48% of the UK population responded to direct mail last year - Central Mailing
This might surprise you because measuring the ROI of direct mail has long been a pain point for marketers. It is thought to return higher quality leads than its counterparts, but without concrete proof its popularity has declined.
However, for your prospects, trawling through copious amounts of B2B marketing content can be a tedious task - thousands of emails, blog after blog, and a phone that never stops ringing.
That’s where direct mail comes in. It can be creative, highly-targeted, relevant, personalised and completely out of the ordinary. Prospects often welcome the change. Which is great, if only you could measure its returns…
Long-gone are the days when direct mail required prospects to input promotional codes or use a return envelope. Now, it’s surfing the crest of innovation. It can be as creative or as simple as you like; from pop-up video cards to a HTML email.
If used as part of a multi-channel campaign, direct mail offers significant return on investment (which is track-able and can be proven) and it provides an extra dimension to marketing strategies. Plus it’s easy. Measuring the ROI of direct mail follows the same process as most marketing tools; sales tracking.
Landing pages with unique URLs are popular with marketers who want to track leads. These pages will all look the same but because they have individual web addresses (this represents no difference to the customer), it’s possible to distinguish the source of a lead. For more complex campaigns, you could embed links to mini-sites in the DM. Much the same as unique URLs, visitors to the mini site can be attributed to the specific marketing channel.
Alternatively, if you would prefer customers to phone the sales team then it’s best to set up a masked telephone number that’s exclusive to each marketing technique. That way you can attribute leads to channels depending on which phone number the customer dialled.
Measuring indirect leads
But what if the prospect discusses the decision with a colleague first? Or they contact the sales team post-campaign?
As with TV, radio, and email marketing, direct mail will lead to indirect sales. To analyse these, many marketing agencies use initial interaction attribution. A piece of DM is sent to prospects who are contacted a few days later by a telemarketer. If the telemarketer books an appointment it will still be attributed to the direct mail – it’s assumed the prospect was ‘warmed-up’ with the DM before the phone call.
Or you could measure leads for a predefined period of time following a mailing. If sales increase in relation to a comparable timeframe, then it’s fair to assume these have been influenced by the direct mail. This might seem like hassle but an entire marketing technique shouldn’t be ignored just because it requires some labour.
Technology and marketing techniques have both evolved considerably, giving direct mail a new lease of life. While each channel has its respective strengths and weaknesses, campaigns that use them cooperatively and appropriately are almost always the most successful.
For more information on how to generate leads using direct mail as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign...