4 Questions (and Answers) About the Direct Mail Test
The direct mail test is making a comeback in 2010. After the May DirectMarketingIQ webinar, Direct Mail Testing in 2010 - Copy, Offer, Lists, Formats, Personalization and More, two prominent direct marketers—Grant Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Direct in Milwaukee, and Steve Cuno, founder and chairman of RESPONSE Agency in Salt Lake City—took on questions that you might have yourself before testing your next campaign.
Both believe that with reduced competition in the mailbox and e-mail essentially failing as a prospect tool, 2010 can actually be the year when response to direct mail picks up, especially if you test and do it right.
1. Do you look at response rate or profit per million mailed or profit per order when evaluating results?
Grant Johnson: I look at all and present to management the metric that is most meaningful first. But make sure to make a case for all. Response rate is not as critical, in my opinion, as the other two, although it can greatly influence your profits.
2. What can I do to convince my company to start reinvesting the marketing budget back into direct mail instead of throwing the entire marketing budget at Web marketing?
Grant Johnson: Make a compelling case for direct mail's accountability, and show them what your competitors are doing—or not doing—to make your case. Talk about the "controlled failure" aspect of direct and the "real world focus group" benefit it delivers. Also, direct mail is the best way to drive more site visits; even Facebook users are finding that out. Present a compelling case, supported by statistics you find.
3. I've heard that a different headline would pull up to six times more than another. Is this true?
Steve Cuno: A headline change can certainly do that. Headlines (and, in a sales letter, the P.S.) are read first, so that's where you'll see a good deal of impact. Even changing a single word in the headline can make a significant difference.