Your Next Direct Mail Test is Just a Click Away

Posted on by Grant Johnson

direct-mail-stamps-640Direct mail still works, but the good old days of mail as a single-channel strategy have long been put to pasture.

To effectively reach your prospects, a multichannel approach is imperative, and testing needs to be seen and done in a more fastidious and economic way. Because there is less clutter in mailboxes today, an opportunity exists to use mail in smarter ways than ever before.

That process begins by leading with a digital approach to gauge acceptance of your concept. Consider prefacing your direct mail initiatives with digital banner ads to test messaging, offers and creative. This can be done quickly and economically—and give you ready results that can be parlayed into online and offline methods.

These types of tests can also help you better define and refine your target audiences and your marketing lists. Like a good old fashioned direct mail A/B test, a digital banner ad functions as a real-world focus group. But in this case, the results are measured by clickthroughs and conversions to landing pages and ultimately sales, rather than the number of buck slips returned.

Are some prospects channel agnostic? Perhaps, but they’re in the minority. Today’s buyers in both B2B and B2C are much less likely to buy based on a contact or interaction in any single medium.

To reach your audience, you need to break through the mountains of advertising clutter they are bombarded with from every side on a daily basis. Testing your direct mail creative approaches the old fashioned way is simply too slow a process. Testing concepts in digital first can give you fast results that will allow you to craft a direct mail approach that will resonate with prospects and customers, and generate results.

For instance, a digital ad test our agency recently performed in the consumer health space helped us see what messaging would engaged different audience segments. The winning positioning was then translated into a successful direct mail campaign. Conversely, the digital effort we tested for a B2B client was bombing after two weeks. The creative was tweaked, and a successful approach was found, that was then translated into a direct mail effort with a positive ROI.

Grant A. Johnson is chief measurable marketing officer of Responsory.

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