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Why you have to know your ABT’s!


No, that is not a typo! If only marketing your training business was as easy as ABC. The problem is that I find that once the trainers that I’m working with get their head around marketing they especially love the creative side. The problem is that marketing is also a methodical process, and there’s a science behind it. I believe that that science is actually more fundamental than the creative. And here’s why.

You’ve probably heard before that marketing is mostly about rejection. So, the number one rule of marketing is that you have to test. And test again. And again. If as trainers you want to grow your training business you can’t rely on single campaigns. Here’s what I mean by that: you spend hours crafting copy for the direct mail campaign or your email autoresponder sequence. Then you press the button metaphorically speaking and you’ve put your all your eggs in the one proverbial basket and all your clients and prospects receive the same message in the same way. Does that sound familiar? Is that how you are marketing at the moment? Brilliant if it works. Disastrous if it doesn’t.

So like in many other areas of business we need to spread the risk. And we need to test. We need to find out exactly what clients want and respond to and therefore be in a position to handcraft the optimum solution. How do we do that? Well, we test. If you don’t test, your training business will not grow as well as it could. This is because you will find it nigh on impossible to consistently improve your results if you do not have a process of testing what you are doing.

So we test. In fact we split test.

This means that we test at least two variations of a communication – A and B – for whichever type of direct response marketing we have chosen to use. For example, we send these variations out to different segments of our database simultaneously and we track the results. We then compare response rates.

Remember that you can test the creative copy that you are using, the call to action at the end, the training package or solution you are offering, the fees you are quoting and any extras you are adding. Of course you can also test different segments of your list for responsiveness or media that you are using.

One of the crucial elements you must bear in mind is that you have your control – your ‘master document’ if you like. And on your variations you make key changes to that control around the areas that are likely to have the biggest impact and that you therefore want to test. Remember, don’t test too much at one time. Always measure against your control.

So, by combining your creative talents with scientific rigour, you will find your response rates to your marketing campaigns start to increase. In some cases exponentially. Worth the effort? Definitely. So, remember, A, B and test.

And there you have it: our ABT’s.


Alison Miles-Jenkins
Founder & CEO
How to Market Training

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