How do you know if the changes you are making in marketing impact your sales or cost initiatives?


I developed and executed testing philosophies at AT&T, The Macy’s Group, LexisNexis, AcademicPub and other education companies.

At The Macy’s Group, I focused on four key initiatives; focusing the marketing divisions so cross division ‘learnings’ could be utilized across the business while improving the roll-out decisions of tests (so Macy’s could trust the test results for broadcast, phone, mailings, ROP etc.).


Determine Key Success Factors of Tests prior to execution (if you don’t know what you are testing for (changes in RR%, open rate, conversion rate or other objectives) prior to the test; a manager may decide to draw incorrect conclusions from a test.

Reporting on your test (or any test is paramount to success).  You don’t just do a marketing campaign if you cannot measure the results or more precisely the impact of the campaign.  Proper analytic set-up is important for every test, and know how to read your results is extremely important.

Test Structure

Test Structure – appropriate control and control sizes must be used to measure lift; along with roll-out considerations on costs and production issues. (Don’t decide at roll-out that the successful test cannot be replicated in full blown production).

This is just the start of setting up a marketing test, so much more is needed to be done!


I’ve already discussed Email on another page of this site, but email testing is vital in today’s marketplace.  Let’s discuss some important issues first about email marketing.

Capture email addresses through opt-in approaches – give people something for the rights to communicate to them using email.  This is very important, don’t just email people without their consent.

Don’t over email your customers.  Also, divide your list into appropriate segmentation that allow specific targeted email promotions to each segment.

The key to getting better results is to have a strategy and in particular a full-blown integrated contact strategy that melds with your other marketing.


  • Call to Action
  • Day of Week sent
  • From Line
  • Landing Page
  • Layout / Images
  • Message / Content (body, opening, closing PS)
  • Mobile Layout & Images
  • Personalization
  • Subject Line (length, expiration dates, etc.)
  • Target Audience
  • Time of Day Sent

Web pages

Companies can test new vs. old landing pages, or even if they should have a specific landing page.


Consider testing different language, different call to action buttons, different landing pages and so many other options.

Search Engine Marketing Testing

Companies can add new paid per click campaigns using ADWORDS vs. BINGADS vs. Other Networks.  They can test new ads, new offers, time of day advertising, different keywords, and so many more dimensions.

Direct Mail Testing

There are so many traditional direct mail testing options from list segmentation, offers, creative, paper stock, envelope tests and so many other options.  The key is test and learn.

Direct Mail Testing options:

  • Call to Action – phone number, web address, business reply card, check etc.
  • Card Stock / Paper Stock
  • Day of Week sent – Should you sent it be arrive prior to your sale or on a weekend, or during the week?
  • Integration with other marketing, does this follow or proceed other contacts
  • Landing Page / Telemarketing center / Script
  • Layout / Images
  • Message / Content (body, opening, closing PS)
  • Offer / expiration dates
  • Outside Envelope / Return Address
  • Response vehicles – BRC, 800#, Web, Store
  • Personalization
  • Stamp / Indicia (postage type)
  • Target Audience

Outbound Telemarketing and/or Voice Mail broadcasts

Yes, companies still bother you at dinner and offer you many different products or services over the phone, from surveys, political calls, donor campaigns and regular up-sell or cross sell initiatives.  There are many legal issues with outbound calling or voice mail broadcasts such as the Do Not Call legislation, but people still call.  There are also exemptions to the Do Not Call list.  So, don’t be surprised if you get a call from a politician or charity after putting your name on a DNC list.

Integrated Contact Strategy

Integrated contact strategies can be tested with ‘different’ touches across so many different marketing channels.