Testing makes the ROI world go round

Anne Holland’s Which Test Won
http://whichtestwon.com

Anne Holland’s simple little site brings you a new test every week that pits headlines against each other, tests body copy, offer copy, even the accent of the AVO on a website (forget the World Cup, the Brit v Yank accent test is where the action is).  These tests are what direct response marketers have been doing for decades and form the foundation of every successful campaign.

But people new to direct often overlook testing or dismiss it as too expensive. Especially when it comes to DRTV. This is a mistake. You have to test. Test your offer, your messaging, your media buy, your graphics and visuals. Test everything you can think of. Testing will pay substantial dividends. Testing will likely save your campaign … unless your crystal ball is particularly prescient.

At Time Inc we tested constantly and obsessively.  It was an inspiring test lab to grow up in. I saw thousands of tests. We tested the color of the “Reply By” sticker on the front of a Time Magazine direct mail envelope and got a 12% lift.

I saw premiums deliver 100-200% lifts in response for Sports Illustrated (topped by the campy and amazingly profitable Sneaker and Football Phones).

A small change in the headline of an online display ad can turn it to profitability.

Test your messaging – so in addition to promising that home delivery of spring water will ease the transporting (aka ‘lugging’) of water from the market to your home test a version that promises your family’s health will improve by having spring water accessible 24/7.

On your next campaign, think through how many different tests you can reasonably and reliably test. An experienced direct marketer can help you step up an efficient test matrix.

If there’s a secret or silver bullet to marketing, especially ROI marketing (isn’t everything?) it’s testing.

Ready, aim, test.

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