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#DMGuru: Tips for measuring your Direct Mail campaign success

If you're considering using direct mail as part of your marketing strategy then you'll need to be able to measure the success of your campaign. In an earlier blog post, we looked at the latest figures on direct mail marketing. The figures showed that in an increasingly digital world, direct mail stands out from the digital overload and is one of the most effective forms of marketing.

But how do you measure the effectiveness of direct marketing within your own business? Here are four top tips from The Mailing People on how to measure direct mail success.

Use a unique phone number or email address

Allocate an exclusive phone number or create an email address that will be used solely by respondents to a specific direct mail campaign. This is a straightforward method of gathering data on response rates. You could also break things down further and allocate three different phone numbers or email addresses to one campaign to help you gather data on factors such as age ranges or geographical locations.

For example, you might use three different phone numbers for England, Scotland and Wales. Or you could use different email addresses for different age groups – 20s -30s, 40s – 50s, 60s and over.

Use a unique URL

If the aim of your mailing is to persuade customers to log onto your website and take action there, then use a unique URL to trace those who have logged on as a result of your direct mail campaign. Create a custom landing page for your direct mail audience and make sure that you keep the URL short so that it’s easy for a new customer to log onto.

Remember - using a unique address, URL or phone number won’t add to cost of your mailing, as it’s an all-inclusive part of overprint. If the client sends the data to the mailing house, then the best direct mail companies will create the variations required at no extra cost.

Add a code (maybe with a discount)

Add a unique code to a mailing for the customer to quote when they call, email or complete information online. Unique codes can work particularly well if you highlight the code as some sort of bonus or offer. For example – ‘Quote the code SuperSale to get a 10% discount on your first order’. (Codes tied to bonuses and offers are a great direct mail sales technique as well as being brilliant tools for measuring direct mail success.)

If you’re using a postage paid return system for your responses, your unique code can be pre-printed for data gathering. You may want to use several codes within one campaign to get more specific data on things like geographical location, as above. And as with unique emails, phone numbers and URLs, there is no additional cost to using several codes within one campaign.

Where’s the action?

Analyse your sales figures in relation to your direct mail data. Look at the timing of each mail shot and monitor this against sales boosted in particular market sectors or geographical locations. Is direct mail sent out at a certain time of year proving more effective? Do some market sectors respond better to direct mailing than others?

Use historic sales data to track sales figures before and after direct mail marketing.

If your direct mail marketing is for multiple products or services, are some proving more popular than others? For example, if you’re sending out a catalogue and you feature a specific product as a colour image on the envelope, is that proving to be the biggest seller from the catalogue following your mailshot? This kind of information can really help you plan your next direct mail campaign for improved returns.

Learning how to measure direct mail response is a big part of measuring direct mail success and finding out how to improve the ROI of your direct mail campaigns. But direct mail response isn’t the whole story. Integrating your direct mail campaign with a digital strategy can help you take things a stage further by linking response rates to sales and conversions online.

Measuring the success of direct mail marketing needn’t be complicated. Get a system in place and you’ll find it’s a highly effective route map that helps you to use direct mail build your business.

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