For use in email, social, direct mail or any other channels of choice.
One of the reasons direct marketing is recommended to use with today’s many communication channels is the ability to test. Testing allows adjustments to be made creating an increase in your marketing dollars.
While there is a lot of creativity that goes into writing and designing communications, testing should be a careful and disciplined process. Here are a few ideas to ensure that you are testing properly and reaping the rewards of more effective and efficient direct marketing tactics.
1. Always be testing. Every time you send a message to your prospects and customers, you should have in mind something that you want to learn. Whether it’s testing a new list, trying a variation on an offer, or using another channel, you need to decide what each communication will teach you.
2. Test one item at a time. It may be tempting to test a variety of things in every message but this makes it impossible to know what element is responsible for changing your results. If you use a new subject line at the same time trying a new segment, which change will affect your results? By testing only one change per message, you can immediately see what causes your positive or negative results.
3. Test against your “control.” Your control can be an email that has proven to be a winner. Once you have a winner, you can test other email messages or formats against it. This works like a contest, with the old and new competing against each other. If your control wins, you know you should continue using it. If the challenger wins, you know you might have a new control and should consider emailing the new message or format instead.
4. Retest “winning” communications. Whenever you have a new email message or format that outperforms a standing control, it’s important to retest to make sure the results hold up. This is most important when the results between the old and new are close or if you’re not confident about the statistical validity of your test. If a second test shows similar results, you can be far more certain that you have a new control.
5. Never shelve past communications that work. It’s understandable that you could be tired of your current communication and you want to try something new. But you should never make a change in what you’re using until you find something that works better. Sometimes a simple change of the offer or channel can provide exceptional response. The response numbers and sales figures should be your guide.
In our next post one week from today, I’ll present testing ideas number six through ten. In the meantime if you would like to know about direct marketing tactics that have proven successful for many years in direct mail, visit DMCM for additional articles. Just hover over the tab and a pop up will give you more articles to read on direct marketing and mail.
Thanks for reading and please share with others. Stop by on November 12th for the rest of the story.
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.