Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.


Power Direct Marketing: The Book

How to Test Your Offer

If you’ve prepared a break-even budget or a profit and loss forecast, taking great care with the relevant details, you’ll know exactly what response you need from your promotion to be successful. To be profitable.

The response target is simply the minimum figure you are prepared to accept from your promotion. Knowing what this figure is and actually achieving it, or bettering it, are different matters.

You may feel, based on your experience, that the response is bound to exceed quota. On the other hand, you may not be at all confident that the results will exceed your targeted response rate. Either way, you can virtually eliminate the risk of an expensive flop by conducting a pre-promotion test to establish what the response rate is likely to be.

In effect, direct mail testing is another form of market research. The results can be a reliable guide to what you may expect, because direct mail tests are similar to full-scale promotions.

In direct mail testing there is the distinct advantage that you have almost total control over distribution. This means you can select samples from the market universe (the mailing or telemarketing list) in the quantities you require and in a fashion which produces a valid, representative sample.

In testing it is important to concern yourself and your project with only the BIG differences. Test the "need to know" things and save those that would be "nice to know" for a later time.

Here are some of the many types of things you can test:

  • product features and benefits
  • price
  • discount plans
  • terms of service
  • copy approach
  • postage rate
  • gift certificates
  • 800-number toll-free telephone service
  • stuffers for other products
  • limited-time offer
  • lists
  • new market categories
  • methods of payment (cash, check, money order, purchase order, credit)
  • credit terms
  • guarantees
  • warranties
  • additional order forms
  • contests, sweepstakes, drawings
  • format, layout, design
  • up-front advertising specialties
  • back-end premiums or gifts
  • media: mail, space, phone, broadcast
  • testimonials
  • case histories
  • outbound telemarketing
  • men vs. women
  • age groups
  • job functions
  • geography/marketplace
  • seasons

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