Combined Direct Response Marketing And Testing

Of all the mistakes a small business owner can make, possibly none will cost more than failing to test one aspect against another. In order words, testing one price against another. One headline against another. One ad against another.

There is an “A-B” test. That’s the common terminology for testing your offer, headlines, pricing, ads, or services. We create two different ads, an A and a B, two different headlines, and two different mailings to determine which obtains the greater response or sales or referrals.

The key to an A-B test is to set it up so you can quantify and measure it properly and track those results with the goal of zeroing in on the one or two choices that are preferable over the others.

Then you roll out a new untested product or marketing strategy in this manner, and by mailing to a small test area, say 1,000-5,000, you can save yourself in the event of a failure untold thousands of dollars.

Most of the time you can conduct multiple A-B tests simultaneously on the same product, ad, headline, price, etc. before selecting the final strategy. I recommend if your product or service is conducive to this type of approach, in other words, creating a modest direct mail campaign for conducting the A-B test to do it.

Direct mail is the method of choice because it can be put together relatively quickly and inexpensively.

The prospects to whom you direct your mailing to in a one-step approach will either respond or not respond with a purchase or inquiry. No intermediate steps, calls or visits. That way it involves a fairly standard set of steps or procedures to take.

Our two major goals in using A-B tests are to verify what people will actually buy and determine whether we are able to reach these individuals with the marketing campaign that we intend to launch so that they will buy from us.

In other words, we like to think of the purpose of an A-B test as a way to uncover the best and most profitable mix of products, services, price incentives and guarantees that will encourage our prospects to buy, buy now, and buy from us.

A word of caution: many organizations try to determine this information by sending out surveys. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. There are statistics that show that people rate the Bible as the highest read book and the National Inquirer as the least read. When you look at purchase statistics, they show that more people read the Inquirer in one week than all the Bible-toting devotees have ever read in the past 2,000 years.

You don’t necessarily want to determine who will buy things just by a survey. You want them to vote with their dollars.

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