By Becky Gould, www.snappackmail.com and www.mediaprintsolutions.com
Tracking your advertising is crucial to any direct mail marketing campaign; if you aren’t tracking you are not marketing. Whether you are running a flyer with Valassis, a snap pack mailer, a insert with the PennySaver; or whatever the piece, it needs to be tracked for effectiveness. Period.
I’m often asked how to track direct mail campaigns such as direct mail with snap packs, traditional envelope mailers, magazine advertisements, newspaper ads, as well as Valassis and PennySaver flyer advertising campaigns.
It’s a great question and one I enjoy helping with, because ultimately it means helping companies save money.
It does not matter whether you are launching a new product or service or you are an established business. Tracking will show you what marketing vehicles are working and which ones are not. This will help you in evaluating your marketing efforts and where you are spending your marketing budget. In the long run by tracking direct mail marketing efforts you can begin to create a more cost effective marketing campaign that will get you the results you desire without wasting money.
Whether you are tracking with URLs or Call Tracking systems, it’s relatively simple and effective…
How to Track Print and Direct Mail Marketing: Snap packs, traditional mailers, or print and deliver inserts with URLS?
When creating print or direct mail marketing pieces you want to track when the prospective customer visits your website to gain more information. The best way to do this is to have designated domains. You can use the designated domains to track visitors using the log files. It’s crucial to have separate landing pages on each domain, however they can look exactly alike, they just must reside on the domain to get accurate tracking results. In other words it would look like this:
Pressure Seal Snap Pack /direct mail Ad 1 – Tracking Domain – http://www.TheYourCompany.com
Traditional letter/envelope/ direct mail Ad 2 – Tracking Domain – http://www.YourCompanyOnline.comDirect Mail Valassis Print and Deliver insert/ Ad 3 – Tracking Domain – http://www.VisitYourCompany.com
As you can see each piece has a unique URL so you will know exactly which campaign is producing results. Using programs like google analytics or other URL analyzing websites is easy and above all, FREE!
I know some of you will ask about branding, so let me go ahead and get that out of the way. Your advertisement should be creating that visual of your brand, and you still use “your company name” as a portion of the URL, but our goal here is really more about tracking than branding.
Tip: You do not have to have separate sites for each domain, just separate landing pages. You can use subpages to direct the visitor to your “main” site.
How accurate is this type of tracking? It’s not 100%, but is the easiest way to track your direct mail advertisements in order to see what is working. For example someone could just see your brand and type in http://www.yourcompany.com and end up on your main site. This would create an error in the tracking the effectiveness of that advertisement. Realize there is some room for error.
How to Track Marketing Efforts Using Call Tracking
The best way to track the effectiveness of your direct mail snap pack or Valassis flyer is measure call volume using call tracking. There are many call tracking companies to chose from. You can use call tracking to determine your cost-per-sale and cost-per-call rate. This can help in determining which marketing campaigns are most effective. Each direct mail campaign or PennySaver USA/ Valassis flyer must have a designated telephone number. You can use this information to see what advertisements are working and which are not. Call Tracking can be used on radio commercials, television commercials, direct mail and print advertisements.
There are many companies that provide call tracking solutions. We recommend the best seller book by Timothy Ferris, 4 Hour Work Week as a great source to find call tracking companies plus information on how to set up a call center. Let’s face it, “you are only as good as the person answering the phone!” It’s important that you receive a report showing incoming calls in an itemized report that shows what number was called and what time that number was called as well as what region that call came from if you are doing national marketing. Some call tracking companies also offer to record the phone calls. This way you can screen your telemarketing team to see how they are doing with processing sales. It is a wonderful training tool!
Tracking and monitoring your marketing efforts and advertisements will help you in allocating your marketing budget in marketing campaigns that you know will work. There is nothing more devastating to a company than to spend money on an advertisement that produces no or little results. Tracking your direct mail marketing efforts can give you the knowledge that you need to have when it comes to knowing what worked and what didn’t. Whether it be a snap pack, direct mailer, Valassis, or PennySaver campaign getting accurate results is measurement of what marketing efforts were effective. You no longer have to depend on inaccurate guesswork to determine where you spend your marketing budget. Take control, and let the data direct you!