Wow . . . Best Construction Blog competition heating up

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The Optinlink plugin is designed to improve response rates — and includes a truly effective split run testing tool.

Last night, our?North Carolina?Construction News and South Carolina Construction News publisher, Bob Kruhm, suggested seven new blog entries for the Best Construction Blog competition. They all certainly qualify, so they’re added to the list — now approaching 30 contestants.

This is both good news and a challenge. The good news is that the competition will truly mean something. The combination of judged evaluation and popular vote will result in a truly comprehensive competition. The challenge is my commitment to review and post a positive report on each blog that has entered the competition. With the late entries (and possibly more over the next couple of days), I’ll have several weeks of reviews to write. ?Fortunately, since the competition voting doesn’t conclude until April 1, I should be able to review every blog, and have some opportunity to write about other things, before the voting closes and the judges report on their finalist recommendations.

Meanwhile, thanks to Tess Wittler, you’ll notice a response function on each of this blog’s posts. ?The Optinlink plug-in is truly elegant in its simplicity and flexibility — and (a marketers dream) has a really solid built-in A/B testing option. Best of all, after I paid the modest fee, I received a really well-written PDF with some solid marketing advice. ?Here is why “skinindustry” (the plugin’s maker) recommends split testing:

If it’s there; test it.?You’ve probably heard about the $500m dollar fitness empire P90X already. But that?empire didn’t come from nowhere…

?The first infomercial was an absolute dud. One of our primary measures of success is ?media cost, and when it started, we paid the equivalent of $250 per order. That’s a tough ?way to make a business when you’re selling a $120 product.?We kept testing and changing the P90X infomercial. We’d do a focus group and fnd out people didn’t understand what equipment they’d need, so we’d add that. Or we’d add a?new, better testimonial from a customer. We started adding people’s homemade YouTube videos. We got the cost from $250 to $225. Then $190. In 2007, our 22nd version of the infomercial clicked. It just took off. Eventually we would get the media cost, net-net, down to under $50 per new customer.?

Of course, as we all can appreciate, it is much harder to test strategies for winning multi-million dollar architectural, engineering or construction contracts than informercial direct-response products, but you can still develop criteria and evaluate options, especially when you are building a system to gather and track leads.

Oh yeah, when you invest in this plug-in from this link, I’ll make some money from affiliate commissions. Don’t worry. Neither you nor I will quit our day jobs because of this stuff. But a great blog can certainly help your business or practice to thrive and sometimes little tweaks and improvements add up to big changes in effectiveness. Test your ideas. You will, over time, win.

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You can still suggest nominees for the 2013 Best Construction Blog competition — but hurry, the nominations indeed close at 5 p.m. on January 31. ?

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