Measuring Your Print Media Success

Recently, studies have shown that email open rates are decreasing and direct mail read rates are on the rise.  One of the projected reasons for this statistic is digital clutter.  With more and more digital messages sent to our target audience everyday it becomes harder to get your target audience’s attention through digital forms of communication.

Conversely, direct mail is a tangible message that cannot be easily deleted from your inbox, it must be handled and interacted with at some point by your recipient.  Through the use of personalized messages and interactive print your message is more likely to engage your recipient and lead them to respond to your call to action.

One of the common questions about direct mail is how to adequately measure response rates.  There are multiple ways to ensure you’re able to track and measure the success of your marketing messages.   Tracking in-store responses can be done in multiple ways. Including a coupon or incentive that is required to be physically present in order to redeem the offer enables you to calculate how many of your direct mail offers were returned and used by your target market.

If you’re not including an offer on your direct mail piece then use unique contact information on your direct mail piece.  By doing so, you know if people are contacting you using that particular contact information that the only way they could have gotten that contact information and responded is by receiving and replying to your mailer.  This tactic is similar to how Paid Search Marketing works.  When a user clicks on the paid search link, they’re brought to a ‘phantom’ landing page with unique contact information —  this allows the marketer to know whether or not their paid search marketing is valuable to their marketing mix.

Finally, use interactive print – such as personalized URLs or QR codes. Using interactive print not only continues to engage your audience, it also creates another channel of measurement.  It enables you to collect more information on your audience when they visit the QR Code or Personalized URL landing page and can help to develop stronger leads based on the data you collect once a user clicks through your landing page links.

Timothy Freeman


Print & Graphic Communications Association


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