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Direct Marketing Testing Part 3: The Offer

This series explains The Verdi Group’s testing philosophy and provides important facts about testing in business-to-business direct marketing. Part Three is dedicated to testing your offer.

Offers in direct marketing

Your direct response piece may happen to fall into the right hands (thanks to the list), but your offer actually gets people to respond. Whether it’s delivered digitally or through the mail, an offer needs to be present, informative, and useful to the prospect.

Testing comes into play when you want to know which offer will get the best response. It will help you collect data to better know your audience. You can also ascertain which offer will be most effective for future projects.

A quick lesson on offers

You can offer virtually anything (discount, free trial, and so on) to anyone, but if you offer someone a product or service they don’t need, chances are they won’t take you up on it.

With any marketing or direct marketing effort, it pays to understand your target market and then divide that market into segments according to key subgroups (job titles, for example) that allow you to devise a unique approach to addressing each one. So, each subgroup receives a personalized offer according their specific needs.

Offers can come in many forms, but in business-to-business marketing, an educational offer can be all a prospect needs to make the decision to take the next step. The more information the prospect has about your product or service, the more likely he or she is to find an excellent reason to try it. This can be done through an educational video, brochure, webinar, free demo, or conversation with a representative.

How do you test an offer?

Testing offers in an email or direct mail piece is rather inexpensive, but it’s crucial that you know what you’re looking to test before you get started. You can test any number of things, including incentives to respond, pricing or terms, guarantees, products and services, continuity offers, club concepts, and sweepstakes.

The most common way to test an offer is to conduct A/B testing, in which you select half of your mailing list to receive a different offer from the one the other half will get. The creative aspect of each piece stays the same.

According to your preference, a piece’s engagement may be tracked via a landing page or another tracking method. In the end, the data you receive will indicate which offer is more effective and worth using again in the future.

What if I don’t have the quantities to A/B test?

B2B mail and email quantities are often not sufficient to support valid testing, but the good news is that the markets targeted by B2B don’t undergo rapid changes. This allows us to spot trends in response and study which offers are successful without having to conduct A/B testing.

Testing offers pays off in the long run

Putting in the time and effort to create and test the best possible offer will always pay off. At Verdi, we’ve seen a difference of 100 percent or more over time, just through tracking offer response. The offer doesattract consumer response to the direct marketing piece, so testing your offer will always pay off in the long run.

Get started with testing

 Need help with testing? We’d love to talk. Call Mary Bonaccio at 585-381-4275, extension 201. Or email her at