Test for Success with Direct Mail Marketing
Testing can help you put the stamp of success on your next mail campaign. Following are some of the most common questions from small and mid-sized businesses, organizations and nonprofits about testing mail campaigns.
Why test direct mail?
The short answer is because you can. With other media such as outdoor or radio, you often have to dive right in. But with direct mail, it’s relatively easy – and potentially cost savvy – to dip your toe in the water before fully committing yourself.
What should I test?
Many marketers test their mailing lists to see which one is most effective in gaining responses. Another popular test subject is the offer. Which works best, a dollars-off offer or a percentage discount or a free trial? You also can use testing to evaluate headlines calls-to-action, formats and campaign timing.
How do I test a mail campaign?
Perhaps the easiest way is to create “test cells” to compare key variables of your campaign. You might, for example, divide your mailing list into four parts and send Offer A to 25%, Offer B to 25% and so on. Just be sure the sample size is large enough to provide “statistical significance” – meaning that the results from the test are likely to be replicated when you mail again to the rest of the audience.
When do I test?
If planning a big campaign, it can make sense – and save dollars – to pre-test on a smaller scale prior to the launch.
Another less formal way to benefit from testing is to track your results on a continuous basis, adjusting as you go. If last year’s campaign drew a great response from a free trial offer whereas this year’s effort featuring a percentage discount gained fewer responses, consider repeating or refining the free trial offer in your upcoming campaign.
Need help? Put our direct mail expertise to the test; contact Allegra today.
With just five seconds — or less — to catch a prospect’s interest, you must first get them to notice you. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the use of eye-catching creative design and clear, concise text.
How do you get there? Try following some best practices for good “creative”:
Focus on the benefits.
Stick to customer benefits in your copy rather than your product’s features. For example, the weight and dimensions of a power drill are far less meaningful than saying it fits securely in your hand with a comfortable grip.
Add contrast to add interest.
Headlines, subheads and quotations will add visual emphasis and draw the reader to your most important information. Add visual contrast by leaving white space and varying the size of graphic elements. For example, two photos of dramatically different sizes on a page are more appealing than two photos of equal size. The “weight” difference also communicates which elements are more important.
Project the right image.
Use consistent typefaces and colors to create an easily identifiable “look” that distinguishes you from your competition. For example, you may want your audience to perceive your company as professional, friendly, corporate, dynamic or cost-conscious. The design you create reinforces these qualities and elicits the appropriate emotional response.
Never forget strategy.
Creative is designed to get results. And you can’t get results without strategy. Here’s how to motivate the desired action:
• Use a targeted list for your direct marketing to avoid waste and reach those most apt to buy.
• Create a sense of urgency. (Example: limited-time offer)
• Use incentives, like cash-back or free additional services.
• Include a clear call to action. Your prospects can’t respond if you don’t tell them what you want them to do or how they should do it. (Examples: Download a white paper, register for an event, make a donation, visit our website or contact us today.)
Talk to us about your creative challenges! Allegra can help.
Sponsorships, donations, pro bono services, discounts and volunteering. These are just a few of the ways through which small and mid-sized business owners can begin to build a profile as a good neighbor in the community.
Besides the “feel good and do good” nature of philanthropic activities, there are business-boosting ancillary benefits. Community involvement can give you the chance to network with other business leaders and may occur by sitting on the board of a nonprofit, for example. In this setting, you contribute your expertise to a clear need and can gain exposure to heavy hitters who could be potential business partners or customers.
Where to Start
With endless ways to share your time and talents, develop a purpose statement for your giving that defines your interests.
Provide opportunities for your employees to give back, too. Encouraging your staff to support your company’s or their own pet projects has shown to increase morale, teamwork, employee retention and satisfaction.
And, don’t overlook professional affiliations. Chambers of Commerce and other business and professional organizations and consortiums require volunteers to survive. Head a committee or help with an event and build important business (and personal) relationships.
For established events, explore sponsorship opportunities. Or, you may be able to pool your resources with other business people and share event space to create a unique experience.
When you and your organization are woven into the fabric of your community, everyone wins. You gain the reputation as a good place to work, allowing you to attract talent and retain top employees, customer satisfaction is higher, and you grow as a business person. Stronger businesses mean a healthier community.
Interested in formalizing a program and materials for your company to give back to your community? Let us know; Allegra can help!
Wouldn’t it be nice if great ideas could come to mind at the press of the button? While this may be a bit far-fetched, there are people out there who seem to effortlessly come up with great ideas on the spur of the moment.
The good news is, their ability to generate great ideas isn’t out of reach. As it turns out, you can easily learn the principles and apply them to your own brainstorming and idea generation to drive better business results.
Allegra Marketing Print Mail will host, “How to Fast-Track Great Ideas … and Make Them Stick,” a comprehensive live webinar to teach you tips and tricks for generating more ideas faster than ever, and how to draw on past experiences to inspire your next big success. This proven formula will transform any audience from skeptics to hands-down believers.
The free webinar will feature world-renowned storyteller Carla Johnson. Her latest book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, sets the benchmark for marketing’s evolving role in business. Today, she travels the world teaching people how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.
No matter what role you play or how much experience you have, you can learn powerful ways to come up with great ideas and pitch them to quickly gain buy-in from peers and managers, helping your organization reach its goals.
We hope you’ll join us Thursday, October 25 at 12 p.m. (ET) for the free webinar. For more information or to register, visit www.allegraideas.com. If you’re unable to join us live, we’ll send you a recording so you don’t miss a moment.