When to Start from Scratch

On this site, we write a lot about testing. We are big fans of testing. That’s no secret.

Testing is the best way for marketers to get more value out of what they’re doing. And with new technologies, we have better ways to test, track, analyze, measure, and take action on results. Almost every single thing marketers do in some way lends itself to testing.

But here’s where testing, in the traditional sense, falls short.

Sometimes, you need to start over. You need to start from scratch.

Testing is great for making tweaks to a page, an email, a script, etc. It’s great when you have something in place which can be measured and improved upon.

But what if…

  • What you have is not working?
  • What you have now does not fit a new market?
  • What you have now does not work with a new product?
  • You’re trying something brand new and you don’t have anything already in place?

Testing still works in these situations, but in a different form. It’s time to start from scratch.

When starting from scratch…

  • Ignore what you already have
  • Read up on best practices
  • Consult several different members of your team
  • Consult people outside your company from different backgrounds
  • Come up with multiple solutions and show them to potential customers/users

Here is where you can test. Instead of testing a single element of a page or email, you are testing completely different versions. Use the test to find the version that works best and then you can start to tweak individual elements of the winner.