Remember when you were in school and the teacher would give you a math test? Do you remember the term "exponential"? In case you forgot, it means that a small change in one number produces a massive change in another number. For the pizza operator, this means that small improvements to your ads can spit out more money than you're used to seeing.

Here's a test: Read these two headlines from an old ad and pick the winner.

Thousands Now Compete Successfully Who Never Thought They Could

or

How To Get In Shape To Compete Successfully

Which headline do you think pulled the better response? I'll tell you in a minute, but in the meantime I want you to ponder something.

If I told you that a simple improvement to your ads could mean the difference between making $1,000 or $17,000, would you call the funny farm to come get me?

I hope not, because that is exactly how much better the first headline performed. It beat the other by 1,700 percent. But how do they know this?

Because they tested each one.

Nothing else in the ad changed: The company ran the two versions in the same magazine in an A/B split — half the magazines carried one version, half carried the other. But the first one clearly beat the other, like a fresh horse pitted against an old nag.

Pretty impressive, right? That brings us right back to that "exponential" thing. A small change (five words were replaced by seven others) produced a massive profit windfall.

Why is that? Who knows. But while most business owners sit around and think until they come up with a brilliant idea or marketing scheme and then plow their whole marketing budget into it and cross their fingers, others test the marketplace and ask, "What exactly it is that you want?"

Customers will always respond to what they want, the offers they like, the prices they're willing to pay, and the headlines that catch their attention.

Testing your offers, prices, headlines and product in the marketplace will produce that phenomenon that Einstein called "the most diabolical thing the human mind has ever conceived" — exponential growth. And the really nice thing is that it's your bank account that's benefiting.

Testing, testing

Everything's worth testing. Test your ...

· menu items
· prices
· offers
· guarantee
· headlines

Test small, then roll out the winners. The numbers will always hold: If you mail 1,000 ads and get 50 responses, 10,000 ads will pull 500 responses.

When you try this, you will see shocking results. Maybe one offer you never tried before will out-pull anything you've ever done by 1,700 percent. If so, give yourself an "A" and pop a dunce cap on your competitors' heads.

Kamron Karington is a marketing specialist and former owner of two pizzerias. He is the author of "The Black Book: Your Guide to Creating Staggering Profits In Your Pizza Business."

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