Testing Strategy Summary

Test Marketing Approaches to maximise your return on your marketing dollar

This is one of those things that probably isn’t one of your favourite activities, but for those who embrace it, it’s probably THE most effective thing they can do to consistently increase their sales. In fact, the most successful direct marketers are the ones that relentlessly test absolutely everything to do with the marketing of their business.

5 Rules For Testing Marketing Material

ONE: Only Test One Thing At A Time

Some people make the mistake of trying to test too many things at once. They run an ad and they think that maybe a totally different style of ad might have worked better so they decide to test that completely different ad against the original ad.

They do that and determine which works better. They have a winner but the unfortunate thing is they don’t really know what elements of the winning ad worked best. Was it the headline, the offer, the layout, the body copy or something else. Instead, test just one of the elements that is likely to have the greatest impact on your results. In other words, the headline OR the offer (remember, only one at a time).

TWO: Never Assume

The marketplace is the ONLY judge of what will work and what won’t. Never try to outguess the marketplace. If you do, you’ll come off the second best every time. Even the most experienced marketers in the world are often proven dead wrong when they try to predict which approach will work best.

THREE: Never Stop Running An Ad Just Because You’re Sick Of It. Keep Running It Until It Stops Working

A famous letter selling Wall Street Journal subscriptions ran unbeaten for 12 years and earned Wall Street Journal $1billion in sales. It didn’t matter what they tested against this direct mail piece, nothing would beat it.

FOUR: Have “Rock Solid” Measurement Tools In Place To Start With

Before you start any test make sure you have the right measuring mechanisms in place to make sure you are accurately monitoring ALL enquiries and sales. This can include specially coded ads or marketing pieces that help make it easy to test. You can then ask callers to quote a special promotion code when they order.

FIVE: Make Sure It’s An Even Test

Let’s say you’re going to run a test to see which local newspaper performs the best. You run an ad on the front page of Newspaper A one week and on the front of Newspaper B the next week. One significantly outperforms that other, but unfortunately it isn’t an accurate test. You see, running ads on different weeks means you’ll get different results because timing plays a role in how many responses you get. It’s a similar story with direct mail. If you’re going to test two versions of copy to a direct mail list, make sure you use a sample of the list that is alphabetically segmented or totally randomly segmented. Don’t split test the campaign by postcode because this will tarnish your result. Certain postcodes will outperform others regardless of the copy.