It’s easy to make the mistake that more is always better.  If we add in an extra freebee, of course response will increase, but in reality the freebee can be detrimental if it takes focus away from the main item offered.  When creating your offer, you need to watch out that your amazing offer doesn’t turn into ‘the kitchen sink’.  This is one occasion were more can actually hurt rather than help response.

We created a beautiful 6*9 mail package for a die-cast car offer.  The offer consisted of a free die-cast car with the purchase of two other cars.  Each car also came with a free glossy trading card.  The offer was successful and rolled-out.  On an expansion mailing we decided to test adding in an extra freebee.  For the program, we had produced a leather display wallet to show off the trading cards.  It sold well inshipment, as well as an upsell to phone orders, so it seemed like a logical freebee to test.  For the mailing we A/B split, with 2/3 getting the original offer, and 1/3 getting the free display wallet in addition to the original offer.  Normally the test portion of the mailing would be much smaller, but we went with a larger test size because the response to the second offer had to be better, as the customer was receiving everything from the original offer, plus more.

Response from the test group dropped by 20%, while the control group continued to perform the same as prior mailings.  The original offer was great and focused overwhelmingly on the free car.  The test offer, distracted some of the customer’s focus away from the free car and shifted it to the less impressive free display wallet.  In hindsight, the results made sense.  When we created the offer we fell into the trap of more is always better, but the math proved sometimes less is more.