(This is a continuation of Direct Marketing Skills for Digital Marketing.  See part 1 of Key Direct Marketing Skills for the Next Generation . . .)

To find out what works best, TEST!

Great Direct Marketers know how to test our way to success.  We don’t have to guess which headline is better — we can test and tell you exactly which one is better.

Testing creative has always been absolutely horrifying to non-direct marketing creative teams — but Direct Marketers have always relied on testing. So now, Direct Marketers with deep experience in testing are applying those skills to websites, landing pages, and email marketing.

I still remember the great presentation by Emily Soell in Los Angeles. She had the audience of Direct Marketers highly engaged in voting for which version we thought won in each of her test scenarios. I sat with Bill Brown, then a multi-ECHO-Award-winning Creative Director. Bill and I each voted for our favorites — and neither Bill nor I (nor Emily Soell!) was always correct.  And Bill turned to me at the end and said, “That’s why we test.”

What should you test?  In your email marketing — different Subject Lines, Emotional Appeals, and Offers can have a huge impact on click-through.  We regularly find that an Emotional Appeal, Headline, or Offer can do 3X better than another option!

FOR EXAMPLE . . .   For Qualcomm, we “tested our way to success” by:

  • First discovering the Emotional Driver that brought in three times more orders
  • Taking that Emotional Driver even further — with a really “out there” creative approach that got 3 times more orders than that previous winner
  • Finally, we were able to reduce the cost of the Offer, and still achieve close to the same results.

Direct Marketers are always looking for a way to boost response, boost revenue, or reduce costs.

Direct Marketers Live for the Numbers

Smart Direct Marketers know exactly what it costs us to bring in a customer.  And if we’re generating leads, we know the metrics at each step in the process, including:

  • Click-through rate from each different source of traffic
  • Cost per click from each paid traffic source
  • Lead Conversion rate per traffic source
  • Cost Per Lead per traffic source

A Direct Marketer will run a simple Breakeven Analysis on a proposed program, to see what the numbers look like at various response rates before we ever begin.

If more marketers could perform this Breakeven Analysis for the CEO and CFO of their company, showing how carefully the program has been constructed before ever spending a dime, more marketers would be heroes!

Direct Marketers are the Original Analytics Experts

How do you decide if your website is as effective as it can be — or where it might need improvement?

A Direct Marketer will analyze visitor progress through each step of a website to identify problems and opportunities.  For example, we might:

  • Compare the number of home page visitors with the percentage that continued onto a product page
  • Brainstorm changes we could test on the home page to improve the percentage of those who click through to a product page
  • Look at the percentage of those who clicked “Download the Trial” or “Get the White Paper” as compared to number of visitors to a product page
  • Test changes to the product page to try to improve the percentage who click on an Offer
  • Compare the number of visitors to each Offer page to the number that completed the Lead Generation form
  • Think of ways to improve conversion

You can solve your Digital Marketing Staffing — with a Direct Marketer

Many companies are finding it difficult to find qualified digital marketing talent to hire.  But digital marketing tactics need to be driven by smart, strategic thinking — which you’ll find in an experienced Direct Marketer.  If you’ve got a Direct Marketer on your staff, why not cross-train them to allow them to apply their skills to digital marketing?

Or bring in a Direct Marketer — you won’t find more qualified marketers for testing, financial analysis, and analytics, even when applied to digital marketing.

We regularly train new hires, interns, and more traditional marketers in digital marketing tactics.  Learn more about our Digital Marketing Consulting and Training