Several weeks ago a (possibly former) rebill advertiser got his assets frozen. Here’s an excerpt from the CBC article:

…cheated customers out of $450 million in an internet scam where products or services advertised as free trial offers or risk-free — such as health and beauty products — were actually being billed to customers’ credit cards monthly.

Now, obviously, there’s a lot of lessons to be learned here and some very serious allegations. However, I’m not an attorney so I’m not going comment on these legal issues.

There were quite a few rebill advertisers, but he outperformed them. I want to comment on an ethical technique that he used. I just read this article about the advertiser, “What’s he selling now?” that reveals something interesting:

Willms employed rigorous testing to determine what combination of graphics and ad copy resulted in the most sales. Consumers who clicked on an ad would see one of two different order pages, and the company tracked which page was more successful. Willms told the graphics department to make changes based on the results, and a new site was built nearly every day. “That was the number one thing that made Jesse successful versus any other competitor,” says a former employee. “Even now, nobody really puts in the time and energy to continually optimize.”

If I simply told you that the secret to successful landing pages is hard work, you would not have been too impressed by this advice.

But… it really is. You need to constantly test new landing pages. In the last year, I’ve tested over 200 different landing pages on just one single campaign. And, that does not even include the near-infinite combinations of multivariate tests that I’ve done as well.

In summary, split test every day.

One more thing…

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8 thoughts on “The Most Valuable Advertising Technique from a $450 Million Direct Response Advertiser

  1. You are so right it is all about split testing like a boss!

    Please post more…your one of the few with great advice and not just fluff.

  2. Although I’m all for split testing, I wouldn’t test 200 landing pages at once. Work on one variant at a time, that way it don’t get complicated or unorganized.

    I will agree that consistency is one thing some marketers lack, not only in landing pages, but for the most part, making sure the target audience their targeting is the one’s performing what the affiliate’s objective is. — Just my .02 cents.

  3. cool information. how do you build landing pages? i’m realizing now that i need to start doing landing pages, but totally overwhelmed and i don’t really want to use the “stock” LP’s that are available, unless maybe they do convert. i gotta try somethin. any advice matE?

  4. @Simon: Take an existing, free template and start modifying it. Even if you’re new to design, you should be able to test different colors, formats and adcopy.

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