This article comes to us from our friends at GACC Printing:
The Power of Testing
Why Test? You test to identify the approaches, content and techniques that produce the most response and profit for your particular product or service. Testing can confirm your intuition, identify what works, what doesn't and what is irrelevant, and provide you with the information you need to optimize your marketing.
What price point generates the highest profit (margin times response rate)?
What type of offer provides the greatest number of inquiries?
What topics are the readers of my newsletter most interested in?
What appeal provides our non-profit with the most donor responses? The highest average donation?
These are just a few of the questions you might use testing to answer. Testing has traditionally been used to increase an organization's insight over time into what approaches work best for their particular products/services. However, with today's faster turn-arounds and lower production costs, some forward-thinking marketers are building tests into individual mailings by staggering drop dates.
Take the example of this association whose goal was to maximize registration for a trade show conference. The customer planned an overall mailing of 60,000 pieces, but randomly selected 10,000 contacts for a preliminary test. With a fairly simple test design, the customer tested a control (their best guess of what worked) against two additional offers, two additional formats, and two additional headlines/teasers. The results determined that an optimized combination could produced 42% higher response than the control, which was then used to determine the final piece mailed to the 50,000 remaining addresses.