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How can you improve chances of victory during testing?

Your marketing team is pumped up - they are more confident than ever that they have a "surefire" winner on their hands. How can you improve chances of victory during testing?

So you finally have your hands on a direct mail test that is everybody's darling. It's a potential blockbuster -- either because of a riveting headline, a groundbreaking theme, or a revolutionary design or format.

NOW is your chance to shine! Before going to print, convince your marketers that testing multiple versions of this superstar package can yield exponential increases in response.

A quick and inexpensive way to do exactly this is through "step testing." Simply tweak the most crucial elements of your package for a greater impact on the reader. While the main test may deliver a 20% boost in response vs. your control, a step test may generate 40% boost - a significant improvement to be sure. For instance:

  • Alter your headline for greater eye-catching "pop." Dont be afraid to be bold! Phrase your new lead as a quotation or question, or even pursue a different hot button (emotion, guilt, fear, etc.).
  • Use a cover wrap to emphasize a timely message (e.g. deadline, recent news event) not addressed inside your package.
  • Test a major shift on your order form. For example, an installment billing or free trial option often beat payment-in-full in terms of net dollars.
  • But bear in mind - each step of tests must be able to deliver a MAJOR boost in response. So forget changing the background color or changing the font size. You're looking for a HUGE impact.

    Not only are step tests quick and easy to execute (which is critical when you're getting ready to go on press), they're also inexpensive. They often require only a single signature or envelope variation - while the remainder of the package prints as is. The costs for plate changes are minor when you factor in the potential revenue windfall that may result in rollout. Good luck!

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