How I market tested the title to my book

Because a title is incredibly important to market a novel, I wanted to ensure the title I picked resonated with the market.  While I felt great about the title I chose, at the end of the day, determining how effective the title is in grabbing readers’ attention is crucial. 

Here’s how I did it:

After narrowing the title down to two (Deadly Illusion vs Mercy), I created a facebook ad campaign.  I chose facebook because it’s A) Super cheap B) VERY fast (I can find out within 24 hours).  C) Very easy, and very effective.

When I’m market testing something, I want to isolate ONE variable, and keep everything else the same.  In this case, I tested the TITLE.  Therefore, the image, the heading, the quote, everything else that I put in the ad copy had to be identical –ONLY the Title would change.

Before I talk about how I ran the ad, I’ll clarify that I set up a LANDING PAGE in MailChimp for EACH title, so that there was a LINK to click on, and hey, if they were REALLY interested in this book from an unknown author that doesn’t even have a release date yet, they could join my mailing list!  And by setting up two separate landing pages I’d be able to track who not only clicked on the AD but ALSO took the extra step of signing up for the form.  This will be another variable to test in the future, similar to who clicked on the ad, and then BOUGHT The book.

I digress… Back to the facebook ad itself.

I logged into Facebook and Created an Ad Campaign and chose my campaign objective.  For me, I needed to track CLICKS to see which title resonated most with the market.  Therefore, I chose  Campaign Objective: Traffic/Link Clicks (You choose the higher level objective, and then it drills down into a deeper objective.  For more info, see this post.

After that it was very simple. I set up the ad:

  • Running 24 hours starting at midnight
  • Set the daily spending limit to $5 (the minimum)
  • Narrowed down my audience to Women, between the ages of 18-54, and in this example I actually chose people who had “e-readers” in their interests.  This told me my possible audience size, and how many clicks I’d likely get.
    • Important note:  A good click-through rate is between 2-5%.  So Facebook will give you a range of clicks (My example was between 12-44) for each ad.  This click amount will go UP If you spend more money (ie get in front of more people).
  • Set up the LINK to be the landing page I mentioned above.
  • I created the ad itself (Uploaded a book cover mockup that I did, with the TITLE in question), cropped it according to Facebook’s specification.
  • Saved.

I then DUPLICATED this ad set, and simply CHANGED THE COVER IMAGE TO TITLE#2, and changed my landing page to #2.

And then it was time to let them battle it out! Who would be the WINNER? Which title would generate the MOST Clicks???

I ran the ad for 24 hours and got a LOT of information that showed:

  • I had a click through rate of 2.5% (A great CTR is between 2-5%).  Not bad considering I hadn’t even worked on making the Ad as GREAT as it could be!  All I did was test the title!  This tells me I’m onto something.  
  • Deadly Illusion had a 33% better click-through-rate than Mercy.
    • My avg cost per click was $0.33–> Something I can work down further in later ad testing, but not bad!
  • The majority of my users were on android smartphones
  • The majority of my click-throughs were women between 34-54

What’s next:

  • Now that I have my title (yahoo!) confirmed, when I’m ready to set up advertising I will test the bananas out of it.  I’ll test:
    • Book cover (if a cover artist gives two options, for example)
    • Font on Book cover
    • Hook (One line attention grabber)
    • Timing of the ad (later in day? Morning? Day of week, etc..)
    • Audience
      • Interests
      • Authors they like
      • TV shows they like, etc..
  • I’ll continue to test and test, at only $5/day until I maximize my MOST effective AD, to my most effective AUDIENCE.
    • Then, I’ll run the ads with my book live, and continue to track the data.  Only with data, can you see if you are effective!

I hope this overview was helpful!

xoxox Kathy