Troubleshooting

My descent into Bizarro World continues.

The campaign I've been chronicling here has rolled into Day 3 without managing to generate a single sale.

I have literally never seen this before.

Even in cases where the offer isn't a great fit, or the price is too high, there's usually SOMEONE who's willing to roll the dice and try it out.

My hypothesis is that this is purely an issue with the price.

First I have to rule out any kind of technical issue though.

So how do you troubleshoot in a situation like this?

The way I approach it is start at the top of the funnel, and work my way down.

First thing to check is the emails themselves.

Are the emails getting delivered?

Are the links working properly?

The open and click rates look fine here. Not stellar, but well within the typical range for this list.

Then I zoom in on the links themselves.

Does clicking the links take me to the correct sales page?

Are there any mangled characters in the URL?

Are there any JavaScript errors on the sales page that might break the checkout function? (This one can get geeky, but I've seen it happen several times.)

Are the “buy now” buttons clickable and hooked up to the shopping cart?

Now I look to see how many people are clicking through from the sales page to the checkout page.

Does this percentage look healthy?

(It does.)

Is the advertised discount showing in the shopping cart correctly?

(It is.)

Does the shopping cart allow you to check out correctly? Sometimes a payment processor will go down, or start errorring out.

The best way to check all of this is to actually step through the entire process as a subscriber would—starting with one of the emails you've sent out, and continuing through punching in your credit card and making the actual purchase.

Skip steps “because you already know they're working,” and it'll end up biting you in the backside.

Also, stay alert for questions from your subscribers. If someone reports an error or a problem, that usually means 40 other people had a similar issue and just bailed on the purchase.

At this point though I've checked all of this stuff as best I can.

So the next step is a live “sanity test”:

Drop the price crazy low for a couple of hours and see if anyone bites.

I never put prices in the actual emails for this very reason, so it's just a matter of updating the sales page and shopping cart.

This is a double test. It eliminates technical issues as a problem, and it also helps you see if price sensitivity is the main obstacle.

So I'm working with this affiliate to get him to test out a 90% price cut for the morning, to see if a few sales come in.

At this point it's too late to salvage this particular promo.

I would really like to understand what is going on here though.

Any info I can glean will give me good insights for next time around.