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October 2014 - A/B Testing


By Simon Remington

A very simple technique adopted by many of our clients over the years is A/B testing. Direct marketing campaigns do cost a considerable amount of money so it is important to gain as much knowledge as possible in terms of the effectiveness of yours.

Devise two different offers and randomly split the list in half. The easiest way to do this would be to sort the list alphabetically by surname and use the top half for offer A and the bottom half for offer B.

With telemarketing campaigns, this is quite easy to organise and measure. With email I recommend using two different landing pages for offer A and B.

For direct mail or fax a commonly used method is a promo code that people must quote to qualify for a special discount or incentive.

Ensuring your staff ask all new enquirers how they found you in the weeks following the campaign is essential. Many people will forget to quote a promo code or say they received your letter, email or fax.

In addition to testing your campaign, you can also test lists. This is particularly common with consumer mailings and can produce some substantial variation with response rates between lists. It is however critical that lists are de-duplicated so people are not receiving more than one letter from you.

As with all forms of marketing, testing is paramount when it comes to direct marketing. Equally important is your commitment to measurement so you actually learn something as a result to apply next time.


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