This is it. For your last session, I'm going to cover some testing, tracking and
reporting methods used to prove and improve direct mail campaigns. Your goal
should always be a positive ROI (total revenue / total spend).
If you are going to test, test only one variable. This means test only headline, image
or offer. Testing more than one variable will skew results and you won't know what moved the needle.
Test More Than One Format
You can split your list and conduct A/B testing with different formats. Try mailing postcards to half of your
list and letters to the other half.
Test More Than One Creative
Creativity is subjective. What might resonate with one person might fall flat with another. Test headlines,
body copy, and images to see which one performs best, but remember to only test one variable at a time.
PURL or Unique Phone Number
PURL stands for Personalized URL which is a new web address used to test direct response. This way, you
can prove that 100 percent of your leads came from that campaign.
Another unique tracking method is a dedicated phone line. Set up a specific number that goes on the piece
and tracks all incoming activity.
Collect the data that comes in with codes setup to track offer redemption and traffic. Print codes directly
on the piece or lead them online or in store where they can only access or redeem the offer. Codes can be
numeric, alphabetical, or you can use barcodes, QR codes, or SMS (text messaging). Codes should be set
up in accordance with your point of sale or computer system, if you have one.
Was It Good For You?
To track the profitability of the campaign, you need to include all associated costs,
including list rental or purchase, data purging and processing, mailing and sorting,
postage, printing, design and any cost with the setup of the code or tracking
device. If you sell direct to consumer, subtract product fulfilment cost to get an
Direct Mail Response Rate and ROI
One of the benefits of direct mail marketing is that the value is easily measured using your projected response
rate (number of prospects who will take action) and ROI (return on investment). Typical response rates for
a direct mail campaign range from about one percent to five percent. This rate varies by industry and the
quality and relevance of the mailing list, as well as whether it's a warm (has had previous interactions) or
cold (no previous contact) list. By estimating your response rate, you can determine the size of the mailing
needed to achieve your desired ROI or sales goals.
Let's look at a mailing campaign example:
At first glance, 100 responses out of 5000 postcards might not seem worthwhile. But if the responses
resulted in sales worth $4375 and an ROI of 35 percent after subtracting the cost of the direct mail
campaign, then the marketers behind this campaign should be pleased.
Well-timed and proper evaluation of direct mail, with or without variables, is a must. A campaign without
tracking is mailed in the dark. You lose the ability to quantify if direct mail can work for your business.
Careful and strategic tracking and reporting provides critical knowledge, which can be used to optimize
and improve direct mail in the future.
Remember, one time isn't enough. Set a frequency of at least four sends
. Work with a highly profiled
list, write killer copy, design with precision, mail with confidence and always put tracking and reporting in
place. Do these things, and you can mail like a master.