For use in email, social, direct mail or any other channels of choice.
(Continued from November 5th, 2013.)
6. Watch what others are doing. You can learn a lot about what works and what doesn’t by paying attention to the communication methods of your competitors. You can even learn a few tricks from marketing tactics in totally different industries. But use this only as an idea source, not as a means of making decisions about what to do. Other businesses may not be as smart about testing as you are. If you see a competitor using something over and over, you should always test the idea before adopting it.
7. Test something “out of the box.” Most of your testing will be about making small changes to your message, design or photographs. But now and then, you should consider trying something completely new. If you’re using a self-mailer in direct mail, try a complete designed direct mail package or even a dimensional mailing. How about a different offer? Or a radically different copy approach? Sometimes an idea you think won’t work ends up being the very idea that works best. Visit a recent post “Tools of Engagement” for additional ideas.
8. Track your results. You should try to keep a detailed report for each message and its channels. This should include the number of messages you send, your total number of responses, actual sales data, your costs, the net dollar return, and every other piece of data that you will need. Not only will this show you how well your marketing message performs, over time this data will become a gold mine of marketing information.
9. Keep testing. Trying out new ideas and tracking results is part of marketing communication. It’s an ongoing process. Even when you have a solid tactical message and channel that has been working for a while, it’s vital to consider new formats, new offers, and new creative approaches that might improve your results. Every direct marketing communication, no matter how successful, will eventually fatigue. If you don’t have testing results to fall back on to find a new message and channel, you could face an expensive and prolonged testing period where you are struggling to discover what works. Here are a few other ideas on direct marketing and testing.
10. Use your results to make decisions. There will always be a difference of opinion on creative issues such as how your overall message should look, how long your copy should be, or whether it’s better to use email or something social. With good testing, these debates can be resolved by simply looking at the numbers. This is your customers’ way of telling you what they like and what they will respond to. What they think about your direct marketing communication is always more important than what you think.
Testing and using analytics must be in the forefront of any small business marketing program. Data stimulates ideas and great discussions within your marketing team giving more ideas ready for testing. Analytics are especially useful with lead generation programs used in B2B Marketing.
Thanks for reading and please share with others.
Everything marketing starts and ends with your customers… cater to them, listen to them and react to them. The results will amaze you.
© 2013 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Solid Stock Art, Windows Clip Art, HubSpot or John Deuerling.