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Know The Mechanics That Separate Winners From Losers! - Articles Surfing

Are you an if-er or a do-er?

If you've been around the promotion circle long enough and even if you have not, you probably heard this one before, test, test, test!

But before you embark into a promotional odyssey for your evolving publication full speed ahead, it is a good idea and very essential that you market test your offer (s), if you want a full fledge promotion to give you the best results.

For those who feel this to be utterly unnecessary consider for a moment all the possible missed - opportunities:
A) What if this or that approach could have worked better?
B) If only I would of have used a stronger or more conservative angle.
C) Made the overall offer more appealing?
D) The message better understood?
E) What if, we would have provided a more value driven premium?
F) Lowered/raised prices... or included a better response vehicle?

The alternatives? A more sound, efficient mailing - less wasted resources, money better allocated, greater savings and bigger profits!

Testing your offer involves extra efforts and perhaps a few additional dollars, but the end results is a much more informed, and profitable campaign but... that's not all.. a learning experience as well.

A learning experience because through the process of implementing different promotional approaches you are constantly learning the mechanics that separate a winner from a loser and discovering other much more successful approaches that otherwise would have remained hidden.

Okay, so how do I go about finding my offer true potentials you ask? Much obliged, first you must truly understand all the pieces that make up your promotional package, much like going back to basics.

You are probably familiar with the old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" well, in this case, "the best approach is worth many dollars saved, thousands earned", should fit the bill (no pun intended).

More to the point and to start you off here is a non-inclusive list of some familiar promo, components and terms, feel free to add others as necessary to conform to your specific offer (s), one word though... it is in your marketing - promotional best interest not to undermine any of these elements, as basic and redundant as they may appear to be:

Program-Format, what is the goal... best aesthetics?

Typestyle-Size, does it convey meaning by itself, is it attractive, consistent throughout?

Headline-Subhead, does it grab your attention, pulls you into the rest of the copy/letter?

Opening-Closing Copy, are your P.S.' and P.P.S.' effective?

Illustration (s)-Line Art, Photo, can it translate into a thousand words on it's own or does it need text for support?

Pricing-Low, Competitive, why?

Premium-Incentive, is that the best you can do?

Ordering-Urgency, Deadline, future price increase?

Mode of Payment-Immediate, Conventional (Money Order, Check etc.), Credit Cards, Internet alternatives?

Response Vehicle (1)-Form, Card, Postpaid?

Response Vehicle (2)-Plain Envelope, Postpaid?

Now reach deep down within your marketing/ promotional well of knowledge (however broad or limited it might be), and ask yourself... do I really understand this offer from my target (consumer/B to B/ recipient) point of view, is this program well thought out and the message properly structured?

How will the message be perceived... is it plain enough for the average consumer - smart enough for B to B or could it be improved and where?

One thing we learned over the years is that, when it comes to promoting your wares, no matter what they may be, there is always room for improvements.. without exceptions.

Okay, still with me? Now that you had a chance to reflect on how well your program is put together, pick any, a group or all of the above listed key components and make changes.

For example, change part of, or the whole sales letter... use a different approach, headline. Change the premium/incentive or give additional ones. Your end product should reflect a new concept for the same offer.

Once you are satisfied and your new concept is finished it is time to put it to the test (there goes that word again).

Get both new and previous concepts into the market as affordably as possible, (e.g., if using a Card Pack and only one format but testing different pricing, and circulation reaches an audience upward of a hundred thousand or whatever the allowed mailing minimum is, key - code one format with a number, and or different address).

Have your Card Pack rep. Direct Response Agency etc., mail half to a group of prospects and the remainder to another group.

Ad testing follows basically the same procedure as for Direct Marketing (change heading/subhead, typestyle, copy, graphic - if any - offer/ premium or incentive), but with one notable exception. Have Ads placed "split-run" or alternate each other in the same publication, in different areas within that publication or just run both Ads at the same time in different publications even exchanging target publications after so many runs.

What is important, is to test different approaches or angles against each other to see which does better.. One thing is certain, you will be pleasantly surprise at how much more one concept pulls vs. the other. How many more orders - larger profits. You most likely will also be baffled at how well... however higher a price, does vs. the other or, whether a price is more widely accepted than another (when testing prices).

Whichever route you are exploring, allow the campaign to run long enough to really be able to see comparative results. Once you have a chance to assess why and which approach did better, go ahead... and start over again. Against your best campaign producer, if time, and your budget allows it.

You'll be surprised at the results and at how crucial Market Testing is, it will save you hundreds.. and earn you thousands!

Submitted by:

Rafael Valderrama

Ralphy-webmaster,writer, Publisher of http://golden-quill.com/



Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).


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