The Direct Mail Test Part I: Why Bother?

Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It goes without saying that there is a lot more risk in doing the same thing repeatedly than in testing new approaches.  Testing direct mail is critical, and it should begin on your very first piece out of the gate.  Regular testing can increase your odds of being successful on your first mailing, and it can improve results over the course of an entire campaign.

At Datamark, we rely on testing with our clients.  We believe it helps us achieve great results without too much risk, and it also allows the client to see improvement in our results as we work with them over time.

Our first goal in testing is to establish a control, and then continue to test against it to improve results.  It’s also imperative that we test in a way that allows us to isolate the variables of the test and learn from the results.

Whether the test compares a survey to a letter, a plain envelope to a personalized one, or an existing list to a new one, there should be a big enough difference in the component that there is no question when results come back which component made the difference in the results. As we learn from each test, we continue to build a package that improves.

The testing should never stop. If we stop, we are asking for our results to either never improve or slowly go downhill.  So, let’s take the “insanity” out of the equation and make testing a priority.

Stay tuned for Part II of “The Direct Mail Test” where we’ll dive into the testing steps themselves.

Rick Bentz

Rick brings 23 years of experience in market research to his role as SVP of Business Intelligence at Helix Education. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in Finance from the University of Utah.