Split Testing Lessons From A Homeless Man

Everyday for the past few months when I drive into my office there is an old homeless guy standing on the same corner, wearing the same exact clothes, holding the same exact sign begging for money at a very busy intersection that I pass. While he may or not realize it (I’m sure he does), he is a total marketer and has got me thinking about split testing my landing pages this week.

This guy makes his living by begging for money, and I’m sure he does well enough to survive as he is usually in the same spot. Actually he used to stand a few blocks down the road every day until one day I noticed he started doing a little split testing to see which spot brought him more money. Every other day for a week he changed spots and now I never see him at the old spot. I’m guessing his split testing revealed that the new spot was more profitable (probably because it was easier for cars to stop there).

So he did what a lot of marketers do and found what worked better no matter if it was testing out 2 landing pages, or 2 corners to beg from. The same principles apply for both situations. A lot of people will do a test, find what works best and stick with that and not worry about making great conversion rates even better.

Recently I noticed he took his split testing to the next level. After finding out what corner was best, this week I noticed he had a new sign, although his old sign was next to him on the ground. Each day this week he has switched out the old and new signs, I’m guessing to see which one works best for him. Each of the signs has a slightly different message, but both elude to the fact that he is broke. Possibly changing the verbiage of his sign might help improve conversions.

My point of this post isn’t whether or not you should give money to people begging, but to get you thinking about split testing. If you’re doing split testing with your landing pages and ads, great. Once you find a winning combination, DON’T STOP! Keep testing and making changes. You will never have a perfect ad or landing page until your conversion rate is 100%.

How often are you split testing your landing pages and ads? What tools do you use to track your tests?

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3 Responses

  1. Great post Logan!

    Sounds like he did is homework and has come up with a good plan, now he needs to continue testing.

    For me I found using the free Google website analyzer works pretty well.

  2. I see you’ve met old man Jenkins. I saw him with a white cardboard sign last week, and it said “Wish I had a TV.”

    Now, do you think he’ll get more money, or will someone donate a TV?

  3. I got a kick out of this one. I like that it demonstrates that intelligence doesn’t always correlate with income or social status. Thanks Logan.

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