How do I start testing?

Answered by Brendan Talty

I haven't done much testing yet. Where's the best place to start?

Offer, offer, offer. Nothing in your mail package has as much potential value to boost response as what you are offering to deliver to your prospect. Not the copy, not the design, not the format…if you have only one chance to test, test your offer.

Your offer consists of several elements. Yes, your product or service is certainly a major part, and maybe you can't vary that to a great degree. But price is another huge component of your offer. Will you charge a relatively low price in hopes of generating a huge number of responses and building up your house file? Or will you take the route of selecting a high price point (a good idea if your product is special in some way and there is low price elasticity) and being happy with a small number of orders that deliver a high gross margin per sale? You must decide which path makes best sense for you given the nature of your product and your image in the marketplace.

Then there is the possibility of a premium. "Sign up for our newsletter, and we'll send you five free special reports." Premiums with high perceived value and low production costs offer tremendous opportunity for boosting profitability of your campaign. Be careful, though. If the premium appeal overshadows your main product, your renewal rate could suffer. But feel free to test all kinds of premium opportunities…they don't even need to relate directly to your product or service.
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