Internet Marketing: Don’t Trust Your Instincts

Posted by Jesse Willms on July 19, 2010

When we are growing up, we are often told to “trust our instincts” or “follow our intuition.”

Jesse Willms on Internet Marketing: Don't Trust Your InstinctsWhile this works well in many situations, when it comes to Internet Marketing, it can really trip your operation up. In fact, in many instances trusting your instincts may doom your company, service and product offering.

You see, when you trust your instinct you end up marketing your product as though you were the target consumer. But, in reality, the Internet is such a vast marketplace that your real target customers probably won’t be looking for the same things in the product or service that you are.

Instead they’ll have their own sets of needs and expectations, and it’s your job to figure out what they are, or else you won’t get the sales you need to justify the expense of your product launch.

So, how do you do that? Your first step is to look at how your competition is positioning themselves. Obviously, you don’t want to copy exactly what they do, but it will give you a sense of where the market usually is.

Then, you want to take their marketing approach and start to make it your own. Add your own ideas, that’s fine. You can put a little bit of your instinct into it; just don’t get too attached to those ideas

Next, you have to start testing. And then keep testing. And then test some more. The only way you will discover exactly what your customers are looking for is to conduct ongoing split tests until you hit the sales conversion rate you are looking for.

Be prepared to throw out ideas that don’t work – even if you love the ideas. Remember, it’s not about what you want or your instincts; it’s about making money.

Don’t be afraid to try out ideas that seem weird or “out there.” You never know what will work until you try. An idea that may seem really dumb to you might be exactly the thing that makes customers come beating down your door.

This applies to all parts of your website, from design to writing to the way your interface works. Change the color scheme. Alter the number of pages it takes to get to your billing page. Alter the headlines.

Each and every element of your website contributes to a potential sale, so just keep changing and testing until you get it right.

That way you’ll figure out what your customers really want, and you can leave the people who trust their instincts in the dust.