tracking results of marketing campaigns

Tracking the Results of Your Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

If you don’t track your direct mail marketing campaigns, you have no way of knowing if they are working, or how well. You don’t know if your marketing efforts are cost-effective or how to improve going forward. That’s no way to grow a business.

You can make your tracking process very complex, if you’re a numbers buff, but most business owners prefer to keep it simple. Here are some ways you can track the results of your direct mail marketing easily but effectively.

Why bother?

As noted above, when you know what your results were, you can analyze them to learn:

  • Number of responses
  • Number of sales or leads generated
  • Dollar amount of sales (overall and by customer)
  • Dollar amount of profit
  • Overall return on investment

When computing profit and ROI, be sure you include all the costs associated with producing your direct mail, not just the postage, so you get an accurate financial picture. For ongoing campaigns, you can compare short-term results against year-end results and also plot results by month to see if certain times of the year periods produce stronger response.

If your direct mail marketing campaign included two offers on a single postcard, you can track each offer separately and compare the results. If you send mailings with the same offer to two different segments of your audience at the same time, you can compare which group of prospects responded more.

How can you track direct mail marketing?

There are several easy ways to monitor response:

  • Dedicated phone number. If your call to action is literally a call — “phone us today for an appointment” or “call now to place your order” – you can use a special local or toll-free phone number. You’ll automatically receive these calls on your regular business line, but you’ll also be able to easily identify which calls are coming in from your mailing.
  • Dedicated URL or landing page. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, make sure you have an offer-specific landing page. You can use Google Analytics, including the timeline within Annotations, to monitor direct traffic results and landing page conversions.
  • Promo code. Print the code on your postcard and ask customers for it when they call or go online as instructed by your call to action.
  • Coupon. Include a coupon as part of your mailer design, or design the entire postcard to look like a coupon on one side. Make your offer(s) redeemable in person, and be sure to collect the postcards.

You should also track your direct mail process, so you know your mailers are in fact being delivered, how long it’s taking and how they look when they arrive in your prospect’s hands. The easiest way to do this is by “seeding” your mailing list. Include your own address and also a few others – friends or employees you can rely on to report back to you.

Training is essential.

Unless you’re a one-person business, it is crucial to ensure your employees know about all your marketing promotions and, in particular, how to track responses. Are they supposed to ask for a promo code or collect a postcard coupon?

Some direct mail marketing companies enable you to record calls coming in to a dedicated number. This service allows you to study the conversations later on – by listening to how your staff handles calls with prospects, you can improve telephone conversion skills. This is important whether you operate a call center or have a single receptionist who fields all your calls.

You don’t have to start from scratch planning your tracking program. Talk with a direct mail marketing professional to learn which metrics will be most useful for your business and the easiest way to gather that information. It may vary by campaign, so getting good advice up front will help you get the most useful tracking results.

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