Knowing your ROI is everything
Everyone (ourselves included) calls it “direct” mail marketing. Why is it direct?
Well, it’s certainly not because the postcards go directly to your customer’s doors – they all do that. Where else would they go? And it’s not “direct” because of the style of communication we prefer to use – although direct and concise is pretty much always better.
No, it’s called “direct” because that’s a shortened version of “direct-response.” That is to say, when someone receives a postcard, you get a direct response. And if they reply to it, you know so, and you can track which campaign it came from.
The response is direct and immediate.
What makes direct marketing like this so incredibly different? It’s that it lets you track your ROI, of course!
When direct marketing like this tells you what works and what doesn’t you know A, how much money you made and B, how to optimize to improve your campaigns. Eventually you reach a point where you know exactly which audience will buy, what message resonates best with them, and that for every $1 you put in, you get $3.27 back.
Contrast this with all other types of marketing like branding, advertising, radio spots, and billboards where you have no idea what the ROI is. Heck, you don’t even know if people heard it. You just have to trust that it reached people and that they’ll remember you the next time they need a roofer, a plumber, a dentist, or an architect. For these types of marketing, it’s a guess.
With direct marketing on the other hand, your expenditure is an investment.
Here’s how our customers measure their direct mail ROI:
1. Run a postcard campaign
You can use one of our tried-and-true templates in our web-to-print tool to design the whole thing in about fifteen minutes (or re-use a past campaign) and select a target audience. You can include an offer code like “DIRECTMAIL12” which is different for each campaign. Hit “send.”
2. Your postcards are delivered
Over a period of 2-3 weeks your campaign goes out through the USPS. Every piece of mail is certified and tracked so that you can come back and check our website and see that they’ve all gone out. (Our tracking rate is 100% and our guaranteed delivery rate is always higher than 92%).
3. You start to hear back
For every postcard that people respond to, they’ll follow your call to action to visit your website, call on the phone, or walk into the store. When they make a purchase, you and your employees will ask how they found you – if they reference the “DIRECTMAIL12” offer code, you know precisely where it came from.
4. Do a little simple math
Wait until 30 days after the campaign is over. From here, calculating your ROI is easy. Divide the number of respondents by the total number of postcards that were sent.
Let’s say that 1000 responded out of 10,000 postcards sent, so a 10% response rate. You can expect that this will be your rate in the future, given similar campaigns to similar targets.
Now, divide the revenue that you got from the campaign, let’s say $6,540 on a spend of $2,000. That’s a 327% return on investment.
And mind you, that’s only after 30 days. Some sales will continue to creep in overtime as people finally take action. Experts call this the long-tail ROI effect because your ROI always continues to grow. For simplicity however, we only measure after 30 days and move on to the next campaign.
And there you have it! Direct mail means “direct-response” which is how you measure campaigns against each other to figure out which ones deliver the greatest ROI. This is how you move your marketing from being a cost, like radio-spots and billboards, to being an investment with a guaranteed outcome.