Direct Mail Marketing

5 Ways to Measure the Impact of Your Direct Mail

January 20, 2022
Author
Inkit Team

Direct mail response rates are 5 to 9 times higher than any digital marketing channel, but how do you know if it works for your business? The impact of a marketing campaign is about numbers. In other words, measuring the performance of a direct mail marketing campaign involves an analysis of specific metrics tied to the success (or failure) of a particular campaign.

Marketers look into:

  • Sales before and after the campaign
  • Number of leads extracted from the campaign
  • Number of actual buying customers at the end of the campaign
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)

If you're not measuring the impact of your direct mail campaign, you're missing out on the critical KPIs (direct mail marketing ROI, response rate, retention rate - and many others) that show the actual performance. These metrics help marketers evaluate a direct mail marketing campaign and accurately pinpoint what works and what doesn't.

Learn how to measure the impact of a direct mail campaign in our post.

Direct Mail Campaign Examples With Measurable Results

Every company has its unique definition of success. Some pursue more customers; others channel great effort towards revenue generation; others believe in awareness, etc.

They track and measure the desired metrics to determine the impact of their campaigns.

Let's see how two companies created perfect direct mail campaigns and significantly raised their revenue.

Case 1: Welcome Postcards for Asana

Asana partnered with Inkit to launch a welcome postcard campaign. They decided to try an alternative engagement channel since customers were tired of emails and online communications.

To evaluate the campaign, Asana measured new user visitations, accepted invitations, and churn rates. They saw a 17.6% increase in new users, 6.5% more invitations accepted, and a 15.7% decrease in churn.

Case 2: Retention Direct Mail Marketing Campaign by BombBomb

BombBomb, a video messaging cloud-based platform, launched a direct mail marketing campaign as a part of the cross-channel strategy. They integrated Inkit's automated direct mail with Marketo to improve new monthly signups, annual renewals, and dunning accounts.

Trigger-based and personalized mailings reduced the churn rates of new monthly signups by 23.4%. They also increased saved dunning accounts by 17% and grew user retention by 21.6%.

How to Measure Direct Mail Success

Your direct mail campaign will always revolve around the customer journey and sales funnel. Many companies today aim at:

  • Generating more leads
  • Boosting the revenue margin
  • Increasing awareness about their products and services
  • Customer satisfaction

But how do you tell the difference between a successful strategy and a failed one? First things first, there must be a strategy to track. Develop a strategy, identify the end goals, and determine what metrics are essential to success.

Set the End Goal of the Strategy

Generally, every direct mail campaign starts with a goal. Marketers use what we call the 4Ws and 1H. The 4 Ws and 1H stand for who, what, where, when, and how? These are questions marketers should ask when developing a direct mail strategy.

  • Who does the campaign target? Is it children? Is it teenagers, marketing executives, IT experts, or fellow companies in the same line of business?
  • What does the campaign seek to accomplish? Some campaigns create awareness. Others are designed to sell more, generate leads, etc.
  • Where will the campaign take place? Local grounds? Will it extend to other states, or perhaps, other nations?
  • When does it start? Does the campaign begin early next week or later in the year? Are the sales and marketing departments ready for the challenges?
  • How will the company execute the plan?


There is no specific order for these questions when doing your direct mail analysis. Answers to these questions point the company in the direction necessary to achieve the end goal.

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Determine What Metrics to Track

There are many metrics in marketing. Sales and marketing won't use them all at once. The use of marketing metrics also depends on the marketing channel itself. So, for instance, bounce rate, click-through rate, and engagement time would apply for web-based digital marketing but not for direct mail.

In a direct mail marketing campaign, some of the most valuable metrics include:

  • Cost per acquisition
  • Direct mail return on investment
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer retention rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Response rate
  • Open rate

Use 5 Ways to Measure Direct Mail Effectiveness

  1. Web Traffic

With over 59% of the global population accessing the internet, the web is one of the places to measure the impact of your direct mail campaign. Use tracking tools such as Google Analytics to track the performance of your web assets.

First, create awareness of your direct mail strategy to let customers know that you deliver marketing materials, newsletters, and catalogs to their doorsteps. Next, offer a discount, a coupon, or something of value to those who agree to receive print marketing materials. For every coupon, postcard, or personalized letter you send out, include a link to your website homepage/product page.

You will see a traffic surge indicating the direct mail marketing success rate.

  1. Dedicated Phone Numbers

Some customers may call the company in response to direct mail marketing. Expert marketers recommend setting up a dedicated toll-free number for each campaign. You can use call-tracking software to record the content of the customer-agent conversations.

Again, you should provide a phone number on postcards, newsletters, brochures, and catalogs sent out to the customers. If the customer calls, the dedicated toll-free number will automatically channel the calls to your business line, from where you can track them.

  1. Personalized Coupons

Despite the digital age taking over modern business, people still value coupons. Companies can create coupons and ship them to customers with purchases. It's a perfect opportunity to make a good impression, tell customers who you are, introduce your products, and perhaps, sell something.

Tracking your direct mail marketing impact with coupons is relatively easy. You only have to count how many coupons buyers redeemed and ignored.

  1. A Custom, Trackable URL

A trackable URL for your direct mail marketing campaign can be traced quite easily by web analytics tools. Let's say you have a marketing campaign targeting athletic runners. Create a landing page with a custom URL for anyone who wants to join in and get 50% off on their first purchase.

You can also create a personalized URL for each customer, e.g., https://www.sportsrunningshoes/kevin-hunt

When the user clicks the URL, the web analytics tools track the related activity. Of course, trackable URLs can sometimes be costly when tied with more marketing automation tools. But, the results are worth it if you're dealing with high-value customers.

  1. QR Codes

QR codes are a creative addition to your direct mail marketing campaign. For every mail package sent to your customers, print a machine-generated QR code on an easy-to-spot surface where your customers can see. Once they scan this QR code, it takes them to a specific page on your website. The web analytics tool can pick up the customer's activity from here.

Some companies also include their social media information on marketing materials to enable customers to find them online.

How Inkit Helps With Successful Direct Mail Campaigns

Inkit Send enables businesses to send personalized print communications to customers based on real-time triggers. Forget about the tiresome manual processing. We automate printing, delivery, and tracking to help you save time and reach customers faster.

Inkit also eliminates the risk of sending print communications to the wrong customer addresses with its Verify product.

Final Thoughts

Data-driven direct mail marketing insights provide valuable information that guides a company towards sustainable growth. More importantly, measuring the success of a campaign enables different departments to understand what works and what doesn't to streamline their direct mail marketing efforts. For more information about how to measure direct mail, get in touch with us!

Ready to captivate your customers?
Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.
Start for free