As a direct response copywriter and/or marketer, when there’s a question as to what to do … “Should I write a letter or make a phone call?” … “Should I cold email, or I should I cold call?” … “Should I write this headline or that headline?” … “Should I make this offer or that offer.” And so forth…

Instead of agonizing about a decision, test it! This is one of the basic principles of direct response copywriting. Try it and see.

There isn’t a whole lot of theory in direct response copywriitng. It’s more about trackable, verifiable, quantitative results.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is agonize over a decision with regard to the message you’re sending, or the media you’re using, etc. Wondering what the “right” decision is. The fact is, in most cases you just won’t know what the right decision is until you test.

They can be simple tests—testing just one variable. For instance, you send out some letters with one headline. Then you send out letters identical to the first, with the exception of the headline. See which one pulls better. Then repeat with a new list. The more you repeat and the higher your numbers, the more accurate and statistically meaningful the data.

When you’ve hit upon a winner, you then simply repeat it. In this way, you can predict with a reasonable degree of certainty how a campaign will go. Then again, things often don’t turn out how you expect it, and you can never be 100% certain that a given result will happen again.