What Are Some Ways to Test Lists So You Can Be More Confident
The 2005 Lists Web Community Marketer's Idea Exchange.
"The obvious answer is to make sure you're testing enough to have statistically reliable responses and make sure each list has a key code (response mechanism) in order to read and evaluate results. Research as much as possible—the better educated you are, the easier it will be to determine which lists to include in your test matrix. Try to test in your 'good' season, although, out-of-season tests can be adjusted. Try for vertical market tests first time in the mail."
—Cheryl Bagdan, senior account executive, exhibit & promotions director, Leon Henry Inc.
"Use a control segment as your benchmark for performance. You need to be able to measure success. When testing two different lists, make sure all elements of the mailing are identical so as not to skew results. This includes quantity, selects, mail piece, response vehicle, call to action and mail date. It should be an 'apples-to-apples' test. Use A/B splits and random nth selects to properly disperse names within file segments. You will ensure that all geographic areas and other elements of the file are weighted equally when evaluating results.
Use statistical models to narrow down your segments to only those with the highest probability to respond. You'll be confident that you're mailing the best possible names from that file, whether it works or not.
From a broker perspective—you need to have the knowledge and understanding of your client, the specific market, the product/offer, and their competition to make the most valuable recommendations on testing lists.
Selections are key. If a test doesn't perform to expectations, a retest, using different selections can sometimes make all the difference."
—List Management and List Brokerage Sales Groups, List Services Corp.
"As a general rule, when testing use the most targeted segment you can for the initial test and broaden out from there on subsequent retests. I'd recommend testing a hotline, definitely paid, and absolutely look for direct