In direct response marketing, you never really fail.
When an advertisement or a promotion doesn’t work as planned, you just got some important information — what didn’t work.
This is called testing.
The classic analogy is Thomas Edison’s invention of the light bulb. It took over 10,000 experiments to develop a filament that could burn long enough to be economically feasible. Edison said, “I didn’t fail 10,000 times. I just found 10,000 ways it wouldn’t work.”
The 10,000 experiments were necessary to arrive at a successful result.
Sometimes it takes many efforts to find the right message to appeal to the marketplace. When a message works, it can be like an oil gusher and deliver profits far exceeding the investment required to try until you find the right message.
Then you “rinse and repeat” — exploit the successful message as much as you can until it becomes tired or is replaced by another successful message.
In direct marketing, the message that is currently the most successful is called the “control”. The control, in a sense, becomes the new “enemy”. Writers compete to either enhance the control or to beat it.
Sometimes, just changing features like the headline, a picture, or resequencing the message can have dramatic results.
A business has to have adequate financing to test marketing messages and promotions until they discover a successful combination. This can be even more critical than research for product development when running a successful business.
Would you like to discuss whether I can help you craft a successful message for your business? Please send me an email at email@example.com for an initial consultation at no charge or obligation.
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