There are several ways to track and evaluate print marketing. Some are associations that rely on assumptions while others are more direct attributions. The easiest way to definitively track and evaluate your print marketing is to tie it into metrics you can measure and attribute to a particular source, which usually means connecting it to digital. Here’s how to track and evaluate print marketing efforts:
Say you’re sending out a postcard to customers announcing and promoting a new service offering. If you’re promoting it across multiple channels, you want to create a landing page specific to the campaign. You can then create a URL specific to the postcard portion of the campaign, redirect it to the main landing page URL, and track it with Google Analytics tracking parameters.
As long as the “vanity URL” is on the postcard, you’ll be able to see in Google Analytics how many people responded to the postcard by visiting the landing page. Assuming there is a form on the page, you’ll also be able to see how many of those visitors completed the form in order to determine a conversion rate.
Trackable Phone Number
You can also purchase a trackable phone number specific to the postcard promotion to use on the direct mail piece. Most trackable number providers also allow for integration with your website. So, you may even be able to dynamically swap out the phone number on the landing page to appear as your postcard-specific trackable number for the users who come to the landing page via the URL on the postcard. You’ll then be able to track inbound calls and associate them directly with the postcard.
Discount Codes and Coupons
If your print piece features a promotion, create a unique discount code or coupon for it. If you’ll be releasing multiple print pieces for the campaign or running campaigns for more than one promotion, create a unique discount code each type of promotion and for each print piece associated with it. This will allow you to associate your print marketing efforts with real sales and identify which ones were the most effective.
For ecommerce, the unique discount code will tie online orders to specific print pieces. For brick-and-mortar stores, customers can physically bring the unique coupon with them, which will allow you to attribute print marketing to sales. Either way, you will be able to connect sales with specific print marketing efforts in order to track and evaluate them. This tends to work best with ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail stores, but you may be able to make it work for another type of business with the understanding that the lead-to-close time may be longer. If you are offering a coupon for something more intangible, like a free audit or a consultation, it may take more time for someone to use the coupon and attribution may be a bit more difficult.
Another way to evaluate your print marketing efforts is to monitor your sales and compare them with the timeline of your print promotions. If your sales jump every time you release a print piece, you could attribute that growth to your print marketing efforts. This operates on a lot of assumption, but, paired with other tracking methods, monitoring your sales can provide additional insight. Plus, you’ll need those numbers for determining ROI!
Ask Customers How They Found You
You may not be able to get all of your customers to answer this question or get a good answer from them. However, asking customers how they found you can help you evaluate your print marketing efforts. After all, if several of them say they received something in the mail or found you in a magazine, then your print marketing is making a difference. Because this isn’t a definitive tracking method, you don’t want to use it as the only way to track and evaluate your print marketing. But, much like monitoring your sales, it can provide valuable insights when paired with other tracking methods.
By tying your print marketing to digital metrics on your website and other metrics, you can definitively measure and attribute results in order to evaluate your campaign. This will allow you to determine what worked well, and what didn’t work so well. Then, you can make data-informed improvements for the next campaign or pivot to something completely new, depending on the results you see.