All marketing should be iterative. You launch a campaign, review results and determine your success. During the process, it is imperative to test. The direct marketing mantra is “beat the control.” Marketers look for ways to better connect with their targets and improve results. They learn from testing and the review of results, and then they apply their learnings to the next campaign.

There’s a lot of material available on testing that you can learn from in Target Marketing. But the cornerstone is to select two elements and take a subset of your file and expose them to different message and creative elements.

So, what do you test? Let’s examine some easy to complex testing strategies.

• Subject line testing: Subject lines affect open rates. It’s important to determine what resonates with your audience. This is easy to test. Determine what success metrics are most important to you. It might be open rates or clicks to your site.

If you are testing urgency, you might test the phrasing “Last chance” or “Only 24 hours.” For some reason, numbers fascinate people, and numbers in a subject line capture attention.

Conventional wisdom says that subject lines should be short and include no more than 35 characters. Test long vs. short. Or test benefits against features.

• Personalization: Test the impact of including a person’s name in the subject line or in the body copy. Remember, this is a tactic and not something you need do all the time.

Here’s a B-to-B example from Talon Mailing and Marketing. The snippet marketing message at the top of the email was: “Reggie, Let’s Work Together and Make 2015 a Banner Year.” I thought the execution was eye-catching and fun. I loved seeing my name on a banner!

Regina (Reggie) Brady is president of her own e-marketing and direct marketing consultancy, Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions. She is a leading authority on Internet direct marketing and has held executive positions in Internet marketing at FloNetwork Inc. (subsequently acquired by DoubleClick), Acxiom/Direct Media and CompuServe.
Publish date: June 18, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT