You could be the best marketer in the whole world, or the most knowledgeable sales person ever, but there will still be times when your strategy fails you. Don’t get discouraged. Instead, figure out why it failed and tailor it for something else.
“Be analytical. When something doesn’t work, don’t just toss it out without learning what went wrong. Was the offer not good enough? Was it the wrong medium? The worse thing that can happen is to have a test that you can’t read. If you know what went wrong, you can save money by not making the same mistake again. The important lesson is to create tests that you can read. Don’t test too many variables.
If you’re testing a new medium, such as a co-op, use an offer that has been successful for you in the past. Testing an offer and a medium at the same time is risky; if it doesn’t work, you won’t know what failed—the offer or the medium.
Establish a control that has a history of success. Then test new media or ad sizes with the control offer. Also consider positioning, headlines, and timing—was there a snowstorm that prevented the newspaper with your ad from reaching its full circulation?
Never test too many elements. Having results you can’t read is worse than having an ad that doesn’t work.”
~151 Quick Ideas for Advertising on a Shoestring