The Direct Mail Test Part II: What Steps Should You Take?

By now, we all understand the importance of testing direct mail. If not, I invite you to take a step back and visit “The Direct Mail Test Part I.” Testing, when done the right way, eliminates risk, unlike doing the same thing over and over again. Testing encourages new approaches and increases the likelihood of a successful campaign.

So, how do you know if you are testing your direct mail the right way?  Building a test approach is a combination of science and art. Let’s talk about the steps involved:

Step 1: Creative A/B Test
Create two different packages (i.e. a letter package and a survey package) and send them to the same target list. Whichever receives a greater response will become your control piece.

Step 2: Creative Component Test
Redistribute the control piece, but this time, incorporate different creative elements. For example, change the personalization or graphics of the outer envelope. Does one drive a better response?

Step 3: List Test
Take the creative winner of Step 2 and distribute it to both your existing list and a new list. Did you get a better response from one list compared to the other?

Step 4: Creative Messaging Test
Revise the inside messaging on your letter or survey. Does it impact the response you receive?

Step 5: Continue, continue, continue…
At Datamark, testing is paramount to our direct mail strategy. If something isn’t testing the way it needs to, we change it. We keep the ideas flowing and the testing in motion.

Direct Mail Testing Plan

As David Ogilvy said, “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

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.