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Testing for Direct Marketing

Do you test?

Do you include testing in all your marketing programmes?

If you don’t, then quite simply you are missing a massive opportunity.

With testing, you can ignore your instincts and find out what your
customers and prospects really think about your campaigns...
…after all, their opinions are much more important than yours…

These days, testing is an absolutely vital part of any marketing
programme. Yet, very few people use it properly - and some don’t use it at

Let’s face it, no matter how talented you may think you are, it is unlikely
that you are going to get it right first time. In fact, it’s odds-on that you

The benefits of testing are vital.

Testing is the rock on which we built our direct marketing ‘church’.

Yet, countless campaigns are launched every day, with no thought at all
given to “learning”. Learning what really works ... what really gains the
largest number of responses, the most qualified leads, the most sales.

To go to market without a test is a sure-fire way to waste an awful lot of

The concept of testing in direct marketing.

Testing is not an exact science. But it doesn’t need to be.

Do not expect 100% measurable results, because it won’t happen.

You test to acquire knowledge. To learn more. To become smarter.

Before the tactics of any campaign fall into place, you must have a
strategy. A plan of action. This should also include a plan for testing.
Think. Plan. Organise. But first, plan your test. It will eliminate the

Why should you test?

You test, because no matter how well you think you know everything,
you’re almost certainly going to be wrong a lot of the time.

You test, because no matter how well you plan, everything costs more than
you planned. You test, because no matter what happened before, results
this time could be different.

And you test, because the individuals that make up your target audience,
don’t necessarily feel the same way about you, your products and your
offers as you think they should…

What can you test?

You can test pretty much anything. The sky’s the limit.

Here are just a few of the things you can test:

1. Direct Mail
Outer envelope test: Copy. Creative. Images. Colour.
Letter test: Copy. Headline. Opening paragraph. Offer.

2. Email
Email test: Subject line. Sender name. Headline. Copy. Offer.

3. Ads
Ad test: Layout. Headline. Copy. Images. Offer. Call to action.

4. Complete Campaign
Creative 360° - a straight evaluation test: A against B. All elements.

5. Website
Website test: Overall appeal. Copy. Landing pages. Use of colour.

6. Door-drop Leaflets
Creative appeal. Front cover. Offer. Copy.

7. Inserts
Creative appeal. Front cover. Offer. Copy.

8. Posters
Creative appeal. Stopability. Headline. Copy.

9. TV & Radio Ads
Creative appeal. Understanding. Copy.

When should you test?

Anytime you have a campaign, you should incorporate testing within it.

Obviously, in your industry, some times may be better than others. And you will know those times. But, every time you run a campaign, you should be testing something.

Because you will always learn something…

With testing, there are no failures - only lessons. So, test as often as you

Testing allows you to make informed, intelligent and profitable decisions.

Don’t forget! In any test you are comparing “A” to “B”. Your test results will show you what works. Instead of guessing, you will know.

Testing will also tell you what doesn’t work. This, of course, is equally
important, as it will ensure you don’t repeat the mistakes of the past.



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