Getting the biggest bang for your marketing buck

Answered by Brendan Talty

Which elements of my direct mail package should I test first?

We already came to the conclusion that your offer is the best place to get your biggest bang for the buck as far as testing is concerned. That’s not to say, however, that you can’t get a double-digit boost in response by tweaking one of your components. Here’s my hierarchy:

  1. Start with the outer envelope since it’s the “front door” to your offer. Almost 100% of your target audience will at least take a peek at what you say here, so test new messages to break through the clutter. If you don’t create interest here, forget about convincing your prospect to look inside.

  2. Move on to the order form and make it as easy as possible for someone to buy. State your offer in clear, concise terms and – most importantly – highlight a money-back guarantee.

  3. Tweak your letter to make a bigger impact. If it’s four pages, try shortening it to two. Or try a Johnson Box with a jarring message at the top. Do something different!

  4. Don’t make changes to your brochure until you’ve exhausted your other options. This applies doubly if you have an expensive, 4-color brochure where you can expect to pay sizable setup charges to print a short test run.
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