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Ask DiamondLinks: How Do I Effectively Test Something?

Today’s question for Ask DiamondLinks comes from a user submitted question, and it asks: “You’ve talked about testing before. How do I effectively test something?”

That’s a fantastic question. For me, I talk about testing a lot. Some examples of what we test at DiamondLinks include:

  • Comparing subject lines for email blasts
  • Selecting between two or more images
  • Picking what particular links to use in content
  • How many words a piece of content should be

I want to test everything. If we’re trying to secure a link for a client, I want to know why we secured the link, or why we didn’t secure the link. If we’re putting up a new page, I want to know what color resonates with people over a different color. Before collecting the opinions of others, you have to remove your personal opinion first.

Removing Your Opinion

One of the hardest jobs about making a business decision can be removing your own personal opinion. I once had two logo variations I was trying to decide to use for a business. The logo I really liked was green and yellow. It blended well and it looked professional to me. The other logo, a pink and blue logo, I did not like. Well, I put both of those up to be surveyed. The logo that was pink and blue got an 85% response rate. The green and yellow logo that I liked: 15% of the people agreed with me.

What would you do if 85% of the people wanted one thing and you, along with 15% of people, wanted the other? I chose the pink and blue logo. It was what people seemed to resonate with, and if they’re looking at a logo for comfort, trust and reliability, that’s what I want to portray… even if I personally was not a fan. But how did I get these responses in a quick, easy and affordable way?

Mechanical Turk

One of the best ways that I’ve found to test everything is through Mechanical Turk. Mechanical Turk is a program from Amazon that allows you to pay people small amounts to do a small job. I use it as an easy test to ask for surveyed opinions. That’s how I choose logo colors, fonts and wording. Now, there is some caveat to trusting the wisdom of random strangers on the Internet, but I haven’t run into any problems using Mechanical Turk.

We made the below how-to video to utilize Mechanical Turk to crowdsource surveying.

As you can see, testing doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does have to be purposeful. You have to know what you want to test and then how you are going to put forth that test. Remember, testing:

  • Doesn’t have to be scientific.
  • Doesn’t have to be long.
  • Doesn’t have to be difficult.

In the span of ten minutes, you can set up and implement a Google form, design your question(s), submit it to Mechanical Turk, pay a couple of bucks and have responses.

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