How to Track Your Direct Mail Response

There’s more than one way to track your direct mail results, so don’t feel like you have to go buy sophisticated software to accomplish this task. Here are four easy ideas to track your next direct mail campaign.

Uncover The Facts on torn paperWe all know we should be tracking our response rates, but sometimes it can seem difficult. So for 2017, let’s get past the procrastination hump and really see what works and what needs help. There’s more than one way to track your results, so don’t feel like you have to go buy sophisticated software to accomplish this task. Here are four easy ideas to track your next direct mail campaign.

  1. Phone numbers: Use a unique 800-number for each offer you do. It gives an easy way for people to respond to you and provides you with what mail piece they are responding to. Phone numbers are pretty cheap, so this is also a very cost effective way to track.
  2. Coupon Codes: Provide a coupon code on the mail piece that ties into your offer. Each offer will get a different code. When people respond to your mail piece, they must be required to give that code to get a discount. There is really no extra cost to you at all. This will be easy for them and easy for you to track who responded to what code.
  3. Landing Pages: Like the coupon codes, you will create a landing page for each offer you provide. Then, you can track who went to what page, as well as who ordered from the page. Remember to keep the URLs short for easy typing from the mail piece. You can also use QR codes for them to scan to get to the landing page. This is a cost effective way to track since the set up of each page is not very time consuming.
  4. Mail Piece: You could also use the easy method of requiring people to present the mail piece at your store to get a discount. Then, you get the piece back and know who came in response to the mailer. There is no extra cost to you. Obviously, this works best for businesses that have a store front and where people buy in person.

Once you start to get results, you may be surprised by what you learn. Sometimes the most popular offers are not the ones we thought they would be. Make sure to add this response information to your data file so that you know what works on who. Also, keep track of what they purchase from you. Both of these data sets will help you to provide more personalized offers in the future.

Did you know that 80 percent of your total sales from your marketing efforts come after eight to 10 contacts with your customers or prospects?  Have you ever thought about creating some additional marketing touches with your mail pieces as a way to increase the number of contacts to your customers or prospects and lower the cost of the overall marketing campaign to help you get to that 80 percent of the sales that are there?  Here are a few ideas to consider.

  • IP Address Ads: Target your mail list by matching IP addresses to it. Then, send ads to those IP addresses to remind them to respond to your mail piece.
  • Social Media Ads: Same concept here: match to people on social media platforms to reinforce your direct mail message.
  • Email: Do a follow-up email reminder after the mail piece is received.

In 2017, direct mail can have great response rates — make sure that you know what’s working and what needs more work. Direct mail does not need to and should not work alone. Combine your efforts to enhance your response rates. Don’t be afraid to try new things — just make sure you can track the results for future improvements. Talk to your mail service provider: They can help guide you on what will work best.

Author: Summer Gould

A blog about Direct Mail Marketing, tips, tricks and what not to do.Summer Gould is President of Eye/Comm Inc. Summer has spent her 27 year career helping clients achieve better marketing results. She has served as a panel speaker for the Association of Marketing Service Providers conferences. She is active in several industry organizations and she is a board member for Printing Industries Association San Diego, as well as a board member for Mailing Systems Management Association of San Diego. You can find her at Eye/Comm Inc’s website:, email:, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @sumgould.

3 thoughts on “How to Track Your Direct Mail Response”

  1. Excellent tracking ideas here Summer. One additional concept. If you are doing medium sized mailings ask your list broker to set you up with a finder file. A finder file (in its simplest form) allows you to import the mailing list to your internal database system so if you use a call center the reps can select the right prospect from the list to enter as a customer. It helps with manual tracking in a call center environment so less errors are made and more accurate analysis can be done.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your article as you bring up some amazing points. I’d like to also add PURLs (personalized landing pages) to your list. By using PURLs you’re not only able to personalize the landing page, but you’ll also receive more information that could be used for re-marketing purposes. For example, you’ll know who visits and bounces. With a generic page, you’ll only have information if the user submits address. You could of course re-market this bounce with Facebook pixel Ads, Direct Mail works best alongside digital channels!

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