7 Ways to Measure Direct Mail Campaign Response Rates

One of the reasons why digital marketing efforts are so attractive to business owners and marketers is because of measurement and trackability. However, it’s not difficult to measure the effectiveness of a direct mail campaign, and the results can be just as accurate.

The most popular methods of measuring response rates include:

  • Online Tracking/Trackable URLs
  • Codes or Coupons
  • Call Center or Telephone Tracking
  • QR Codes
  • Business Reply Card/Complete a Form
  • Social Media
  • Website Traffic

As with any marketing campaign, it’s critical to determine your KPIs (Key Progress Indicators) before you launch your campaign. This allows you to accurately identify and align your business goals with your marketing goals.

For example, are you trying to increase foot traffic to your restaurant, or drive awareness about your non-profit organization? Increase leads to your service company, or increase sales in your retail establishment?

Your goals help determine your KPIs.

Measuring the effectiveness of direct mail ad campaigns is fairly easy. However, to ensure accurate results, it’s important to make sure employees are properly trained on tracking lead information. Otherwise, your campaign may suffer from inaccurate data collection.

For example, if you’re using a call tracking phone number that routes to a call center, make sure your customer service representatives know how to allocate the lead information in your tracking system.

So, let’s review some of the best ways to measure the success of direct mail marketing campaigns, as mentioned above.

Method #1 – Trackable URL

A Trackable URL is a website or landing page designed specifically for your direct mail campaign and meant to drive traffic to that page. For example, a local restaurant, we’ll call it Peter’s Pizza, could create a free pizza offer on a landing page with the URL: www.petespizza.com/free-pizza

Your website analytics can then tell you how many prospects visited the page and how many took the desired action: using the coupon code to get a free pizza. Google’s Campaign URL Builder is a great tool to make a dedicated URL so it’s easy to track the success of your campaign.

If you want to take it a step further, you could set up a personalized URL (PURL) for each person on your mailing list, which would take prospects like Joe Smith to a page like www.petespizza.com/Joe-Smith.

PURLs do add a level of complexity, however, and will require most businesses to work with a marketing automation company. Depending on what you’re selling, they may be a good fit for your business, especially if you specialize in high-end and costly goods and it’s worth it for your business to go that extra mile to make a sale.

Method #2 – Coupon Codes & Special Offers

Coupon Codes and special offers incentive prospects to take desired actions and convert them into customers. Offers can be redeemed in stores, on websites, or over the phone, and each of these touchpoints can be tracked. Just be sure your staff is trained on how to track offers as they come in.

Pro Tip: Limited-time offers can increase conversions by creating a sense of urgency.

Method #3 - Trackable Phone Number

Dedicating a unique call tracking number to each direct mail campaign is one of the best ways to measure response. There are three easy ways to do this:

  • Dedicated, toll-free numbers can automatically forward to your business line, and then call volume can be tracked to determine response rates.
  • Call tracking software can allow you to record and play back the calls you receive.

Pro Tip: This improves analytics but also can give valuable insights into what your customers are thinking … and how they’ll react to your next campaign.

  • If a trackable phone number isn’t for you, train staff on how to accurately track each coupon redemption code or special offer so you can accurately connect it to your direct mail campaign.

Method #4 – QR Codes

A QR code is a machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares, typically used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.

Adding a QR code to a mail piece can send prospects to a landing page on your website when they scan it. You can measure response by tracking how many people visited the landing page and how many redeemed your amazing offer.

Method #5 – Business Reply Card/Complete a Form

Adding a pre-paid, coded business reply card or form to your direct mail campaign enables customers to respond easily… and allows you to earn lead and customer information.

Method #6 – Social Media

Including social media accounts on your mailers can help increase fans and followers.

Pro Tip: Make sure your target audiences are the type that frequent social media.

Method #7 – Visit Your Website

Offering a free demo or service through your website can be an effective way of tracking how many customers took advantage of your latest amazing offer.


These seven ways to measure response rates for your direct mail marketing success have proven effective and are easy to implement for innovative print and marketing firms like R.C. Brayshaw & Company.

However, tracking is only one side of the coin!

 How do you measure the success of your direct mail campaigns?

Read on to learn about the six most common and effective metrics to help you gauge the success of your print and direct mail marketing campaigns.

Become a Marketing HERO With These Other Resources From Our Blog:

We all know data is important, but how do you turn that data into metrics you can take action on? Read more

Whether you’re a beginner or a direct mail pro, these fourteen tips will help you optimize your campaigns. Read more


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