Remember those “Glory Days” back in high school? Just breathing the word “test” was enough to make you cringe.
Now – fast forward to your professional life, especially if you work in direct marketing, and suddenly testing is your new best friend!
The recent economy has forced companies in every industry to be more careful with their marketing budget than ever before – no more “hoping for the best.” Quantitative, measurable marketing is the watchword today. And we’re here to help. I recently compiled some tips and techniques for an article called Testing for Success in Deliver Magazine. Following is a quick summary of some of the key points.
When you want to spend your marketing dollars wisely (and who doesn’t?) it’s important to know why your marketing campaign — in any medium: digital, direct mail, broadcast — is working and how to get even better results.
How do you determine the why & how? It’s getting more complex.
Classic testing techniques, honed over decades of implementation in direct mail, can help you achieve direct response testing success in any medium. A few of these testing principles include:
- A/B Splits (baseline control mail sample is tested against several single-variable changed options)
- Multivariate Testing (multiple design elements are changed at the same time)
- List Segment Testing
Today, along with the media we use, testing has evolved as well. While testing has been a crucial discipline in direct mail for years, new consumer habits make testing even more essential. Multiple mailings, integrated campaigns, and shifting audiences all contribute to the need for reliable tests that reflect the current media reality. So, savvy marketers are accounting for a growing variety of response options …
- QR Codes
- Toll-free numbers
- In-person walk-ins
- Social media
- Text messaging
… and suddenly, measuring a response marketing campaign can be very complex and confusing!
The one key idea to keep in mind: focus!
It takes a lot of patience and creativity to create tests that produce quality results in the current marketing environment. On behalf of our clients, the team at DMW Direct is increasingly structuring tests measuring cells across creative positioning, various offers and incentives, one-step packages versus lead generation, as well as exploring new areas of concept testing. Taking an out-of-the-box approach isn’t always easy, but it gets results for the client.
If I could highlight one critical piece of advice when it comes to creating direct response testing success it would be to stay focused. If you can learn a little … isn’t a lot even better? Practically speaking: no. It’s so easy, and tempting, to dig deeper and uncover more. But so quickly, the details morph into minutiae. You really have to weigh the real world impact of potential findings and probe whether what you’re about to test is really going to move the needle.
Is there more? Of course, but too much for this post. For more about direct mail testing … check out Testing for Success in Deliver Magazine.