The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
A great quote, but how does it apply to direct marketing?
Whether you're trying to generate leads or acquire new customers/members, you should be constantly testing your control package. Why?
1) To improve your response rate
The control is performing well, but could be generating even more responses.
- Try using more enticing or compelling copy - Try making the design more eye-catching and inviting - Try adding components to provide more information
Even though this might result in a more expensive package, an increase in the number of responses could make it profitable.
2) To reduce your costs
The control is performing well, but could be produced at a less expensive price.
- Eliminate one or more of the components - Decrease the number of colors used - Trim down the overall size of the package
By lowering your printing and mailing costs, you might be able to maintain your current response rate and improve your return-on-investment.
I once worked with a company that was sending out a terrific package with a personalized letter, a four-color brochure and lift note. Through testing, the package was reduced to a simple self-mailer that achieved such great results that they had to stop mailing for a period of time because their staff couldn't keep up with all the leads.