“Is it worth it?” As an entrepreneur wondering whether to invest the money to “up” the production values on your content, you need to know what difference it will make. But metrics that prove the value of good writing get more and more scarce as you move down the product funnel.
When you’re trying to attract new leads and prospects, good marketers carefully track the results of campaigns. Although there’s more to a campaign than copywriting (notably, the offer and list), internet marketers especially leverage their power of split testing to isolate the effect of each factor. What they’ve learned makes them rabid about the quality of their copy. They know it creates results, whether clicks or sales.
Small business owners setting up their websites, if they think about measuring results at all, hope to avoid the costs simply by adding experienced marketers to their team—marketers whose experience includes measuring results. In this way, they get the benefit of knowing “what works” on a small business website without paying for the research.
When tackling the development of an information product, a speaker, coach or other content expert rarely seeks metrics that prove “what works.” As life-long learners, content experts all too often have a blind spot—they assume they already know what works and don’t go looking for metrics or experts. Instead, they treat writing and editing as commodities: something to bid out on eLance.
And they don’t measure the results. Seeking testimonials, they structure their exit surveys around the results their ideas and content produced. They don’t measure what percentage of their customers “got it” or at least got enough of it to attempt to produce results. Unless they track how many failed to complete their programs, they’ll never know how clear content improves completion, customer satisfaction and revenues.
Does anyone measure these results? You betcha. Remember a decade ago, when personal computer software came in boxes? I worked for a software company whose biggest, most reliable payday came when releasing a new version to be snapped up by eager repeat customers. To increase that payday, we gathered the metrics that revealed what made customers loyal.
Satisfaction came from increased productivity, which depended on speedy knowledge transfer. You might have heard, “nobody reads the manual.” But in our customer base, almost half of them did.
We discovered “those who read” were more profitable customers than those who didn’t. They were more likely to read promotional materials, find success with the demo versions and buy the product. They were less likely to call for support and more likely to figure things out on their own. They were more likely to share what they’d learned with other customers and become product champions.
Sales went up, support expenses went down and loyalty abounded because we gave readers clear content at those critical points. We saw the difference editorial excellence makes over adequacy, and measured the results in revenue.
Are you measuring how fast your ideas roll? Your marketing campaigns are the best place to start. But don’t stop there. Build your information product revenues with editorial excellence that makes your content clear and accessible to a larger percentage of your target market.