What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
In the marketing world, companies fall victim to “insanity” far too often: running the same direct mail campaigns over and over again, expecting a different result.
Sound familiar? Well, it’s time to end the madness.
To continually drive traffic and conversions, adept marketers have to keep testing different strategies and tactics. That’s the only way to maximize marketing spend and ROI.
One effective testing approach is A/B testing.
What is A/B testing?
Finding the perfect direct mail piece or offer can feel like an uphill climb. Fortunately, with A/B testing, you can tinker, refine, and optimize your direct mail campaign until you have the best possible advertisement.
True to its name, A/B testing is the process of segmenting your audience into two groups (e.g. group A and group B) and sending each group a different version of an advertisement. The better performing version becomes the control group – the benchmark for future tests.
Here are three tips to keep in mind when you perform A/B testing.
Before you dive into A/B testing, it’s important to set goals first. Every experiment needs an underlying goal. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? How much traffic? Be specific.
Do you want more readers to provide an email or download your app? How many emails or downloads? Be specific.
Determine what you ultimately want to accomplish before getting started. Keep in mind, the larger the sample size, the more reliable the results. For instance, 20,000 mailings will provide more reliable results than 2,000.
Experiment with different offers
As any marketer can attest, there are a ton of different types of offers. Freebies, limited-time offers, special enrollment periods – the list is long. So, here’s a brief list of examples to give you some ideas:
- Discount on a product/service (e.g. 20% off or $50 off)
- Discount on second product/service (e.g. buy one get one 50% off)
- Free coupons
- Free gift
- Free trial
- Limited time offers
Once you compile the base of your direct mail ad, tinker with the promotion. For instance, you could have one group receive a discount while another could receive a free trial.
Mix up your presentation
Your ad’s presentation can be just as much of a factor as the offer. Formatting, headlines, wording, and imagery can all impact someone’s interpretation and engagement of your direct mail ad.
Try mixing up your headline. The impact of one keyword can’t be overstated.
If you decide to alter your presentation, make sure this change is the only variable you test. Otherwise, you risk compromising your results (i.e. you won’t know if it’s the presentation or the offer that’s driving results).
The effectiveness of A/B testing lies within the commitment to changing only one aspect of an ad.
Test, test, and test some more
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one demographic may not vibe with another. That’s why it’s important to keep testing.
That’s the only way to continually improve your direct mail advertisements.
Here’s a quick four-step summary of A/B testing with an example:
- Segment your target audience into two groups (group A and group B).
- Pinpoint one element of your direct mail piece to alter. For example, let’s assume you’re advertising a $50 service. You could mix up your promotion’s offer: group A will receive a “$5 off” discount, while group B will receive a “10% off” discount. Both equate to the same discount – but they’re presented in two different ways.
- Ensure you can track attribution. Otherwise, you won’t know which version is performing better. Try using unique QR codes or personalized URLs for each group.
- Run your test. Compare your results against each other and your goals. The winner becomes the control group.
Interested in learning how to make this happen for your company? We can help! Reach out to learn more.