One of the big advantages of using Direct Mail is that you can easily test an offer or creative before launching a campaign. By doing this you will be able to see what works before committing to the campaign.
The easiest way to design a test is to use a sample list, code the list, and then divide the list in half and included a different offer, design, or any other variable on each part of the list. In most cases, for a statistically valid test you need to get 100 responses. Determine what your normal response rate is and then use that number to figure out how many pieces to mail. If your normal response to an offer is 2% you would have to mail out 5,000 pieces to get that response. Once responses come in you will be able to determine which list they were mailed from and from there you can see which offer or creative worked best. Once the test is complete, you can increase the quantity of your next mailing utilizing the higher converting design, or you can run another test against a new design. Never stop testing, never stop looking for the little tweaks that can make your campaign more successful.