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 is starting to solidify its place in the marketing realm as a reliable and still successful 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, print marketing campaigns may be a little more difficult to track. That said, let’s review some of the best ways to track and measure the success of your print efforts.
1. Include a Trackable URL & Phone Number
Digital marketing activities can be tracked through a UTM code. Unfortunately, technology hasn’t evolved to the point of providing print media with such integrations, but we can take advantage of the same idea. For example, a UTM tag tells you where your visitors came from before they found your landing page. For print marketing campaigns, you can include a custom trackable URL (such as a bitly link or specific landing page) or a phone number that was created specifically for this campaign. Both of these custom features are easy to set up, but if you find it difficult to make a new phone number, you could always direct customers to “mention this mailer.”
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 devices that give you insights into what is or isn’t working in your campaign.
2. Offer an Exclusive Coupon or Promotion
Who doesn’t love to get exclusive discounts? Thankfully, this method of measuring results is also one of the easiest. Rather than needing to hook into the digital side to view results, you can easily tell how well the promotion worked by seeing how many customers redeemed the coupon code (whether online, by phone, or in person). From there, you could make decisions on whether or not the timing of the mailer was correct, the discount was worth pursuing, and so on.
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 use in nearly every marketing campaign has faded, which now leaves an opportunity for print media to take advantage of it again.
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).
4. Measure the Results
Now that we’ve discussed ways to track the results of your print marketing campaigns, let’s review the most common metrics for measuring success.
Perhaps the easiest (and thus 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 action 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 number 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.
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.
Contact us today for more information about measuring the success of your direct mail campaign.