You’ve probably heard direct mail remains one of the most effective ways to break through the “digital noise” and connect with customers.
Others within your organization may not be so convinced. Direct mail and other direct marketing solutions still require more upfront cost than email, although new technology continues to make them more cost-effective.
To prove their worth to your boss and gain budgeting approval, you’ll need to measure these five direct mail metrics.
1. Response Rate
How many people felt compelled to take action after receiving your last direct mail piece?
Direct mail has an average response rate of about 3.7 percent, according to industry research from the Direct Mail Association, so you’ll need to cast a net wide enough to get the results you want. (If you want 1,000 new leads, that’s 37,000 direct mail pieces.)
The key to measuring response rate is having a clear and measurable call to action. Send people to a specific targeted or personalized web address, or ask them to bring their postcard or enclosed coupon to your location. If you use a bring-in item, make sure front-line staff knows what to do with them — and to ask how the new customer heard about the offer if they didn’t bring in their mailer.
2. Conversion Rate
Response rates are important, but they’re only worthwhile if they lead to sales. Conversion rates will be much easier to track if your direct mail campaign is integrated with a larger direct marketing strategy that includes digital elements.
When you’re tracking a web promotion, you’ll need to use data analytics to see who made purchases from the URL included on the piece.
In store, you’ll need staff to track the purchases made by customers or use a coupon code to track purchases electronically.
3. Cost per Acquisition
Large-scale campaigns tend to have a small per-piece cost, but it’s important to track that cost so you’ll know how much you spent for each new customer you gained.
Gather the total costs of running the campaign, including the hard costs such as postage and printing, as well as extra staffing, special web presence, social media advertising, and other related costs. Compare this with the response and conversion rates to see how much you spent per new customer.
4. Revenue per Order
How much did your new customers buy? Use the order data to track the amount earned per new customer in response to your direct mail offer.
This metric can help you track whether the new customers were higher value or lower value. If the revenue per order number isn’t quite as high as projected, you can try different options with your next campaign, such as targeting more affluent customers, highlighting higher value items, or providing a dollar amount off a specific purchase price, rather than a percentage discount. Once you know what brings the best and highest value return, you can replicate what works.
5. Total Return on Investment
Was your marketing campaign effective? Did you earn more than you spent? Did you hit your ROI goals? Compare the total earnings with the total cost to see if your marketing dollars were well spent.
If not, look at what may work better for future campaigns to get you closer to your goals for total revenue and ROI. This may mean making smarter cost decisions, better targeting your mailing list, or creating an offer that is more compelling.
Direct Marketing: Integrating Direct Mail With Digital
Direct mail is just one element of a larger marketing strategy, not a stand-alone solution. Customers increasingly expect an omni-channel experience with multiple touch points, including mail, email, social media messages and digital advertising that is targeted to their interests rather than intrusive. Delivering this type of experience requires a level of customer data integration and production many companies don’t have in-house.
Elements of a truly integrated campaign include:
- Data cleansing
- Data validation and augmentation
- Data segmentation
- Personalized mail pieces
- Personalized landing pages
- Variable direct mail pieces based on specific customer segments
- Follow-up emails
- Analytics and reporting
It’s no surprise more companies are outsourcing a larger portion of this work. Unfortunately, each new vendor that becomes involved in a single campaign adds a layer of complication and potential risk.
Data Communications Management has the technology and expertise to do the work of multiple vendors. We bring a strategic, holistic approach to every aspect of a direct marketing campaign, from data management and personalization to printing and delivery.
For more tips on improving the performance of your next campaign, download this helpful checklist, 8 Steps to Boost Direct Mail Response Rates.