Direct Mail Testing For Breakthrough Marketing Results
By Yanik Silver
Advertising is expensive.
And it costs you the same amount of money to run an ad (or mail a letter) that
brings in 2 customers as one that drives in 20 customers. So that difference is
in your ad (or letter).
Let's say you've come up
with what you think is a good ad (powerful headline, good offer, sizzling copy,
etc.), now you're ready to test.
Testing will help you:
1. Save yourself a bunch
2. Improve any results
you're currently getting.
3. Stop guessing about
I'd say those are some
pretty good reasons to learn all about testing and how to apply it to your
business. So before spending loads of money on your new ad you can (and should)
do a few low-cost/no-cost tests:
The Sleep On It Test
First, you should let
your ad sit for at least a day. Then the next day you can come back to it with
new eyes and a fresher perspective. You can find errors that weren't apparent
before. Also, your chances of writing a good ad are significantly improved with
rewriting. (I will rewrite an ad or letter 3, 4 or 5 times before I'm done.)
Reading Aloud Test
I don't know what it is
about reading something aloud versus reading to yourself, but you'll pick up
lots of insight into how good (or bad) your ad really is by reading it aloud.
All the bumps and rough spots jump out at you.
Or a variation on this is
to have someone else read it you. This is even better. As they're reading it,
you should take out a copy of the ad and make notes on it. One big advantage to
this approach is your reader is completely impartial. He won't stress certain
phrases or words to make the meaning clearer. And if the reader is having
trouble you know that's an area to edit.
Sneaky Opinion Test
Take your ad off your
printer and make a Xerox copy of it. Then go around to a few people who should
be in your target market and say something like, "Take a look at this, I
just found this in a magazine.” Key point: Do not tell people you wrote the ad
because they'll just tell you how nice it is.
You're gauging their
response. If they say something like "Did you write this?" or
"This is really good." What that really means is your ad stinks.
But if you start hearing
"Do you know how I can get this done?" or "Do you do this?"
then you know you're on to something good and ready to spend money on your
Opinions are great, but
the only votes that really count are the ones that turn into orders. The first
thing you *don't* want to do is call every newspaper, magazine, throw-away,
etc. You need to start by testing small. And that means spending as little as
possible to get accurate results.
Joe Sugarman (He sold
millions of Blu-blocker sunglasses) tells how he would test all his ads in the
Southwestern edition of the Wall Street Journal because this was the cheapest
and smallest edition of the Journal to test.
That way he was able to
read results quickly and then decide whether or not to 'roll-out' to other
editions. So how can you apply this information to your business?
Let's say you've been
running ads in your local paper. Well, usually newspapers have zoned editions
based on zip codes. So instead of paying for your ad to appear in the entire
circulation, you simply put it in one of the cheapest and most representative
And by tracking the
response (using a specific phone#, person, extension#, etc.) you can safely
predict what results you'll get once you go out to the entire circulation.
One more point: It's
better to run your test ad in a daily paper instead of a monthly magazine
simply because you receive results more quickly. This is the same reason why services like Zairmail can really
help test your direct mail message – you can get even a very small test in the
mail quickly and easily.
Don't Fall For Your Ad Rep's Traps
You cannot multiply zero.
That means if there is no life in your ad -- kill it before it drains more money
and time from you.
Don't listen to your
media rep's pitch about repetition and getting discounts for multiple
insertions. Remember, these guys have no clue about how to create advertising
that works. If they did, they'd be running ads in their own magazines and
making tons of money.
marketers realize this point. Imagine spending $100,000 to produce one single
30 minute spot and then buying $400 - $1,000 in media to test it out. That's
what infomercial companies do.
They know if the phones
aren't ringing after a couple of TV spots -- they're definitely not going to
ring if they throw tens of thousands of dollars in media at it, either.
Follow these tips and
you'll be able to save a lot of money plus increase response. Just test until
you come up with a winner and then keep running it!
(c) 2000 Surefire
Yanik Silver has developed a whole series of sales letter templates available
at ==> http://www.instantsalesletters.com/?19316. In less than 3 minutes you can create a winning letter
guaranteed to sell your product or service...WITHOUT WRITING!