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Direct Mail or Social Media Marketing... [A/B Tests]

Posted by Plum Says on Sep 8, 2016 1:14:16 PM



A/B Tests with Direct Mail vs. Social Media Marketing – Why Direct Mail Is Preferred

While direct mail experienced a setback with the advent of more advanced online technologies – such as email, blogs, and social media – the practice of advertising through direct mail is experiencing a resurgence.

While direct mail can be an extremely efficient way of reaching a consumer, conducting A/B tests – which refer to the process of comparing two versions of mail against each other to determine which has the greater influence on the consumer – is an essential, and often overlooked, component. The following considers the benefits of direct mail, particularly as it compares to social media marketing, as well as the benefits, types, and how-to of A/B testing with direct mail.

The Benefits of Direct Mail vs. Social Media Marketing

Whether engaging in small business marketing or marketing for a large corporation, there are some clear advantages to a direct mail campaign.

These include:

  • Direct mail efforts can be unique. A direct mail campaign does not just have to be a piece of cardstock with your company’s name on it. Instead, you have an opportunity to offer your consumer something individualistic and unique. For example, you can send your customers and potential customers welcome gifts, flashlights, key chains, calendars, date books, mugs, pens, or a variety of other unique goods. Doing this can make you stand out in a consumer’s mind – the ultimate goal.
  • Direct mail is straightforward. Another advantage to direct mail marketing when compared to social media marketing is that direct mail is straightforward; there are no complicated analytics that you need to run in order to conduct a direct mail campaign. The only thing that you really need to measure is the amount of phone calls, coupons, unique short codes, etc. that you receive back as a direct result of your direct mail campaign.
  • Direct mail is targeted and actually reaches the consumer. There are two other big advantages to direct mail: first, direct mail is targeted. When you gain access to a consumer’s address, you immediately learn a lot about a person, ranging from their likely income level, socioeconomic status, likelihood of children, and even race. This allows you to create direct mail that is targeted for this particular consumer. Second, direct mail has a higher likelihood of actually being seen by the consumer, whereas social media and email marketing does not. It is very easy for a consumer to delete an email from their inbox without opening it, or to avoid checking out a company’s social media posts. However, when something arrives in the mailbox, a consumer almost always glances at it before tossing it.



A/B Testing of Direct Mail – What You Need to Know

While social media marketing certainly has its value, it is clear based on the information above that direct mail marketing should not be forsaken. That being said, the A/B testing of direct mail is an important component of a direct mail marketing strategy. A/B testing is also referred to as split testing, and, as mentioned above, refers to testing one element of a direct mail package against another element of a direct mail package.

For example, you will create two, nearly identical, pieces of direct mail. However, you will change one element of the pieces, in which two different versions are created, i.e. the call to action is different, a list of benefits is different, the colors are different, etc. Then, you compare the success rate of version A against the success rate of version B. If you want to change another element, you may create a version C as well.

Usually, testing the offer is the most important A/B test to conduct. For example, if you are engaging in a dinner seminar marketing campaign, you may consider changing the text that explains how people can sign up, or you may move the phone number to a different location. However, some businesses choose to experiment with other elements of their direct mail packages. Again, in a seminar invitation, you may consider changing the elements of a list of benefits/advantages of attending the seminar or the list of what will be covered at the seminar.

The good news is that you do not have to test prior to beginning a direct mail marketing campaign; testing can occur concurrently. As your campaign evolves, you can make changes where necessary to improve your end result.


Work with a Financial Marketing Professional

As a financial professional, reaching your clients in a meaningful way and building your base is no doubt important to your success. If you have questions about direct mail marketing, including Social Security marketing and dinner seminar marketing, we can help. Try reaching out to Plum today to learn more about how to grow your financial planning business and reach more people than ever before. 



Topics: Direct Mail, Social Media, Digital Marketing, A/B Test

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