Can you say with certainty what kind of ROI you’re getting from your direct mail marketing efforts? If you said “yes,” what are you basing it on? And if “yes” was your answer, then we will assume that you’re tracking your results because…well, the only way you could be sure of your ROI is by tracking results.

But for too many small business owners, “tracking results” equates to “number of postcards out,” and “number of leads/sales in.” Yet, if you looked closer, many of them would not be able to say for sure what motivated a particular incoming inquiry. Might’ve been the mailing. Might’ve been organic search or…. You get the point.

So here’s what to do in order to get a tighter, more certain grip on your direct marketing ROI.

1.) Write the ending first.

Identify exactly what action you want your prospect to take in response to your direct mail piece. Do you want them to order? Join your Facebook group? Call you for a quote? If you know in advance what end you want, then you (a) know what your call to action will be and (b) you can track the success of the campaign. It becomes a matter of monitoring a particular kind of response, rather than just “response.”

2.) Have a dedicated destination.

If your call to action is “call now,” the card should bear a unique phone number so that you can tell which calls came from that mailing. If you’re directing people to a landing page, same thing; make the URL unique to that mailing. Unique promo codes and discount codes also fall under this “dedicated” idea.

3.) Always be testing.

Regardless of the size of your mailing, always mail at least two versions: the one that’s currently the most effective (“the control”) and another version (or versions) on which you’re testing some aspect of the design or copy, to see if you can make it even more effective. And for each design, refer back to #2—have a dedicated destination for each, so you can see which is most effective.

4.) Gauge the prospects’ response time.

If you’ve been marketing with postcards a while, then you probably know what kind of prospect lag time to expect. If you’re new at it, don’t assume what it should be. Rather, observe and find out what it is. This is important because, depending on your industry, you might get immediate response with one card, whereas in other industries, you may have to do more three or more separate mailings before responses start coming in. (And, of course, keep #2 and 3 in mind, so you can identify which of the three got the best response….)

5.) Monitor all of the data.

Successful marketing is a science as much as an art. And science relies on the collection and interpretation of data. Every mailing can return to you a range of data—measurable items—which you should track on spreadsheet. Which design/copy/call to action got the best response? Which geographic area responded most? Which card brought in the most leads? Most sales? No measurable item is too small. Collect it all, put it all on your spreadsheet and analyze it to find out which mailings are the most effective.


The most cost-effective way to send out multiple mailings is to log on to, where you can design A/B versions of your postcards, using our custom templates or your own design. You can address and mail them too, all from your own computer.

Or, for the least amount of trial and error, call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109. Our design and marketing pros know what works for your industry and will save you time and trouble while increasing your response.