when you think testing is for the birds.
One of the reasons direct marketing is such a robust marketing medium is that it gives you the ability to test and adjust increasing your return on investment. While there is a lot of creativity that goes into writing and designing mail, testing should be a careful and disciplined process.
Here are a few ideas to assure that you are testing properly and reaping the rewards of more effective and efficient direct and digital marketing.
Always be testing.
Every time you are in the throes of a digital and direct marketing campaign, you should have in mind something that you want to learn. Whether it’s testing a new list, trying a variation on an offer, a landing page with new designs and colors, you need to decide what each deployment will teach you about your customers.
Your digital and direct advertising is a laboratory for business insights.
Here’s a few ideas that should make you stop, think and learn.
Digital and direct marketing design conveys marketing messages before the intended recipients are conscious of reading even one word.
While thinking about customer benefits, let the graphics add its muscle, lead their eye into the benefits and the call to action.
The secret is in graphics that pull the reader in and make it easy – easy to see “what’s in it for me?,” easy to read, easy to respond.
Liven up your constructed marketing language.
Variety, surprise and a certain element of entertainment, seduce the recipient. That doesn’t mean “X rated – it’s using design creatively to make the selling sing.
If your content does not make many people sing, using 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 respond to. What they think about your digital and direct marketing is always more important than what you think.
Keep your thinking cap on means, test one item at a time. It may be tempting to test a variety of things in every campaign, but hold back and just try one.
Why only one you may ask? More than one, makes it impossible to know what element is responsible for changing your results. If you use a new delivery channel at the same time you’re trying out a new list, which change will affect your results?
By testing only one change per mailing, you can immediately see what causes your positive or negative results.
Try a too-for, or test against your “control.”
Your control is the digital and direct marketing message that has proven to be a winner. Once you have a winner, you can test a new digital or direct marketing message, or the communication channel used 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 new piece wins, you know you might have a new control and should consider testing the new piece instead.
As you have already surmised, this is a testing discussion that may never end. Use your results to make decisions. There will always be a difference of opinion on creative issues such as how your message is laid out or look like, how long your copy should be, or whether it’s better to use one communication channel to a segment.
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 respond to. Remember, “what they think about your digital and direct marketing is always more important than what you think.”
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