By Tim Little
Testing Before You Buy Lists Can Reduce Your Risks Exponentially
The measure ability of direct marketing is such an important
element of this business that the word “testing” is commonly used.
Direct marketing is about testing, testing copies, testing
campaigns, dry tests, testing the offer, and testing the list. If
you email to an entire list for the first time to see if the results
fulfill your expectations, you are gambling and this is the opposite
“I’ve got a list to write”, can be said by everyone because
everyone of us compiles lists of friends in Facebook, Twitter,
Outlook contact lists as well of lists of favorite songs, cell phone
numbers, and books.
Prospecting for new customers is a science as far as list
selection is concerned and measurement of response is absolutely
essential because this is a field unique among all fields in
Direct Response Math:
The difference between success and failure can be something as small
as a fraction in 1% of a 100,000 mail or email blast mailing.
Prospecting in direct mail and email comes down to large differences
in small numbers 1/10 of 1% in relation to a 100% whole.
The defining characteristic of testing in direct response
advertising is the reduction of risk since in direct mail campaign
mailing of 100,000 piece could cost your company at least $20,000
dollars when factoring postage, print, paper, lists and mail
preparation. E-mail marketing list costs maybe reduced by the
postage and paper costs but the list and preparation costs can still
The universe for e-mail and mailing lists are hundreds of
millions for consumers in the US only verses millions for
business-to-business lists. Why Test?
There is never and end to testing in direct marketing since
everything is always changing. Much of direct mail testing relates
to prospecting for new customers and there are some basic ways to
improve response when testing:
response per thousand
cost to mail
cost for fulfillment
The rules to
consider when planning a mail campaign:
every mailing that is meaningful to you, test a group of new
lists by demographic data
Only test one
element at a time in a series of experiments like one offer is
made to one list
tests first on markets (lists) and then offers
Do not set a
price for the market – the price is the single most important
element in the offer let the market decide on price by testing
testing test prices both high and low where you think the market
will determine the right price for you.
it is better to send a poor mailing to a good list than a good
mailing to a poor list.
Most of these direct marketing techniques have been tested
and perfected over the last 100 years and they will guarantee you
success in your direct email online or direct mail offline.
professional direct marketing experience began in magazine circulation management from this
he honed his skills in direct mailing list purchasing, testing, and analyzing.
He learned the importance of direct response planning and direct marketing strategies and most importantly, providing a follow-up with back-end analysis, fulfillment of orders and inquiries.
He also gained some valuable job experience with Jackson National Life Insurance as Marketing Database/Direct Mail area and with Alumni Association of the University in strategic marketing consulting.
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