All blogs

Clicking with Customers?

No more guessing: Find out what clicks (and sticks) with your customers by testing.

Think you know what clicks with your customers? If you think you know, you might want to think again.

Unless you are actually doing regular testing of messages, offers, and variables, you are only guessing. If you think you know how your customers behave, you might want to test to be sure. Otherwise, you might be in for some surprises.

Deliver magazine ran an article on an insurance company that was acting on conventional wisdom that more colors equals better response. But when it tested two different packages — one with color and one without — it found that conventional wisdom didn’t hold for its target audience.

In the test, the company sent two test packages to lapsed group plan members. One was a two-page letter contained in a plain envelope. The other was a more colorful promotional package with full-color brochure. The company tracked response all the way up to actual sale and found that the simple letter in the plain envelope performed two to three times better than the full-color package both in response rates and conversions.

A national carpet brand also used testing to change the direction of its direct marketing. The company was developing educational pieces to leave behind with prospects after in-home consultations. It wanted to know whether, at this stage of the sales funnel, an educational approach or a direct sales approach (a direct call to action) was more effective.

The company created two sets of test brochures for sales reps to hand out on different days. Like the insurance company, it followed the individuals all the way to sale. For its products, it found that the piece with the direct call to action was far more effective than the informational piece. The company adjusted its messaging before producing the full deployment. We can only imagine how the ROI was positively impacted over tens of thousands of pieces.

When was the last time you used A/B testing in your direct mail campaigns? There is an additional cost (design, production), but the pay-off can be significant. Even a small increase in response rates can reap huge returns over the full campaign and especially over multiple campaigns over time.