Creative Tricks of the Trade — Copy
Test those elements first that you believe will make the most significant difference in response. In other words, test the big stuff first.
Don't test the color of your letter's paper stock if you haven't tested outer envelope teaser copy or the lead paragraph in your letter. Here's a list of creative elements to test first:
*Outer envelope teaser copy
*Outer envelope size
*Offer insert vs. no offer insert
* Personalization vs. no personalization
*Pre- or post-mailing postcards
*Adding the word FREE to outer envelope copy
*Window envelope vs. closed face envelope
*Space ad with and without a bind-in reply card
*Live postage vs. pre-printed indicia
*4-color vs. 1- or 2-color brochure
*Free sample vs. no sample
Whatever you decide to test, make sure it's an appropriate test for your audience, offer, format, etc. For example, testing live postage vs. a pre-printed indicia may not be an appropriate test if your mailing format and addressing are not appropriately personal to support the added cost of affixing a live stamp.
These are just a few of the hundreds of tricks of the trade you can use to strengthen your direct response creative. One final tip: Good direct response writers and art directors have reasons for the choices they make. They don't just make decisions on a creative whim. So, don't be afraid to ask them why they chose the envelope size or headline they used. It's all part of the creative strategy.