What Are Some Ways to Test Lists So You Can Be More Confident
mail sold. If the file isn't new to the market, always look for relevant continuation usage to support your rationale.
I've based these statements on the fact that the offer is a direct mail-sold catalog or subscription. If this is not the case, then rules/segments may change slightly dependent on your individual offer. Fundraisers may want to segment out $5+ only donors, for example.
A competent broker should lay out all his reasoning for testing for you and be able to back it up with usage, counts, etc."
—Walter Perkowski, vice president, RMI Direct Marketing
"When testing a list, make sure you know where your list broker is getting its lists from! It should always be a reputable company that has relationships with the professionals on its lists. A controlled-circulation list, that offers rich demographic information will also allow you to know who you are targeting and thus you will get a more accurate reading on the evaluation."
—John Gennaro, account manager, DM2
"To be more confident in test results, we always suggest a testing plan that gives you feedback on different segments, frequency, timing and creatives. Do not rely on a one-shot effort to gauge your overall results."
—Kym Vance, vice president, marketing and sales, Datagence
"When using a large direct response file, be sure to tighten the select criteria as much as you can. Rather than selecting recency and donates to "type" of cause, add gender, age 55-plus and any other selects that may be available that make sense. For the test, you want to see that the list performs, and you can always go back and retest with looser select criteria to increase the available universe. If the broader select criteria do not perform—you either will have to put more money towards re-testing or not retest and possibly pass over a potentially winning file."