Test & Repeat: The Keys to Success

For the new readers, you should know that I’m a diehard fan of racing. I love all forms, but I’m partial to NASCAR with a sprinkle of Formula 1 and some IndyCar thrown in there for good measure. The tie to that lead-in is a guy named Mario Andretti, a man whom many consider to be one of the greatest racecar drivers in history. It so happens that he has also competed in all three of those same racing series I mentioned above – a talented showcase of flair, wins, and a level of accomplishment that didn’t come by chance.

Much like a direct mail postcard campaign, there are periods of trial and error (practice, really) in racing. What works, what needs to be adjusted, what approach or strategy is going to bring the results…what will ultimately make you successful? Applied equally in racing as they are in direct mail postcards, you’ll find that these 3 Critical Campaign Design Practices can be the difference between winning and second place:

  1. Embrace your odds – A common misconception is that if you try Direct Mail once and it isn’t success, that it will never be a success. Even Mario didn’t win every race he entered! A campaign should be thought about as a long game dealing with the right message sent to the right audience the right way (and often, at the right time).
  2. Commit to testing (practice) – A Direct Mail campaign is also an absolute gold mine when it’s a success. But to find the right message (and beat the odds), you need to create ‘test’ messages and put them up against ‘control’ messages. A ‘control’ is a message or campaign that worked well. A ‘test’ alters some part of the message to try and expand the reach of the campaign to a larger audience, or appeal to a different part of that larger audience. “The best test beats the control maybe 25 percent of the time.”
  3. Visualize the goal – A Direct Mail campaign is successful when a specific number or percentage of prospects buys your product or service, and becomes a client, or asks for your free offer and becomes a lead. See yourself crossing the finish line, yes. But first, plan out the number of mailings against an expected response rate based on what you want to achieve (e.g., five sales out of 1,000 postcards in the first phase). It is critical to know what percentage of purchase/response, based on your campaigns, is to be considered a success.

Until my last breath, I will preach ‘test, test, test’ to you all. It is the bedrock of a fruitful (and sustainable) direct mail campaign. As a general concept, testing is just as powerful in learning the fastest way around a track, as it is in helping your ROI soar. And the same is true in wanting to make sure your prospects understand exactly what you do, why they have the ‘pain’ they do, and how you can help eliminate that pain from their business. Your business exists to make their lives easier. Drive that home. Use Direct Mail to repeat that message.

Test efficiently. Test effectively. Test repeatedly.

You want to find ways to stay ahead of your competition, to remain top-of-mind. One of the most effective strategies for that is developing a timely, sustained, and well-planned approach. You need prospects and clients to know your name, what you can help them achieve to make their lives and businesses easier. Helping them helps your business, builds your brand, and multiplies your successes! Everybody’s a winner when that happens.

You should give Opportunity Knocks a call today. We have Direct Mail Success Coaches standing by who are excited about your potential and want to coach you on all the ways you can pin that accelerator to the floor, and drive toward success! Release your inner Mario Andretti and grab for that checkered flag!