Putting together a direct mail campaign is easy — tracking its success is a whole other ballgame. It should, however, be a part of your marketing plan. After all, you want to know whether or not the time and costs invested in it were well spent.
To truly understand the success of your campaign, you need to have clearly defined goals. Are you looking to increase sales/donors, drive more traffic to your website/landing page or build your email list? Whatever the desired outcome is, be sure the team understands it and is working together to achieve it. Planning ahead how you will measure this key.
Here are some tried and true strategies you can implement to help you see the value of your next direct mail campaign.
Seed Your List
Whether you are preparing a 200 or 2,000,000 piece direct mail campaign, you are sure to want it to arrive at the intended recipient’s address in a timely manner and in good condition.
To ensure this is happening, add a few addresses to your mail list. Include colleagues, family members or friends that you trust will provide you with honest feedback. The additional recipients should be in the same geographical area as your target. Adding a seed address located in California doesn’t do you any good if the rest of your target is located in Florida. Have your seeds take photos of any damage that may be evident to the mailer and request they let you know immediately when it is received.
If the direct mail piece is arriving later than planned, it could shorten the lifespan if an expiration date is included as part of the campaign.
Specialty CTA Links
No doubt your direct mail campaign includes a clear Call To Action (CTA). You’ll want to track the driving force behind making your target act on the CTA and move through your sales funnel. Sure, you can ask the customer or donor how they heard about your organization or the specific promotion at the point of sale, but chances are, they won’t recall or they will simply select the first option. Rather than leave it to chance, set up an automated mechanism to help you. Here are a few suggestions.
- If you are offering a discount, use a specific coupon code that can be tracked back to this direct mail campaign.
- Set up a special toll-free number that is only shared via this direct mail campaign.
- Include a personalized url – commonly referred to as a purl – within the direct mail piece. BONUS! This is a great way to personalize your direct mail campaign.
- Create a landing page and include the unique link as part of your CTA.
Whichever strategy you choose to utilize, planning ahead and implementing it before the direct mail campaign is printed and dropped is necessary.
If you are torn between two designs or two different CTA’s – go ahead and try them both. You may find that in a certain region your target responds differently than in another.
Take a look at the results of each at the end of your campaign to determine which had greater effectiveness. Using this data will help you create future direct mail campaigns that are successful.
Use historical data to compare sales from a previous year to the same time period of your direct mail campaign. By subtracting the historical data from the current sales/donations, you can see the resulting increase from your current direct mail campaign efforts.
What strategies do you use to track your Direct Mail Campaign success?