“Different” can make a big difference for direct mail offers

Every month you get a mailer from a home services business offering a 10 percent discount on window washing. The mailer comes, you recognize it, usually you toss it, but sometimes (if you’re planning on getting the windows done) you keep it to use.

But what if the business made a different offer in each mailer? What if it sometimes offered a different service at a discounted price, such as the full-price window service bundled with gutter cleaning or pressure washing at half price?

You’d be reading those mailers more closely — and getting more information about the business and all that it offers.

Marketing expert Seth Godin calls to this strategy “rotating crops,” referring to the agricultural practice that keeps fields yielding their best.

Curious to know if rotating your offers will improve a ho-hum ROI? This is a great opportunity to test your mailing lists or email lists. Split the list and send one group your same-as-usual offer; send the others something new and different. Mail coded pieces at least three times (with something different for the “test” group each time) and compare performance between the two sub-lists.

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