Considerations for Successful Creative Testing in Print Media

A mistake in creative test set-up can have detrimental effects on your campaign.  Besides the obvious financial loss the learnings loss can set you back months from hitting your goals.  In print media testing can take weeks even months to go out and then weeks more to read.  Getting it right the first time will keep you on track.  Below is a list questions to review before executing a test in print.

  • What are the variables you want to test? Consider what is most important to your goals.  Testing too much at once will make the results questionable.
  • What are the limitations of creative testing within the program? Can they A/B split by household, zip, zone, or segment?  However, its broken up are each segments treated equally?
  • Will the test span across multiple dates? Are an equal amount of each test creative going out on the same day?  If not, how will you stagger the circulation to limit timing as a variable?
  • Does each creative have enough circulation to produce enough responses to be statistically significant?
  • If you are testing offer or format have you reviewed if the creative is still relatively the same to the control with regard to look and message?
  • Have you accurately noted on all paperwork your test outline and reviewed it with whomever is responsible for executing it?
  • Are the creative labeled with the same names used in the paperwork for accurate identification?
  • Have you reviewed the creative to ensure the call to action elements are accurate to plans and paperwork?
  • Have you called the number to see if it works?
  • Have you entered the URL to see if it works?
  • Have you checked that there is an accurate mail back address on any BRC’s used?


Ginette Merenski
VP, Print Media Buying

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