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Marketing Tips - Issue 51

Testing Thoughts


Test costs always look inordinately large, compared to normal roll-out costs, so sometimes we don't test as much as we should. But if you combine test costs with normal production or roll-out costs, the incremental cost per order is relatively small.   


As a percentage of your total production costs, testing may only be 5%-10%.    The purpose of testing is to find new break-throughs.    A 5%-10% lift in response rates will recover your test costs and is a do-able thing. Besides, you should never be satisfied with whatever results you obtain.  As my hero Will Rogers was responded to the question, “What’s considered enough money?” 


He replied, “Just a little bit more.”


Don’t Overlook the Obvious


Sometimes in our zeal to deliver an impressive creative achievement, we forget our car keys.   After you have designed and written your trophy-bound format and copy, check this logical inventory for completeness: (   ) a specific, close-ended, time-limited offer; (   ) a call to action; (   ) a practical means for replying. While this may seem stunningly obvious, in practice there is still ample room for perfection.


What’s the Big Idea?


David Ogilvy said, “Unless your advertising is based on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”  In direct marketing, that ship will sink.  A big idea is something that will stop people – and get them to think.  It is sometimes about the product. 


It is OFTEN about the prospect or customer. 


Here’s an example; There was a company that wanted to create awareness and generate leads (sound familiar so far?).  They targeted marketing directors with a box that read “We’d like to have a word with you.”  Inside the box was a dictionary with a yellow post-it note that said – “Look up ‘Visionary.’ “ 


When the prospect turned to that page, they found their name listed in the definition. Before you send out your next direct package, ask yourself, “What’s the big idea?”  If it doesn’t come through immediately, you may want to re-think it.


Marketing Tips posts authored by Leslie Goldstein of the USPS.