Direct Marketing Success can be Born of Failure

In his recent book ‘Adapt’ the economist Tim Harford suggests that solutions to complex issues can only be identified if you are willing to risk failure.

Harford believes that success almost always follows a failure, so it’s better to fail early and fail small first, to avoid greater risk and safeguard growth.

Direct marketing offers a great example of this principle in action – learn from the results of small scale failures, adapt and then move forward.

Before mailing your newly purchased mailing list of 50,000 recipients test your offering and mailer to a small portion of your list first. Ideally test two different versions next to each other (called an A/B test) and see which gets the best response.

If one version fails, at least you’ve got this failure out of the way early and minimised it’s impact.