Learn to measure and track responses for your next direct mail campaign.

By July 29, 2016 Blogs No Comments

The only way to systematically get better results from your direct mail campaign, is to evaluate each element of the mailing you just sent out, so you can refine and improve your future mailings.

How to measure response rate.

The response rate is the percentage of people who reply to your mailing. To determine your response rate, you simply count up the number of responses the mailing generates, and then divide by the quantity mailed.

There are two things you can do to make tracking really easy:

  1. Use a dedicated phone line and/or URL/landing page. That way you know exactly which leads/orders came in from which direct-mail campaign.
  2. Put a tracking code or coupon on the mailing piece.

Get that code every time, whether the tracking code is on a coupon or an order form, or a customer service person requests it when people phone in.

If you’re using more than one list, you’ll want to know the overall response from each mailing and you’ll also want to know how many leads or sales were in response to each mailing list and each direct mail piece.

When tracking the profitability of a direct mail campaign, make sure you track all the costs associated with the mailing. That means tracking the cost for printing, list rental, data pro­cessing, mail processing and postage. Then subtract the cost of the mailing from the sales the mailing generated.


4 sales from the mailing generated $2,800.00

Cost of mailing:                                   – $700.00

Profit from the mail campaign:         $2,100.00

You will also need to keep track of the list history so you’ll know which lists to order in the future. AVS can assist you in maintaining and keeping your list history. Keeping a list history means you track the performance of one specific list each time you’ve mailed to it. Pay attention to the response rate. Did you see a lift in response when you mail it in one month vs. another? Did you see a decline in response the more frequently you mail it?

Determining your goals for each mailing will enable you to objectively measure how successful your mailing will be.   According to “Direct Marketing News,” not all direct mail campaigns are designed to generate orders. For example real estate and insurance agents, use direct mail campaigns to generate leads. They then call those leads and schedule appointments to make sales.

Direct mail response rate is usually no more than 1-3%. Occa­sionally it runs higher – and, in many cases, it runs lower into the fractions of 1%. You will see smaller response rates when you are selling relatively expensive, complex products.

Other than the response rate, there are many ways to measure the results of your direct mail campaign. Here are some of them:

Qualified Response Rate – let’s say you generate 100 leads on a 5,000-piece mailing. That would be a 2% response rate. But if after you call those responses, you determine that only 50% of those leads have a serious interest in buying now or in the future, then your qualified response rate would be 1% (50 qualified leads on a 5,000 piece mailing).

Order Rate – the order rate is a better form of measurement than either the response rate or the qualified rate because it tells you what percentage of people actually bought what you were selling.

Average Revenue per Order – this provides a snapshot of how much money your campaign produced on a per-order basis. 

Return on Investment (ROI) – You will want to know if your campaign made money. Add up all of the revenue generated by the mailing. Add up all your costs of the mailing then subtract the cost from the revenue.

Lifetime Value – over time, you’ll begin to notice that some customers continue to buy again and again over a long period of time while others buy only once. By tracking this information, you will be able to determine the average value of a customer over a typical lifetime.

Call AVS Leads today at 714-617-4589 to discuss your next direct mail campaign, we have the experience and expertise to help you gain a greater response rate and generate more leads with the right list.

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