When done well, direct mail is a dependable, cost-effective way to drive sales and build brand loyalty. Despite the many advances in digital marketing, customers still prefer advertising they can physically touch.
But it isn’t enough to design a pretty postcard; you need to create something that gets noticed and delivers results.
That’s where Return on Investment, or ROI, comes in. By keeping ROI top of mind, you can develop strategic, targeted direct mail campaigns that make an impact.
ROI compares the money you spend to print, produce and mail a direct mail campaign with the sales or donations that campaign generates. ROI data provides direction for future marketing strategies and enables you to pinpoint problem areas and opportunities to make adjustments.
The average ROI for direct mail is around 30 percent. This means for every dollar spent on a direct mail campaign, companies earn an average of 30 cents in profit. You can boost your ROI by designing a direct mail campaign with a strong call-to-action, personalized message, concise wording, targeted mailing list and well-crafted concept.
You can calculate the ROI of your direct mail campaign yourself, using the United States Postal Service’s (USPS) online tool. Before getting started, you need to know the volume of mail sent, your campaign budget, the price of the product or service being promoted, your profit margin and your estimated response rate.
Remember to tally ALL the costs of your direct mail campaign, including graphic design, copywriting, printing and postage, and allow a longer timeframe to track responses (about a month or so after your campaign ends).
One way to boost ROI is to lower costs. Save on postage by using bulk rates or sending a smaller printed piece.
You can also retarget customers who showed interest in your product or service but did not make a purchase. Follow up with more mailings or target them digitally, via email or social media ads, as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Tracking methods are essential to measure your campaign’s success. Make sure ALL points of contact listed on your direct mail piece—including phone numbers, Web sites and/or QR codes—link to your campaign in some way. Otherwise, you’ll won’t be able to distinguish between general and campaign-related inquiries or visits.
Some of the most common and effective tracking methods include:
Be sure to customize your offer or message by addressing recipients by name. Incorporating language or imagery that reflects their interests and demographic goes a long way too.
Pay careful consideration to the design and wording of your direct mail piece to ensure the best response:
A good CTA clearly states the action you want the recipient to take. Keep your CTA brief and to the point (two to five words max) and use action-oriented language like “Call Today!” or “Visit Us Online!” to build a sense of urgency.
You can also add a “respond by” date to your CTA to encourage quick action and give your campaign a firm end date.
Make it easy for recipients to redeem an offer or contact you for more information by including one or more of the following: