Here’s How Companies Are Measuring Their Direct Mail ROI

March 17, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Business of Marketing | Cross-Media & Traditional | Direct Mail | Financial Services | Industries | Return on Investment

Direct mail is said to have the highest ROI of any direct response media. However, many organizations are failing to measure the ROI of their direct mail efforts, according to a report [download page] from Lob.

For the study, Lob partnered with Comperemedia to survey 250 business professionals who work at North American companies with at least 1,000 employees. More than two-thirds report that their company targets both B2B and B2C audiences, and the majority (56%) of respondents are executive leaders (director/VP/CMO).

While the report finds that respondents trumpet the response rates, effectiveness, and ROI of direct mail, the results also indicate that there’s plenty of room for improvement in ROI measurement. To wit, only about one-third (34%) of the marketers surveyed are able to determine the ROI of their company’s direct mail efforts. Ability to do so is higher among companies that use a direct mail software technology platform to execute campaigns (50%), while the Financial Services & Banking industry (54%) is notably ahead of others in its ability to determine direct mail ROI.

Marketers are turning to a variety of tactics in order to try to measure direct mail ROI. Most commonly, almost half (46%) measure individual customer activity within a specific time period. The use of QR codes (41%) and personalized URLs (37%) are also popular, though the report points out that use of the latter tactic has fallen.

Other metrics used include orders for featured products/services (36%), coupon codes (34%) and dedicated phone numbers (30%).

Email, paid social, and SMS/MMS are the most commonly integrated channels with direct mail; other research has found high integration with email and SMS but less so with paid social. As direct mail volumes inch up, the study finds that campaign types lean towards customer retention (30% share) and new customer acquisition (28% share), though customer advocacy/referral (21% share) and dormant/win-back (20%) campaigns are also in the mix.

The top challenge for direct mail campaigns are response rates, according to the research. With regards to the various campaign types, the survey suggests that average response rates are highest for existing customer retention campaigns, followed by new customer acquisition and customer advocacy/referrals. The lowest response rates are for dormant/churned customer win-back campaigns.

For more, download the study here.


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