I started doing direct mail in 1997, and as hard as it is to believe, this was before email was huge. This was during my time at DCI (remember that whole tax fraud thing – see Breaking Rocks). Direct Marketing (DM) was king of all that it surveyed, and those in the know learned from DM News. DM News is the New York Times of direct marketing, the I-Ching, the bible, insert large important document reference here.
I was elated to see an article today that lead off with a quote of mine. The funny part is that probably 99.9% of my friends and family (and probably you too, dear readers) don’t even know it exists, but to me it’s a great honor.
But you didn’t come here to listen to my blather, and fear not – you should go back and click to the article and read it, it’s excellent stuff. It touches upon the difficulty of selecting a control group, using Half Life (which was new to me, and I love it), segmentation, long term results, and getting statistically valid results.
It crystallized another point for me too – testing is not like experimenting because the test itself affects and taints future results. There are a bunch of other topics this naturally leads to, such as B2B vs. B2C, and how to find the optimum emailing frequency, but those are thoughts for another day.