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How Do You Know You’re Spending Smart Money?

So you’ve started personalizing your direct mail campaigns. But how do you know if your efforts are effective? That you’re using the right data points? Sending the right offers to the right people? Even if your sales are going up, do you know if they are going up as much as they could be?

This is where testing comes in.

Take image personalization, for example. For some campaigns, swapping out demographic images might have little or no impact on results. If you are marketing automobiles, it may not matter whether you show a man or a woman behind the wheel. More useful might be pairing an image of a minivan with recipients known to have children or marketing hybrids to recipients in areas known for environmental sensitivity.

This is where the short-run capabilities of digital presses can really help. If you are used to printing runs 10,000 at a time, why not use 1,000 pieces each time to test different elements of your message? You want to know things like . . .

  • Does swapping out images based on gender increase the response rate? If so, by how much?

  • How about ethnicity? Life stage? Geography?

  • What if you change the background color? Background images?

  • What if you increase the offer by 10%? How about 15%?

  • At what point does the increased response rate and value per sale not justify the higher level of discount?

These are kinds of questions you want the answers to.

Always test using within the same program rather than comparing to previous programs. Otherwise, there could be other variables (timing, economic conditions, seasonal variation, database shift) that could impact the results, too. If you make more than one change at once, you might not be able to determine which variables are responsible for the change.

Split testing is a critical aspect of any marketing program, so make it consistent. Make it strategic, and make it intentional. Need help? Give us a call!

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