Archive for May, 2007

Ironically one of the most effective ways to market product services online is through offline marketing – in particular, the use of postcards.

Postcards reach an audience where email might be filtered out or just overlooked. If the postcard is good, it attracts attention. In addition, many recipients hold on to them for awhile. If you have a memorable message and an easy to type url on the postcard, recepients are also more likely to go online and check it out.

But the creative work on the postcard – the marketing message and the graphics – are crucial.

The problem is, almost all postcard printing requires a minimum of 500 or 1,000 cards. The best deals typically would run you a few hundred dollars for printing and mailing.

And once they are printed, that’s what you have and you can’t change it. Think another headline or graphics would do better? Then you have to do a whole new printing order.

But what if you knew beforehand which creative works best…which headline and graphics happens to get more response than others, even before mailing your postcards?

There is no sure way to know other than mailing test postcards…but there is a way to come close and good idea of what creative works best. Use a flyer marketing test campaign before going ahead with your postcard campaign.

What I’m talking about is using the same headline, the same text, and graphics in a flyer that you would on the postcard. Flyers are much easier to design than postcards. You can have a headline and subhead at the top, insert the image below that and then the text below that. As simple as that and you’ve approximated the creative and the marketing message that you’re thinking of for your postcard. Since even the cheapest desktop printers now print color, you will have no problem in printing color images.

Flyers enable you to test creative in whatever small numbers you want.
Now, instead of printing all 500 or 1,000 postcards, you could test a sample of 100 people on your list. You could send one headline to 50 people (group A) and the other headline to the other 50 (group B). Or, use one image for group A and another image for goup B.

You would then need to set up a different landing page for each group. So the flyer for Group A is directed to url A, and group B is directed to url B. Then you can track which creative work draws the most people.

The cost for the test? Postage is 41 cents. Let’s add another 9 cents for paper and envelope. So sending out out 100 flyers would cost you $50. For that amount you could get an idea of what creative works best for your postcard rollout.

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Need help in testing or rolling out your next campaign?
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So how long should your landing page be?

To a great extent it should be determined by your readers’ anxiety level.

In a recent test, research firm Marketing Experiments tested a short landing page versus a long one, asking for the readers’ email in order to get a free assessment to find out what type of communicaters they are.

Turns out the shorter landing page by about 7%.

Then an even shorter landing page was tested – barely any copy – just an image and a  button.

That performed best. By far.

So a really short landing page is best, right?

No. Or at least, not necessarily.

Marketing Experiments compared it to another test, for an investment newsletter, which costs $90. Here, longer copy won the day.

So what made the difference?

Anxiety.

If the perceived risk is low (free signup) then anxiety is low, and a shorter landing page works better. If the perceived risk is higher (cost, commitment), then anxiety is higher.

More copy (as long as it’s good) is needed to give the buyer reasons to buy. There’s also more room for testimonials and other “credibility indicators” to reduce the buyer’s anxiety.

The length of your landing page makes a big difference.
But you have to know when to go long and went to go short.

Source: Marketing Experiments