I have yet to meet a lazy marketer, but I have met tons of overworked, not-a-second-to-spare marketers.

If you are among the latter, I have a secret to help you improve customer engagement – even if you don’t have the tools to do a split test. You can use it on any type of campaign – inbound or outbound. It works even if you have very little website traffic. And it can give you just enough information to get moving in the right direction.

It’s simple …

Make one change. See what happens.

I know, I know – that’s sacrilege. You’re supposed to analyze and test and study – it’s an incredibly complex process.

Except it’s not.

Well, sometimes it is … but, when you need to make progress and you have a thousand things to do, you cannot afford to get overwhelmed with the details. Focus on one change. Implement it. See what happens.

Yes, it’s unstructured. Yes, it’s kind of random.

But it’s still testing. And it’s still informative.

Here’s how I used this idea to increase customer engagement on an inbound campaign …

My website is still a bit of a work in progress. In particular, I keep trying to improve the newsletter sign-up.

At first, I thought offering a bunch of downloadable tools would be the thing. Visitors would be able to measure their own KPIs and fine-tune their message-matching and choose the best marketing automation for their business. The tools were good, the information was solid – but the results weren’t so hot.

Yet, since I have been busy trying to launch my consulting practice, there was only so much time I could give to my lead magnet. Plus, I was working with a very small sample size.

So, I decided to just be straightforward. I decided on one change and implemented it. This time, I went for lean and mean: “Sign up for blog updates!”

I waited to see what happened and the results were … not so great. Not worse, though, which was something.

So, I made one change again … this time by introducing a “Lead Generation Machine” email series. Again, I waited to see what would happen … and this one got some traction. People signed up for it and didn’t unsubscribe. Wa-hoo – progress!

Even so, I decided I needed something else, since people were telling me they wanted to sign up for my newsletter but couldn’t figure out where it was.

So, I made another change – I added in a newsletter pop-up. This one said “Get Helpful Hints On Marketing In The Crazy World of Healthcare.” When I waited to see what happened, I was happy to see that I was actually getting more sign-ups.

Were these scientifically analyzed changes? No.

Was I changing just one small thing to do a definitive split test? No.

But I was still measuring the results and I was still making educated guesses.

Here’s another secret: sometimes that’s all you need.

But does it work on outbound campaigns?

I also used this method when testing out an outbound campaign for social media.

I started in April when I had just given a talk at the HITMC conference. Since I needed to broaden my network as quickly as possible, I thought a good starting point would be reaching out to people I hadn’t been able to connect with at the conference.

I messaged them on LinkedIn:

Hi –

I don’t believe we were able to connect at HITMC but I wanted to say hi – I gave a talk on marketing automation. If you’d like the worksheets from it, just connect and I’d be happy to send them to you.


The results were less than fabulous. Some people wanted the worksheets, but the networking I’d hoped for instead came to a grinding halt. No conversation, no emailed interest, no downloads or newsletter sign-ups. Just empty space.

So I made a change. And I waited to see what would happen.

This time, I tried just introducing myself, stating what I did and asking if they or someone they knew were in need of my services.

Interestingly, this approach worked very well for me as an email campaign and brought in some great customers. As social media outreach, though, it was a bust.

Back to the drawing board. I made one more change.

This time, I just asked for a conversation in order to get their perspective on the healthcare field.

I waited to see what happened and – bingo! – that one worked. Suddenly, people I’d never have been able to connect with were happily agreeing to talk with me. And the conversations were incredible!

Throughout the process, I couldn’t afford to get bogged down in the details. So, at each step along the way, I made a change. And then I waited to see what happened.

And it worked.

When to use this secret …

There are still going to be times when you need to conduct an in-depth marketing test. But not everything is one of those times.

Make one change. See what happens.

Use this approach when you are getting really low engagement, so there’s no risk in a radical change.

Use it when you have an idea of what would work and think you’ll see a big enough difference that you can just eye-ball the results.

Use it when you cannot set up a split test but you still need to try something new.

Above all, use it when you are feeling so overwhelmed that you have been avoiding changing anything.

Make one change. See what happens.

It’s not so hard … and it can get you where you want to go.