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How To Test Your Marketing For Maximum Profit

Testing to see if your marketing material is performing as well as it possibly can is a smart idea.


Because your ultimate goal is maximum profitability and the only way to know if you’re getting the most out of your marketing spend is by testing.

Even if you have a piece bringing in leads at a steady pace, there’s a chance you can improve results.

For example, in the direct mail business companies have a ‘control’ mailing. This is the direct mail package that outperforms all others. Companies use this package until another comes along and beats it.

They test regularly. They want to beat their control.

It’s all about dollars out, dollars in.

And there are legends in the DM game.

Like a sales letter for The Wall Street Journal. It mailed for 28 straight years and sold over a Billion Dollars in subscriptions.

But even though it was bringing in the dough the WSJ tested it against other letters every year just to be sure they were squeezing every penny out of their investment.

Whatever – you aren’t here for a history lesson so let’s get into it.

How To Run A Test

The first thing to remember is you are testing one marketing piece against another to see which performs better.

But for a test to give you accurate, usable data – all other things must remain equal. For example, you’ve got to test with the same list of prospects, splitting the list evenly. We are trying to discover accurate information so all of our variables must remain constant.

It really is as scientific as advertising can be.

Anyway, let’s assume the external variables are constant. List, day sent, time sent etc. How do we actually determine what to test?

You test BIG CHANGES – one at a time. Or you test TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PIECES.

If you have a successful marketing vehicle and want to see if you can improve it, you should only change one element with each test.

The reason is simple. If you change more than one thing, you won’t be able to determine which change made the difference when the results come in.

Here are a few examples of the big changes I refer to above:

  • Headline

  • Offer

  • Price

  • Layout

  • Order Mechanism (Phone/Email/PP Envelope)

  • Call To Action

  • Subject Line

  • Guarantee

The reason we are making big changes is because we already know these are the areas most likely to impact results.

And because testing costs money, we want to focus on changes that will make a difference.

Testing two different marketing pieces is exactly what is sounds like. You put two distinct letters, emails, landing pages – whatever – head to head and see which one wins. The winner becomes your control until you find something that beats it.

Seemingly small improvements in results can mean huge differences in revenue.

If you manage to increase your response rate from 1% to 2% that’s a 100% increase. If you sell a big ticket item or can send material to a large list you can make a lot more money.

Testing can be pretty straightforward and can pay major dividends for your business.

And you certainly don’t have to be a huge corporation to do it – small and medium sized businesses can reap the rewards just as easily.


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