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Direct Mail Testing Strategies You Need to Consider

Direct mail testing strategies you need to consider

Direct mail campaigns are a powerful marketing strategy that can increase sales, attract new customers, and promote events. However, some campaigns fail to produce the expected results. Why?

Many companies overlook the importance of testing, which is essential to the success of direct mail marketing. Without testing, you leave the success of your campaign up to chance. It may fail or succeed, and you won’t know why.

Direct mail testing enables you to take advantage of the potential of direct mail. You can refine your campaigns based on accumulated data, increasing the likelihood of success.

Ultimately, two different ways to test your direct mail marketing materials exist. One is called Multi-Variable Testing, and the other is A/B Split Testing (also known as Single Variable Testing).

Multi-Variable Testing

Multi-Variable (or Multi-Variate) Testing allows you to test multiple elements simultaneously. Within a single direct mail campaign, you may be trialling several lists, different offers, and varying formats.

Although this may seem initially advantageous, multi-variable testing is inappropriate for some direct mail campaigns. That is because it’s difficult (if not impossible) to isolate successful patterns when there are so many varying factors.

Multi-variable testing is best for beginning programs as there are more questions than answers. It makes sense to trial multiple changes simultaneously when you’re still learning what works, what generates a bit of a response, and what doesn’t work.

As your understanding of direct mail strategies develops, you should no longer need to trial multiple variables. Instead, you can hone in on specific elements and run more focused tests.

A/B Split Testing

A/B Split Testing is the best (and most common) direct mail testing strategy. It tests the success of a single variable. To do so, you create two mailers. They are completely identical except for one element. One mailer is the “A Version,” and the other is the “B Version.”

This test allows you to compare the effectiveness of the “A Version” versus the “B Version.” Since the two mailers were otherwise identical, any variations in the audience’s behaviour are attributed to a varying element. It’s vital to test only one change at a time to gain a comparison of a single element.

Ultimately, split tests lead to more accurate and reliable results. You don’t have to guess why one mailer was more successful than another.

Alternatively, you can also do an A/B/C split to test more than two versions of the same element. Again, ensure that the mailers are precisely the same in every other way.

Direct Mail Advertising: What to Test

Offers and Promotions

Use direct mail campaigns to advertise special offers and promotions. However, they must appeal to your audience to be successful. If an offer isn’t relevant, it won’t convert to sales, and you will have wasted resources on an ineffectual direct mail campaign.

You can use A/B testing to assess the attractiveness of your promotion before sending it to your entire mailing list. The results from the split test will help you formulate an effective direct mail campaign.

Target Audience

Testing doesn’t stop with the mailers—you should also be testing your audience. Your target audience determines what kind of direct mail strategies you should implement. Consequently, it’s essential to grasp who your target audience is, what they like and dislike.

You should test specific segments of your mailing list as well. Testing specific elements can reveal important insights and help you identify demographic patterns which impact your direct mail strategies.

A/B Split Tests are an effective way to analyze your direct mail campaigns. Split your target audience into different segments, and then examine the results.


How your mailer looks has a massive impact on its success. The same offer or information can be presented in different ways. Some will appeal to your target audience, and some won’t. Running A/B tests on the manner of presentation can provide valuable insights that will allow you to maximize conversion on your promotions.

For example, try testing the format of your copy. Should your headline be a statement or a question? A/B testing can help.

You can use a split test to gauge your image’s effectiveness on your mailer. People say a picture is worth a thousand words, so using the right pictures is crucial to success. Use custom illustrations, photographs, or generic images from stock websites for a professional appearance.

Stock images are more affordable. However, they are not necessarily as effective as higher-quality photographs or graphics. An A/B test can reveal if they are worth the investment.

Call to Action

Every direct mailer needs to have a call to action. The CTA directs readers towards a desired action which ranges from purchasing a product to subscribing to your newsletter. Consequently, optimize your CTA for maximum effectiveness.

With A/B testing, you can test different copies and formats for your CTA. You can also gauge if you should have only one CTA or multiple presented throughout your mailer.

The Importance of Continuous Testing

Direct mail testing is not a one-time occurrence. You should constantly refine your direct mail strategies. This strategy means continuous testing.

Ongoing testing is the only way to develop a rigorous and highly effective direct mail campaign strategy that sets you apart from competitors. Incorporating continuous A/B testing it allows you to analyze the success of different offers, tactics, customer lists, formatting, etc.

These ongoing tests will generate a large amount of data. By cross-examining this data, you can identify trends, patterns, and preferences. Consequently, you must keep records of all the test results. The organization is important!

Direct Mail Advertising with Troi Mailing Services

Direct mail advertising allows companies to connect with customers, effectively promoting their products and services. However, a direct mail campaign is only as successful as your testing. It is essential to analyze the data generated from each mailing campaign. Troi Mailing Services can help.

We take care of every part of your direct mail campaign from design to printing to analysis. With our expertise, your campaign is well on its way to being a success. To learn more about mail advertising, call Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-9350 or contact us here.

About: Seamus Barton
Seamus Barton - Author
Seamus Barton joined Troi Mailing Services in 2014 after graduating from York University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Writing. As a manager of print and direct mail solutions, he sees how words play an important role in personalizing any experience. Seamus’ passion for writing motivates him to provide frequent direct marketing content that supports each Client’s individual needs. Please chat with Seamus about commercial printing and direct mailing campaigns, or about how to marry digital and physical strategies for optimal Smartmail Marketing success.

You can connect with Seamus on LinkedIn or by calling Troi Mailing Services at 1-866-486-0423 or via email at Read his latest article featured in Direct Marketing Magazine on “Dimensional Mail: Marketing’s Buffet Lobster

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