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4 Creative Ways to Split Test Mail Campaigns

split testing mail campaignDirect Mail Marketing Tips: Split Testing

While direct mail marketing can be highly effective, we can't produce a one-size-fits-all formula to success. Whether you are sending direct mail postcards or marketing letters, there are simply too many variables that may affect your results, from the wording of your marketing piece to where you send it, and a hundred other factors. Honing a successful direct mail marketing campaign is quite often a trial-and-error process, testing and re-testing to see what works for your business.

One of the most effective ways to do this is through split-testing (sometimes also called "A/B testing"). Split-testing involves mailing two different versions of your marketing piece (a control piece and a test version) to two segments of your mailing list to compare which piece performs best. Let's explore a few creative ways you can perform split tests to improve your results.

Split Test the Offer in Your Direct Mail Piece

One of the most common reasons marketing pieces get ignored is that the offer is not compelling enough to persuade buyers to take you up on it. Try running two mail pieces with two different offers, perhaps one a bit more enticing than the other. See which piece gets the most responses.

Split Test How the Offer is Communicated in Your Direct Mail Piece

Sometimes your offer is just fine, but it's not being communicated clearly enough. Perhaps it's buried at the end of your marketing piece and readers have lost interest before they see it. Try changing the wording of the offer slightly, or putting the offer in more prominent letters or in a more prominent place. Try integrating the offer into your headline. Test the new version against the old to see if results improve.

Split Test Your Call to Action in Your Direct Mail Piece

You'd be surprised at how one slight change to your CTA might boost your responses. Sometimes it's a slight change in the wording. Sometimes it's asking them to call rather than email. Try varying how you ask people to respond to your offer and see what happens.

Split Test the Demographic You Are Sending Your Mailers To

Another effective A/B testing method is to test the responses of different demographics within your target market. Try sending the same marketing piece to two different demographics or segments of your mailing list (for example, equal numbers of people in a certain age group, two separate zip codes, two different income brackets, etc.). Measure how each group responds. This test can reveal how different people groups respond to your wording; it can also help refine your target market so you're sending fewer pieces but getting more responses.

Final Tips for Split Testing Your Direct Mail

Whatever form of testing you decide to do, keep the following in mind:

• Track your results with a differentiator. This could be a different phone number on each test piece, a different URL or different coupon code.
• Keep your testing simple. Change only one or two variables at a time so you don't lose track of which variable made the biggest difference.
• Keep re-testing. If your variation yields better results than your control piece, make the variation your new control piece and test again. And again.

Get Started Split Testing Your Postcards or Letters

Every time you send out direct mail, whether direct mail postcards, marketing letters, snap packs, pressure seal mailers, mass mailers or whatever, those pieces aren't just marketing tools—they're also data collection tools. When people respond to your marketing, think of those responses as data that can be analyzed to improve your process. By constantly testing and learning from the results, your marketing campaigns should become more and more effective.

For more help in crafting effective direct mail marketing campaigns, call Mail King USA today at (916) 296-0545.

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