Everything you do in business needs to deliver a return on your investment (ROI). Whether you’re putting in money, time, effort or other resources, it’s only worthwhile if you can see the results. However, it’s often difficult to measure the ROI of direct mail campaigns. You don’t always know how and why customers end up coming to you for products or services. Some of the things you might want to measure are:
- The overall response rate (gross response)
- Your conversion rate (recipients who become customers)
- The cost of each lead generated (campaign cost / the number of inquiries you get)
- The cost of each acquisition (you can either measure the campaign cost divided by the number of customers you get or the number of sales you make, depending on your product offering)
To do any of these things, you need data about how well each direct mail campaign is performing, and which channels deliver the best results. Here’s how to gather that data:
1. Add a personalized URL
You can do this one of two ways:
- First, you can create a specific URL for each campaign, so prospective clients who want to get more information or make a purchase come to the URL and you can get stats on how many people do so.
- Second, if you’re personalizing your campaign you have to print/produce material with variable fields anyway, so you might as well create an individual URL for each client. It can be as simple as generating URLs ending in unique codes that relate to the marketing database, but that will not only give you the numbers that respond but will tell you who were the prospects that viewed the site.
2. Use unique offer IDs
Unique offer identifiers enable expansion of data-gathering beyond the online component of a direct mail campaign. If your campaign promotes a product that the customer needs to purchase in-store, providing a unique activation code the customer presents at point of purchase enables knowing who bought what, and where and when it was collected.
This gives you valuable insight into whether the campaign was instrumental in driving the purchase. You also gain data on which locations deliver the best ROI for a direct mail campaign.
3. QR codes
We’ve blogged previously about the benefits of using QR (quick response) codes in your direct marketing, to connect the online and offline aspects of each campaign. For mobile users QR codes provide a quick path to your website. It also saves respondents from typing extended (or complicated) URLs. The user scans the code with a smart phone and is taken immediately to the page in question. Once again, you can have everyone come to the same landing page and simply count page impressions.Or, you can create personalized landing pages.
A nice in-between solution is to use QR codes to bring the user to your landing page, then offer something that gets them to provide an email address or other contact information to download or retrieve it. This gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to measuring your ROI: a quick and easy-to-set-up way to bring the user to your website, stats on the number of people who visit, and detailed contact information for leads you can go out and convert.
Don’t just follow the sheep; make your direct mail campaigns integrated marketing miracles including these ways to personalize and measure your ROI.