Savvy Marketing Secrets
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The Importance of Testing
How Giving Away an Ebook Called "Murder Your Job" Nearly Killed My Website.

Murder Your Job book coverGiving away an ebook by Fabian Tan, called “Murder Your Job” proved deadly for my website’s list-building efforts. For the three or four weeks that I tested this title, only one person joined my list. Apparently, many of my site visitors were offended by the title – as if news headlines aren’t bloody enough. Obviously they were not fans of “Murder She Wrote.”

Internet marketers tell you to test everything. If you are trying to build a list or get people to signup for your newsletter, your incentive had better be something people want badly enough to give up their personal information, says Dr. Flint McGlaughlin at Marketing Experiments.

When I picked this title as an incentive, I thought it might appeal to the men my website hoped to reach – you know the ones who run a plumbing, contracting or handyman business from a van or a pickup truck. Instead I got a lesson in the folly of trying to be all things to all people.

The pickup truck guys still haven’t found my website. And the nice women I referred to my site who are a lot like me were probably totally turned off by the reference to murder and the blood-red cover.

The irony is that the ebook makes no reference inside to murder and mayhem. Tan describes his book as “your step-by-step personal blueprint to generating an honest Internet income for the long-term.” I was taken with his approach.  He said his goal was to end the confusion internet “newbie’s” face with “the unrelenting maze of courses, ebooks and other assorted sources available as soon as you log in!”

“Who’s right? Who’s wrong? And who’s in it just to make a quick buck from the inexperienced?” Tan asks, as he explains the thesis for his 45-page report. But instead of clearing the air for my site visitors, the title and cover added to the confusion.

 “Murder Your Job” is one of a series of ebook titles that alluded to murder mysteries or spy themes to grab attention. Others have included “Google Assassin,” and "Day Job Killer." Apparently, titles like these have run their course – new ebooks are avoiding the allusions to crime, perhaps because the marketers’ reputations have been slaughtered in the process.

The lesson is that testing is important. It is not always easy to know how your audience will respond, but you can learn from your mistakes.

Marcia Ming, a former business reporter and small business marketing consultant, publishes “Savvy Marketing Secrets.

To get your free copy of "Murder Your Job," or my new incentive, join the Savvy Insider's club here.

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