It is notoriously difficult to measure the impact of a Superbowl commercial or a billboard, but for direct mail it’s ridiculously easy. Fifty years of writing direct mail have enabled marketers to measure the effectiveness of tens of thousands of campaigns. To a direct marketer, every ad is an opportunity to experiment. Why run one version of an ad when you can run two and learn more about what makes some ads work and others fail?
Some ads are 20 times more effective than others that look very similar. The successful ads follow these principles:
What you say is more important than how you say it.
The headline (the subject if it’s email) is the most important element in most advertisements.
The most effective ...