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Measuring Direct Mail Results

It’s not news that direct mail is a powerful marketing tool. But are you maximizing the rate of return on each campaign? Follow these steps to dissect the successes and failures of your mailings:

Analyze the results. It sounds simple, but it’s a part of the process you may overlook, or worse, put off. Analyze the campaign from every angle. Is your response rate low? How many pieces were returned? What was the net profit? Crunch all the numbers so you have future points of comparison and can begin to measure improvement.

Double check all the essential elements. Did the mailing actually ship? Were the bar codes printed correctly? Check everything, including addresses, phone numbers, URLs and all of your contact information for each mailing. Ask for extra samples and analyze them in detail.

Compare it to successful pieces. Try to discern the differences. Did your offer change? Did you include similar information? Have you launched a new branding campaign? Are you asking people to respond in a new way? To test the efficacy of any mailing, you should only change one element at a time to determine the cause of a success or failure. If you’re not following that process, it may be time to revisit your protocol.

Hire a professional. You don’t have to be a pro at every element of your business, and one of the smartest moves you can make is hiring a consultant to review your direct mail pieces and give you feedback. If you can’t afford to hire a full-fledged service, it’s a worthy compromise.

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Claire Patterson Blome

About the Author

Claire Patterson Blome is the associate editor of NICHE and AmericanStyle magazines. She is also the founder of the NICHE Blog, which launched September 2010 to bridge the gap between print issues and offer more frequent editorial to our audience of retailers and gallery owners. When she’s not editing and writing, Claire can be found at her home sewing machine, in the kitchen prepping farmers’ market vegetables or on her bike exploring new and familiar neighborhoods in Baltimore City with her husband Justin.

View more posts by Claire Patterson Blome

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