When we talk direct marketing to marketers, the subject of direct mail testing inevitably comes up. For some, it’s all about creative testing, where testing might be tweaking existing creative once a year. For others, it’s a regular creative testing program, with new creative being tested with every campaign. For still others, testing may include offer, copy, contact cadence, list, and predictive model testing as part of the necessary mix. But why this range of approaches and is there a right way?
We find that the frequency and scope of testing depends on budget, your product or service, one’s risk tolerance, and prior experience with testing. This last item is a big one – many people are simply unfamiliar with what a regular testing program looks like and its value.
I like to think of testing as similar to long-term investing in the stock market. With all of the recent attention paid to artificial intelligence, I decided to informally check my theory by asking AI provider ChatGPT about the value of long-term investing. Here are the key value points to long-term investing that came back, with my comments:
- The Earning of Compound Interest – With enough time, the compounding of interest leads to major growth. When we test, we accumulate a long-term knowledge base of what works and what doesn’t.
- Reduced risk – Given time, short-term risk fluctuations are reduced. Same thing in direct mail testing. Each time we test, we learn a little (or a lot) more, which reduces risk.
- Potential for Higher Returns – Long-term investing is associated with higher returns. Same as with testing. When we are in testing for the long-term with a regular, consistent program, we are “in it to win it.”
- Diversification – When we diversify our investments, we reduce our risk. So when we test a variety of items we learn more, which leads to less risk and greater performance in the long-term
- Ability to Meet Long–Term Goals – Long-term investing can help us reach long-term financial goals, like education funding and retirement. Testing enables us to reach our long-term marketing performance goals.
- Peace of Mind – Long-term investment can lead to greater piece of mind. When we run a comprehensive testing program, we have the peace of mind that we’ve left nothing to chance.
The challenge for many marketers is that they are unfamiliar with how to structure a best practice testing program.
That’s why we created Nahan’s Guide to Direct Mail Testing!
In this white paper, we provide an insiders guide to effective direct mail testing for programs of all sizes and across industries. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started with testing or a seasoned pro, our guide will provide you with actionable insights you can implement today.
Learn how the four phases of the testing process work together to drive optimization.
- Post-Campaign Assessment
If you’re ready to test smarter and drive ROI for your program, fill out the form below for the full guide to direct mail testing today!