Direct Mail Campaigns

Testing can be an excellent way for you to fine-tune your direct mail marketing strategy.  The results can provide you with a wealth of valuable information that can inform you on how to achieve more successful campaigns.  If you aren’t testing your direct mail campaigns already, you definitely should be.  Today, we’re sharing a guide of what you need to know about direct mail testing.

Why Test?
Have you ever wondered why some of your past campaigns performed better than others?  Have you ever been disappointed in a campaign’s results?  Do you want to change your mailers but worry about getting poor results?  Testing can help you answer this question and solve these problems because it allows you to identify what is and isn’t working in your direct mail campaigns.  You may have had some mailers that performed better than others, and without knowing what led to those results, it’s hard to replicate that success.  It’s impossible to continue executing profitable campaigns with high ROIs without understanding the science behind a winning mailer.

Additionally, running tests can be beneficial if you’re trying to mix things up with your direct mail strategy.  Experienced marketers know that experimentation is necessary to grow and evolve a brand and its marketing presence.  However, you want to take smart risks, not just “wing it” and hope for the best.  Experimenting with ads sans a solid plan can be a costly mistake.  By testing, you can try out new mailers to measure their efficacy.  It’s a much lower stakes way of taking a risk, and the results will tell you if it’s a change worth implementing across all of your direct mail campaigns.

Types of Tests
A/B tests, also called split tests, are a great place for beginners to start.  In an A/B test, split your mailing list in half.  Create two mailers that are identical save for one element.  You can test whatever you want – offer, font, color, etc. – but make sure that you only have one variable.
One group gets the first version of the mailer and the other gets the second version.  After they’ve been delivered, monitor results to see which yields the most responses and sales and produces the highest ROI.

If you want to test to experiment with a new style and strategy, you’ll want to do a control group test.  Like in an A/B test, you’ll divide your list in two and each half will get a different mailer.  Send one half of the list a mailer from a past successful campaign; this will serve as your control group.  Create a brand new mailer and send it to the other half, the experimental group.  After you review the results, you’ll get a sense of whether or not making a change is a risk worth taking.  If the control group mailer is more successful, you’ll know that this isn’t the right change.  You can continue running control group tests until you find a mailer that beats your current strategy.

Tracking Results
It’s crucial that you establish a way to track your results; otherwise, you won’t be able to determine which mailer is more successful.  There are different ways to do this based on how your offer can be redeemed and how you want your mailer recipients to contact you.  If the mailer CTA is to call you, give each mailer a unique phone number.  If the goal of your mailer is to get people to make an online purchase or fill out a form on your website, you can use different coupon codes or have different landing pages.  However you decide to do this, make sure that the results will be easy to read, and you won’t have any trouble distinguishing where your responses/sales came from.

If you need help improving your direct mail strategy, we’re here to offer you guidance and assistance.  Contact us today.