Is Your Newspaper Direct Mail Program Working? Take The Test.

Posted by Stephen Jensen on Aug 26, 2015 10:56:44 AM

Direct Resources Group – Seattle, WA.

Here's a quiz to determine the health of your current newspaper direct mail program:

  • Do you mail a control package and multiple test variations?
  • Do you test and measure list segments, offers, and package formats with each mailing?
  • Do you track the frequency and type of mailings received by each household in your prospecting database?
  • Do you rotate your packages to former subscribers more than once a year?
  • Are you prepared to change your control if necessary?

If you answered “no” to most or all of these questions, there is a good chance your mail program is heading for a crash. But don’t worry. There’s still time to make the necessary adjustments.

Direct marketing is a science. It’s predicated on the ability to test variables and measure results in a controlled manner. Everything else is just advertising in an envelope. When properly executed, long-term CPO targets can be realized. By including simple testing, your prospects let you know what offers and package formats work best. This allows you to build a library of cost-effective mail packages so you’re ready to fill the void once your current control begins to fail.

But testing doesn’t need to be costly or time-consuming. Some of the most meaningful tests involve simple copy changes, or doing something basic like comparing an envelope teaser against a blind outer envelope. The point is to test and document everything so you can gradually and consistently improve your mail packages. Because without testing, you’re just guessing.

Stephen may be reached at

Topics: Newspaper Mail Co-op, Direct Mail, Acquisition

Stephen Jensen

Written by Stephen Jensen

After several years working in the direct marketing field, Stephen co-founded Direct Resources Group with Scott Zorn in 1993. Today, he manages a variety of customer retention and acquisition programs for clients such as T-Mobile and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as donor acquisition and renewal programs for a variety of non-profit organizations.