Copywriting is the backbone of direct mail, but with more multichannel campaigns, upgraded database marketing techniques and splashy self-mailers than ever before, the written word has become an afterthought. But a simple direct mail copy test is one of the cheaper and smarter moves to make, and it can pay dividends in the ROI department.
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Every once in a while, an intrepid mailer will throw caution to the wind and attempt to encapsulate his experience in product, list, price, offer, seasonality and creative testing. But it is my experience that the relative importance of key factors continues to change, and continuous testing is the only accurate measure of direct mail features.
“You can’t spend money if you’re not making money.” To certain executives, this actually makes sense. But others, the wise ones, know that the time to spend more marketing dollars is when sales are down. Create a plan for your testing that will lead to methodical improvements.
Testing everything deemed to be “test-worthy” may be the most important work in direct marketing. Here are 14 basic rules I presented to 10 managers, copywriters and consultants to evaluate based on their experience. You may want to test or retest these for yourself.