How to measure direct mail campaigns

When comparing direct mail with digital it’s sometimes hard to know if the direct mail is working. Digital and social media are a lot easier to see what’s working and can be adjusted in real time. If you’re not getting likes, shares on social and clicks through on email you can see this quickly and change tactic.

Direct mail is a bit different as there’s no immediate ‘like’ when you send something in the mail. That said, done well it’s really effective as customers are becoming more de-sensitised to digital communication and direct mail can cut through the noise.

Here’s a few points to measure and make sure you’re getting bang for your buck.

1. Response rates

According the DMA, direct mail took a leap to 5.3% response rates on average in 2016. From this, you need to work out how many leads you want from your direct mail to then calculate how many you need to send. For 1500 leads you’d need to send just over 28,300 pieces of direct mail to get that response.

To get a response you need to make sure the call to action is clear and easy for your customers to get in touch or make a purchase. One simple way is to send them to a targeted page on your website and track the clicks, or bring in a voucher to your business and make sure the staff track the vouchers.

2. Conversion Rates

Getting lots of leads is all well and good, but if no one converts and makes a purchase, you’ve not made any money. If tracking via your website you need to track via analytics to see who bought using the URL on your DM piece. In a shop or restaurant, you’ll need to track the purchases to be tracked by staff or the voucher they bring in.

3. Cost Per Acquisition

To understand the actual return on your campaign you’ll need to know how much the direct mail campaign cost and then divide this by the number of new customers that you have gained from the campaign.

This would include creative, print, distribution – door drops or postage, plus and additional social media or ppc advertising you’ve used with the direct mail campaign.

4. Revenue Per Order

This is how much your new customer spent with you on their purchase as a result of your direct mail. This is really useful to work out if your campaign has brought the right level of revenue or client spend.

If not, you might need to change your message or look at the database you’re targeting to try and get a better result next time.

5. Return on Investment

ROI is the return on what you spent. Did you make more money than what you spent on acquiring the new customers? If you have a high retention rate and clients order more than once, it’s worth measuring the long term effect rather than just the first sale value.
Driving higher ROI

Direct mail does work well, but if linked with more channels, across email, social media and digital advertising – multiple touch points will drive the conversion rate and ROI higher than direct mail alone.

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