While direct mail marketing can be cost intensive, it can produce spectacular results.
As a small-business owner, when you plan and execute a direct mail campaign, don’t forget the most important part: measuring your results. It can be easy to get completely focused on the content you’re sending and the list you are using. However, your time and money are wasted if you don’t measure whether or not your campaign is effective.
Make sure to incorporate the following to learn more about your campaign’s success, and to plan for future direct mailings.
Define Your Goals
What does success mean to you? Do you want sales of a specific product? Sign-ups for a service? Limit goals to one or two specific, measurable outcomes. A vague idea about increasing revenue is not good enough. Increasing one or two areas by a specific percentage or dollar amount is a better strategy.
Create a Unique Tracking Marker
How will you effectively track new-business leads? Unique trackers can help you identify business that comes directly from your direct mail piece. Depending on how the business occurs, use different ways to distinguish these customers:
- Send Web customers to a unique URL. If the promotion is large enough, it may be worth it to create a URL specifically for your campaign. You can also use a short, easy-to-remember subdomain for your landing page. If you are making your mailing to a group of prospects likely to have and use smartphones, include a QR code on the mailing.
- For walk-in traffic, include a unique coupon with a tracking code. The downside of this is, you will need someone to manually count coupons and, when possible, record information about the people who use them.
- For companies selling a service, include a phrase that customers can use to get a small discount. This is a tracking method that requires your staff to record all interactions, and may be less accurate than other methods.
Calculate Return On Investment (ROI)
If an investment makes $20,000, is it worthwhile? That depends on what you spent on your direct mail marketing efforts. A $5000 campaign that returns $20,000 is great, but a $22,000 campaign with the same return is a loss.
To get your ROI, record how much you spent on creative, printing, your list and postage. Then, calculate the number of responses and how much each customer spent. This will tell you what the customer acquisition cost is and your return on each piece you sent.
Learn More About Who Responded
Ask customers to participate in a survey after their purchase. This can give you valuable information about your buyers’ demographics and motivations. By learning more about who these people are and what they want, you can be that much more successful with future targeting.
Marketing efforts are the most effective when businesses measure their results, determine what works, and use that knowledge to power future campaigns. By continuing to experiment and hone their skills, small-business owners can increase their ROI and make every direct mail marketing campaign more successful than the last.
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