When it comes to strong marketing, it is important to understand your audience. As a direct mail marketer, you are both trustworthy and personal. According to Small Business Trends, 56% of customers believe print marketing is the most trustworthy type of marketing and 70% of Americans find mail more personal than the internet.
The strongest marketers use A/B testing to better understand their audience and how they’ll respond to specific campaigns. A/B testing, or split testing, is a randomized experiment where two or more versions of a variable are tested at the same time. One-half of customers receive version “a” and the other half receive version “b.” These variables can include design, copy, or your Call-to-Action. As you learn what variables work best to increase the response rate, you can improve your overall return on investment.
Before we get into the specifics, it should be noted that A/B testing your direct mail campaign can be cost-effective with the right direct mail partner. McAdam’s Graphics specializes in the inline printing and finishing approach. Where most printers require multiple runs on separate machines, our inline process prints perforates, die-cuts, folds and glues your mailpiece in one single pass saving you time and money.
A/B Testing Variables for Your Next Direct Mail Campaign
It’s important to consider your campaign goals when choosing what variables to test. Unless you have an established tracking method, we don’t recommend testing more than one variable at a time. Once you have reliable data from one variable, you will be ready to test the next. Here are 5 A/B testing variables you should consider based on your campaign goals:
1. Generic images or custom images
The goal of testing your images is to determine if catering to your customers’ past purchasing habits increases the conversion rates. For example, if you own a furniture store and you’re sending postcards to past customers, does a generic image of the store or an image of a specific display receive better results?
2. One Call-to-Action or multiple Calls-to-Action
Your Call-to-Action is one of the most important elements of your mailpiece. It is usually the reason you are running the campaign. To test the best way to motivate your customers to act, you can experiment with one CTA or multiple CTAs. You could send one-half of your customers a CTA to “Call now” and send the other half of your customers two CTAs, “Call now or visit our website.”
3. QR code, promo code or URL
Your CTA will most likely involve your customer interacting with your business by way of a website link, promo code or other special offers. If your goal is website traffic, you can test CTA engagement by providing two different methods of contacting your business — a URL versus a QR code or a QR code versus a promo code, etc.
While there is a lot you can test with your copy, you should start with the part that grabs your customers’ attention first: the headline. Does a question or a statement headline increase the conversation rate? Are there more responses if the headline relates to the product or service or if you address the customer directly using their name or “you”?
5. Target audience
You may have multiple direct mailing lists you use depending on the goal of your campaign. You can gain more insight into your target audience by A/B testing specific lists. If you have a list of past customers, split test that demographic by sending two different versions of the same mailpiece and determine the behavior patterns of that specific demographic.
How Can I Track the Results of my A/B Testing?
You must have a reliable system to track your A/B testing in order to use the results effectively. If you are A/B testing your response rate, you can track results by counting promo code redemptions or website visits using QR codes. It’s important that you have unique codes and URLs for your direct mail campaign to be certain the new traffic is coming from that source. The higher the number of mailpieces you send, the better your results will be. A direct mail campaign of 500 pieces will give you less insight than one with 50,000.
Finding Your Direct Mail Partner
When you are ready to begin A/B testing your next direct mail campaign, our expert printing team at McAdams Graphics is here to help. Let’s discuss your campaign goals and connect today.