“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” or, in marketing terms, if your conversion rates are lower than the number of hours you slept last night, get some feedback, make some changes, and redistribute and promote.

After my last blog post, Why Did My Email Campaign Fail,” I began considering what can prevent “failures” on the front end and how can that be brought across marketing activities universally?

As we are all aware, email marketing is no longer the single staple in an effective marketing initiative as it was often viewed the past decade. These days, campaigns are developed to reach into every channel and medium available to customers: email, print, PPC, retargeting, social, web, SMS, and everything in-between.

Huge corporations often utilize their marketing budget to do focus groups and consumer surveys to test their tactics and see how the public, or end user, reacts. However for smaller organizations when it comes to content and you’re tight on budget, here are a few keys tips to help you as you’re enrolled in Iteration Intelligence 101.

1. Who is your pilot?

For most organizations, so many resources are dedicated in the development of the latest PPC campaign or Direct Mail initiative that once it’s complete, they’re ready to launch big. This seems like a pretty risky move to just assume that you got it right your first try without getting any feedback from your customers.

I recently heard someone say if you have a $10,000 budget for a marketing campaign, spend $4,000 on the initial project and save the rest for edits, revisions, and a broader rollout. Doing a pilot is basically like doing a test run. You don’t need a billion dollar marketing budget to find your own small “focus” group to test your campaigns and get feedback. See what results you get from your subset and then act accordingly to make it better.

2. Duplicate and Test

This method is a staple of most iteration intelligence. The good old-fashioned A/B testing. Whenever you’re developing a marketing activity, find a few key elements that could be changed to test user engagement. It doesn’t have to be major but elements that would make a difference. Change imagery, subject lines, call to action messaging. Say “Click Here” on one PPC campaign and “Download Now” on another. Make one email subject “Are You Making Your Collaboration Methods Most Successful?” and the other “Collaboration Efficiencies Can Increase Productivity by 15%.” This is an easy way to just let the numbers speak for themselves. See which version gets the most positive results.

3. Never Stop Iterating

Iterating and refining marketing activities shouldn’t stop once you’ve done a pilot rollout and some A/B testing. A great marketer is constantly flexible with the directions needed for the success of their activities. The great thing about marketing content is that the longer it has been published or promoted, the more information and statistics you have about what is working or what isn’t. Always listen to your customers and the numbers you’re seeing. Be willing to make changes 12 months into a campaign. If something isn’t performing as you’d like it to, don’t mark it up as a loss and move on, figure out what ways you can turn it around.

No one expects even the best copywriters, creative directors, and marketing strategists to be able to compile a campaign and roll out it out universally with a 100% success rate. Be prepared to take some measures on the front end to align yourself for a successful launch.

Make adjustments and edits along the way as you begin getting data and feedback to support changes. Remember, being flexible to help achieve the best outcome is key to graduating top of class from Iteration Intelligence 101.

What are your thoughts? Any tips or tricks?