only continue to make you better at this whole game.

But that’s all long-term.

Short term, if you run this process on repeat and test a ton, more of your campaigns will turn into winners.  Not because of your growing marketing genius.  But rather, because you test your way to success, finding the second or fifth or lucky-thirteenth iteration that finally leads to a winning campaign.

In fact, the biggest winners often have as much work put into them AFTER the first launch as they do before.  Because even small signs of life in a marketing campaign can mean you’re onto a big opportunity, if you can tweak and test your way to finding it.

One final note…

It’s no coincidence that the majority of my Masters of Response interviewees have significant experience with testing.

Especially those who’ve been on the most rapid rise to the top of the industry.

They don’t necessarily run the tests themselves.  But they have been responsible for creating multiple messages to test against each other, and then — importantly — they’ve been incredibly curious regarding the results of the test, and how they can use the results to improve their campaigns.

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Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr