We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: print isn’t dead. In fact, as sales and marketing departments across dozens of industries become oversaturated with digital outreach efforts, print has continued to hold its place in the marketing realm as a reliable and effective tactic.
Of course, it’s one thing to say that print can help your team drive conversions and another to show it. But unlike digital marketing tactics that automatically record results that can be presented in a tidy report, measuring the results of a direct mail marketing campaign takes a slightly more manual approach. Let’s review some of the best ways to track and measure the success of your print efforts.
Tracking Direct Mail Campaigns is Crucial
Tracking direct mail campaigns is a crucial step in determining the success of your direct mail campaigns. It’s essential to identify your marketing objective first when tracking your direct mail campaigns. Once you determine your objectives then focus on eye-catching mailers with clear calls-to-action. Tracking your response rates of your direct mail campaigns requires ongoing assessment and adjustments.
How To Measure Direct Mail Success
Let’s review some of the best ways to track direct mail and how to measure direct mail success of your print efforts. Follow these direct mail measurement methods on your next direct mail campaign.
Direct Mail Measurement Method #1: Include a Trackable URL & Phone Number
In digital-only marketing, a UTM parameter can tell you where your website’s visitors came from before they found your landing page. For print marketing campaigns, you can include a custom trackable URL created specifically for the campaign. To really take things to the next level, an integrated solution such as Advertisers Connects will allow you to match the physical address of website visitors and ensure that no lead is left behind. This is achieved via continued online exposure (Google, Facebook, and Instagram ads) to the interested prospects who leave your website without taking action, making them 70% more likely to return to your website and convert.
By creating and using custom tracking codes for print mail, you get the best of both marketing worlds: on the print side, you reap the benefits of an original and well-designed piece that speaks to your audience, and on the digital side, you take advantage of modern tracking technology that delivers insights into what is or isn’t working in your campaign.
Direct Mail Measurement Method #2: Offer an Exclusive Coupon or Promotion
Who doesn’t love to get exclusive discounts? This direct mail measurement & tracking method is one of the easiest: Rather than needing to hook into the digital side to view results, you can tell how well the promotion worked by seeing how many customers redeemed the coupon code (whether online, by phone, or in-person). To get even more granular with your data, you can even create variable codes so that each recipient receives their own unique promo code. From there, you could make decisions on whether or not you targeted the right demographics, the timing of the mailer was correct, the discount was enticing, and so on.
Direct Mail Measurement Method #3: Add a QR Code
When smartphones first hit the market, QR codes were all the rage—they were an exciting and innovative way to communicate a lot of information through a quick scan with your phone’s camera. As the years have passed, their widespread use has faded, leaving a potential opportunity for print mediums to take advantage of them again. They haven’t seen a major resurgence yet in the U.S. (unlike in some overseas markets), but with the current global health crisis highlighting the need for contactless communications, they may be primed for a comeback.
Since QR codes can have multiple purposes, be sure to clarify what the code will do once scanned (e.g., access the deal, read more, etc.). From there, you should be able to track how many people scanned the code as well as what next steps they took (depending on the goal of the code).
Direct Mail Measurement Method #4: Social Media Followers
Another easy one, all you have to do is include the names/URLs of your social media accounts on your mailers. Once they’ve been sent and the campaign begins, you can use your analytics tools to view which new social followers came from your website, Google, etc. and then deduce how many new followers were motivated by your mailers. If your social following sees a solid uptick after your print campaign, you’ll know that those recipients were intrigued enough to start receiving regular updates about your company!
Direct Mail Measurement Method #5: Business Reply Cards
One of the more old-school techniques on this list, a business reply card is a simple postcard that the prospect can return in the mail without adding any postage. These cards can be used to gather demographic data by asking recipients non-confidential questions about their interests and buying preferences, and you can incentivize them to engage by offering a reward or discount if they send it back.
Final Step: Measure the Direct Mail Results
The final step is to measure the direct mail results, specifically the response rate, cost per action and customer acquisition cost.
Direct Mail Response Rate
Perhaps the easiest (and most popular) way to measure the success of a direct mail marketing campaign is by response rate—in other words, how many people took action based on your mail? Depending on your goal, the direct mail response rate will likely vary from campaign to campaign. But keep in mind that direct mail has an average response rate of 4.4% for a baseline (as opposed to a measly 0.12% for emails).
Cost Per Action
This metric is purposefully vague for a good reason—it gives you the opportunity to measure several different actions, including new customer count, response rate, and so on. The easiest way to calculate this cost per action is to take the total cost of your direct mail campaign and divide by the actions taken. Once you have the final number, you can compare it to other direct mail campaigns you’ve conducted, or even digital marketing campaigns, to see how they compare.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Customer acquisition cost also known as CAC provides a summary of all the marketing and sales costs that lead up to your company acquiring a new customer. It might include the costs associated with the direct mail campaign, the fulfillment, and all the follow-up time spent by your employees. This metric is very useful for analyzing your investment and making sure that you’re making the right decisions for your company’s growth.
Return on Investment
This is the net revenue earned from your direct mail marketing campaign, after you subtract all of the associated costs (AKA the amount that goes directly to your bottom line). Ultimately, what you’re looking to discover from measuring your results is your total return on investment. In the past, we’ve made a pretty strong case for the value of print media for marketing —once you curate your results, you can then make adjustments to your campaigns to maximize your success and increase your ROI.
Have questions or want to learn more? Contact Advertisers Printing, a St. Louis Printing Company today for additional information about measuring the success of your direct mail campaigns.