Direct mail users may want to do the same, Buoncristiano says, adding that they may also want to try not mailing a particular segment of their file during a specific time period to watch the impact. "Are you still getting the same number of sales?" she asks. "Are these folks getting hit with online advertising? Or do [you] need to mail all of these house file names at the same time?"
3. Cast a wider net. Scott brings up the example of a client who insisted on only contacting chief marketing officers. Marketfish finally convinced the client to contact vice presidents, marketing directors and on down the line—and the results were much better, Scott says.
Buoncristiano expands on that thought, saying marketers should also look at lists that are working and "aggressively" test into either "older recency ranges, expanding into either lower dollar ranges ... or even removing the dollar range."
4. Develop testing data before trying to negotiate a lower list rental. "If you put together a good enough test where you can really track what your overall cost per lead is or what your overall success is, then, after the fact, you'll have a baseline to go back to the list owner," Scott says.
5. Determine the testing dimensions. Goff thinks marketers should ask themselves about these dimensions:
- Creative: There's different elements to test. Is it the package? Is it having an insert or not having an insert?
- Targeting: Am I using a model? Am I using a profile? Am I using a list? Am I using certain customer behaviors or triggers? So, where's my list coming from? (Buoncristiano adds that testing by list source is also a good, but overlooked strategy.)
- Offer: Is it a financial offer? Is it a process benefit? (Goff cites the process benefit of loyal airline customers being able to board the plane first.)
- Response Channel: Am I using a self-mailer? Is it an 800 call-in number? Is it a website? Is it a DVD that I want someone to watch on his computer and then click through to a website?
Marketers can take chances here, for instance, with creative. Scott says one client mistakenly placed only the word "webinar" in its subject header, and the webinar invitation saw an 18 percent open rate and a 6.1 percent clickthrough rate.