Direct mail may go out to fewer people, but it actually has, on average a 4.4% response rate compared to email’s 0.14%. But how do you actually ensure you’re getting the attention you want and getting an actual return on investment?

Planning & Response

The two most important things you can do in order to track your return on investment for direct mail is to have a concrete plan, and a method of response. What do you want your direct mail to do? Are you trying to encourage visits to a new outlet, take part in a special promotion, or encourage people to request a consultation? The kind of results you want will determine how to create your direct mail. Once you know that, you must carefully plan and budget your direct mail assets to ensure that your costs for creation, mailing and using a direct mail list are still on target. Just because you can spend a lot of money in the concept phase, doesn’t you mean should.

Once your budget is on track, build in some kind of response to your direct mail. This can take the form of a unique number recipients can input to a website, a website address for recipients to go to that is for a landing page unique to the direct mail, or even a phone number people can call. Any and all of these methods of response should be keyed specifically to the direct mail effort, so you know exactly where the interest is coming from.

Run Your Numbers

Once your mail is sent and your response is in place, you can start tracking numbers. CPR, or “cost per response,” is your calculation of how much your return on investment is resulting in simple consumer interest. So if you theoretically spent $1000, and you got a 4% response of 40 people, your CPR is $25. Then there’s your CPS, or “cost per sale” which tracks the actual business generated from direct mail. If you managed to get 10 sales from your expenditure of $1000, then your CPS is $100.

By looking at your CPR, CPS and total budget for your direct mail campaign, you can start judging how effective your marketing is, even without the benefit of email interactivity. All it requires, as with any good business practice, is the judicious and efficient use of resources, good planning, and smart distribution to achieve maximum results.