The third lever is rapid feedback.
Have you ever been pulled into a Facebook Ad funnel because it did such a nice job of describing a problem you had?
Of course there is a ton of junk, but if an ad funnel has been running for a long period of time, it’s a great indicator that that approach is working and has been refined over a period of time.
Ads naturally provide rapid feedback along a variety of measures from engagement to conversion. Not only are you segmenting who receives those ads with very specific filters, but you are paying for it, so you are forced to pay attention in order to not lose your shirt.
From $2m in debt to 1m paying subscribers
A favorite example of mine is how P90X reached a tipping point of success. Carl Daikeler, the now founder and CEO of Beachbody, started as an informercial guy.
It took $2 million and 22 iterations of the informercial to find the right mix of content that could get the type of person that watches fitness infomercials to buy a DIY fitness info product.
Focus groups and real time sales data were used in between iterations to better understand what wasn’t working.
In 2003 to 2006 this was considered rapid feedback. Here’s how I imagine the iteration process went:
First iteration series
- Feedback: Wait, so what is it?
- Takeaway: We need to do a better job of demo’ing the product, explaining the content of the product, how the schedule works depending on your goals, and not just showing that it’s DVDs and a booklet.
- Action: Tell a story, from unboxing the product, to change in daily habits using the product, to ultimate result.
Second iteration series
- Feedback: People would watch an early iteration and have no idea this was something you could do in your home without expensive equipment.
- Takeaway: Okay – we need to make it clear you don’t need equipment.
- Action: Make informercial documentary style, have interviewees specifically say they loved that they didn’t need fitness equipment and could do it anywhere.
Third iteration series
- Feedback: It’s a home workout? How is this different from other home workouts I may have tried?
- Takeaway: We need to convince people this actually works, that they can get stronger and leaner at home.
- Action: Get before and after photos of P90X’ers showing it works.
Implementing rapid feedback
Okay so you’re not going to go out and buy ads to your content. But what other ways can you incorporate rapid feedback into how you approach content going forward?
Off the dome:
- look at how articles perform in organic search after 30, 60, and 90 days out and what patterns might exist based on post type, post content, or post length
- look at emails that got the most replies as a measure of engagement, reading through the top 10 or 20 in the past year or two, do you notice anything about those?
- ask. Only your audience knows how relevant content from the past few weeks has been for them
Gathering (rapid) feedback and acting on the takeaways demands you pay attention to what’s working and what’s not.
How about you? Have these emails been relevant to what your trying to do?