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Direct Mail Response Rates and Other Metrics: How to Measure Your Campaign

Email, social media, and other online advertising get most of the attention in today’s world but old-fashioned direct mail still works like crazy. In fact, direct mail outperforms digital marketing by 37 percent with a house list.

One of the reasons a lot of marketers avoid direct mail is because it takes more work to track everything. But that will work in your favor if you do the work to set up your direct mail campaigns effectively.

Let’s look at how to measure your direct mail response rates and other important metrics.

What Are Direct Mail Response Rates?

The response rate of your mailing is the percentage of people who responded to the offer. For example, if you mail 1,000 packages and 50 people respond, that’s a 5 percent response rate (50 divided by 1,000).

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the average response rate for house lists is 9 percent and the average rate for prospect lists is 5 percent. There are lots of factors that affect a given campaign including:

  • Cost of the offer
  • The complexity of the market and product or service
  • How well targeted the list is

Conversion Rate vs Response Rate

Conversion rate is another metric that you should always measure on your direct mail campaigns. The conversion rate is the percentage of people who not only responded but also took the offer.

Conversion rates and response rates can sometimes be so similar that you don’t need to track them separately. On lower-cost offers, especially for things that are impulse items, the two numbers will be virtually identical. The only response might be to take the offer.

Tracking the two metrics independently is more important on offers with a higher price or a longer sales cycle where the prospect may take some time to make a buying decision.

How to Measure Your Response and Conversion Rates

Part of what makes online marketing so attractive is the ability to track prospects at almost every step of the sales funnel. It’s easy to pinpoint where a customer first saw your ad or read about your company.

You can do the same thing with direct mail but it takes a bit more planning. The key to direct mail tracking is to make every step identifiable so you can connect a conversion back to the source of that lead.

If your mailing directs the reader to your website for more information, set up a unique landing page for every mailing you send. Instead of directing them to www.yourcompany.com, point them to www.yourcompany.com/product-x-landing-page.

You can also use Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool to create URLs that you can track from within Google Analytics.

The same goes for phone numbers. If the goal of your mailing is to have prospects call you, every mailing should have a unique number whenever possible. The number might forward to your main number but with a unique number, you’ll know how many people called in response to that particular mailing.

You can also use coupon codes, department numbers, extension numbers, or any other unique identifier in your ad. When the prospect calls, ask them for the number.

Creating Direct Mail Campaigns

Getting your campaign set up so you can measure direct mail response rates takes planning and preparation. Once you send the mailing, you can’t go back and make changes the way you can online.

The best way to ensure you’ve got everything in place before the first letter goes out the door is to work with an expert in direct mail campaigns. Modern Mail & Print Solutions can help. We’ve been providing dependable, high-quality services for over 40 years.

Get in touch with us today to get more information about our direct mail marketing services. We’ll help you plan and implement your campaign so you can see exactly what kind of results it’s getting.

Posted in: Business Resources

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