Measuring the results of your campaigns is a vital practice. It's especially important for printed pieces like direct mail. Sure, your sales people can ask customers how they heard about your business. But, how about tracking the results without needing reps to have that conversation with your customers?
Here are some easy ways to track your campaigns without stepping from behind the curtain:
Phone number — Set up a dedicated phone line for a particular campaign. By doing this, you know that all phone calls to that number are specifically coming from that mailer. You can then track the amount of calls generated from that mailer, as well as the revenue generated.
Promotional code — Create a promotional code that only applies to the offer on a specific piece. This way, you have the ability to attach revenue to a specific promotion.
Destination URL — Depending on your capabilities and/or resources available, use a destination URL on your mail piece that is either completely different from your usual website (totallydifferentwebsite.com), or an extended URL from your usual website (yourwebsite.com/ad).
The first option gives you the ability to just forward that traffic on and when doing so, attaching campaign tracking codes to the URL through a program like Google Analytics. Another benefit of the first option is that you don't lose sight of customers that might go straight to your homepage and not the extended URL, meaning that you would lose them in the tracking.
The second option is great if you are really tied to the branding of your business' URL or you just don’t have the resources to get another URL and forward it. The only major issue as I mentioned, is when a customer does not put in the completely extended URL and ends up on your homepage. This is still good, but you lose the tracking ability there.
A quick note for all three of these options is to not re-use the same number, code or URL too close to the original campaign, or at all, if you can avoid it. When this occurs, a marketer loses the ability to completely understand that a phone call, promo code usage or web hit came from a specific campaign. And as I have written in other posts, you always want to be able to compare apples to apples in your reporting and tracking.