A/B testing is the most viable testing technique to improve the performance of your direct mailer campaign.
Even if you know what it is, you might be shuddering, thinking it is way too complicated or even overkill for a direct mailer campaign. But it isn’t.
A/B testing is where you have two exact same mailers; then on one mailer, one variable is changed. It could be the font, a different offer, a differently worded call-to-action, or a headline. So, it is comparing one variable of a mailer against another.
Its purpose is to compare how your target audience responds to the different versions.
To do the test, halve your mailing list and dispatch the unchanged version of the mailers to one group and the changed version to the other half. Then you evaluate which adaptation had a better response to ascertain which variable outperformed the other.
Although this type of testing is commonly used in the digital field due to the ease of changing variables and collating performance stats – it can also be applied to direct mail campaigns.
A/B testing is an incremental approach to improving your direct mailer performance. It isn’t for your big breakthrough performance tests.
It’s designed for ongoing optimisation of established mail design. Therefore it isn’t a once-only activity. It needs to be an ongoing test so you can continue to evolve your marketing campaigns.
Know the goal of your direct mailer and how you will track it. Do you want increased sales or more website visitors? Without having a goal in mind, it won’t be easy to know which variables you need to test and how you will determine which variable succeeds.
When you are planning your A/B tests you need to determine what single variable you want to test and then keep everything else between the two packages the same.
Just say you wanted to test the font design. To drill down on that variable, you would keep the envelope, offer, message, call-to-action and all other elements the same on the direct mailer. By having multiple different variables, it’s almost impossible to determine which element impacted the result.
With careful planning, you may be able to pull off multiple variable tests…but this needs to be done by the professionals as you could dilute or skew the results making everything invalid.
When tracking your response rates, you should have a system in place, such as QR codes, designated phone numbers, website visit tracking or coupon redemptions. Make sure your system aligns with the goal of the variable.
When it comes to analyisng the results, the higher the mail quantity, the more accurate your results. If you have small numbers, try testing the same variables several times to get a definitive winner.
With A/B testing, the opportunities are limitless. Once you find the correct headline…stick with it. Then move onto the next element that brings success. As with all things in business, there will always be something to enhance so you can attain more conversions.
All companies should be A/B testing their message, audience, and timing. Without these insights, it isn’t easy to grow your ROI.
It’s important to remember that A/B testing isn’t just a one-time experiment. For long-term results, you need to continuously test your campaigns. Consumers’ attitudes and habits are constantly evolving. So it’s essential to move with the times and keep up with the money.
Active mail has the digital and data technology to make A/B testing of your direct mail campaign a breeze.
Let our experienced staff take the stress and headaches out of your next Direct Mailer campaign and find a solution to fit your unique business.