7 Rules to Testing in a Down Economy
Don't be lured into testing a new format or design unless you have done a better than average job of testing lists (both house and prospect files), offers and message positioning/copy platform. Then, it will be prudent to develop some new creative tests to try to move the sales needle north.
2. House Databases Need Top Priority
In an economic downturn, data and its hygiene become even more critical to your ROI success. Understanding key segments and relying on your best customers will get you further ahead than almost anything else. Know who the buyer is and who the decision makers are. If you have a great understanding of your segments, test a referral program to your top customers and watch the results pour in. Combining segments with offers is also a wise idea.
Focus on customer service and retention FIRST in economic downturns. To create raving fans, you need to prove that you care about your customers. If you do that, when you go to them and ask for additional business, referrals and testimonials, they will be more than happy to help. Far too many companies, even in this economy, assume that their customers will stick with them. Don't assume. Actions speak volumes over words. Customer service and retention are areas that are quite testable, yet few firms test enough here.
Segment and rank your customers in importance. All customers are NOT created equal. Considering channel preferences, offer motivators, RFM and other key factors like geography and the aforementioned timing will help your testing efforts. When you hone in on a specific market or audience, you can specialize your offer, messaging and tactics to specifically appeal to its wants and needs. You just may find your loyal regulars ready to spend extra for the something more you suddenly have to offer them.