Direct marketers need to carefully consider the mailing lists they rent-and test them first. The ability to test multiple variables is one of the strongest appeals of direct marketing. By tracking the results, you can tell which lists are the most effective and dump the ones that don't bring in the dollars.
This tracking can be done rather simply at first. Suppose you're an independent financial planner and are looking for more clients. By color-coding your mailing and sending and offer for a free consultation to a sampling of new retirees, parents of young kids, and women between the ages of 25 and 40, you can track which groups respond the best before you do a mass mailing to all three.
Excerpted from 303 Marketing Tips: Guaranteed To Boost Your Business