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How to track direct mail marketing campaigns

A guide to measure direct mail campaign engagment with QR codes, website attribution, and smart phone numbers


There are still many businesses who neglect direct mail marketing, believing that email marketing is the far more effective channel and a better use of their time and money.

These businesses could not be more wrong.

While direct mail marketing can require a little more financial investment, direct mail can see response rates up to nine times higher than that of email marketing.

So why is it that businesses are still choosing to use email marketing over direct mail? One complaint is that, because direct mail is physical, it can be harder to track a campaign’s performance.

While it’s true that this can be a limitation of the channel, it can be easily overcome with a little creativity.

Below is a quick list of ways to track and measure the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing, as well as a few tips on how to make the most of your direct mail marketing.

By including any of these methods in your campaigns, you’ll be able to tell what works, what doesn’t, and whether you’re investing in the right areas.

Offering Discount Codes

Including a unique discount code in your direct mail marketing can help you track a campaign’s effectiveness while simultaneously motivating consumers to buy.

By keeping track of the number of times that the discount code was used, you can measure how many recipients responded positively to your direct mail.

As well as increasing the likelihood of customer engagement, this tactic also pairs perfectly with larger campaigns.

For instance, if you are running a promotion or are looking to target a specific audience.

While they can be used as a method of performance tracking in their own right, discount codes can also be used in conjunction with any of the following examples to maximize engagement rates.

Featuring URLs to Monitored Web-Pages

Including a campaign-specific URL is a great way of digitally measuring the performance of a direct mail marketing campaign.

Feature a CTA directing your recipients to a specific web-page through which their visit can be measured. This way, you can see just how many individuals are responding positively to your campaign.

This tactic can also pair well with a promotion by directing your customers to an exclusive online discount page.

This method of tracking your direct mail marketing also stands out because of its versatility. If you want to monitor more precise behaviors, then your direct mail can be easily tailored to feature different URLs.

You could even measure the response rates of specific individuals by featuring a unique URL in their direct mail.

Using Scannable QR Codes

Like URLs, QR Codes can be used as a way of getting your targets online where you can track their activity and measure your direct mail marketing campaign’s effectiveness.

Unlike URLs though, which require time and precise entry into an internet search bar, QR Codes created using a QR Code Generator can easily be scanned with the camera on almost any modern smartphone.

QR Codes are quick and convenient, and as such should yield a far higher engagement rate than URLs.

They also achieve great response rates with young people.

As direct mail is already the preferred marketing choice of people aged 18-29 (95% respond to it positively), implementing QR Codes in your direct mail marketing is the next logical step.

Like URLs, you can also partner QR Codes with online specific promotions and discount codes.

Including a CTA to Get in Touch

If you're aiming to connect with potential leads directly through your marketing then featuring a phone number is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

When customers get in touch, ask how they heard about you, or specifically, if it was through your direct mail marketing.

This is not 100% accurate though, as it could be that your leads come to hear about you from several marketing channels and don’t necessarily mention your direct mail.

If you don’t want to come across too pushy with the questions, then you could offer a unique phone number in your direct mail the redirects to the number that you want to be contacted on.

This way, you can see who calls you as a result of your direct mail marketing campaign.

Using Only Direct Mail Marketing

You could avoid implementing any specific measurement tactic in your direct mail marketing and just let the campaign speak for itself.

By assessing your engagement rates before you launch your campaign and comparing them to any changes that occur before or after the campaign, you can assume that any successes (or lulls) are down to your direct mail marketing.

This is not exactly an advised tactic though as putting all other marketing channels on hold can negatively affect your business.

As well as this, it can be a little inaccurate as there’s no telling that every result is down to your direct mail marketing.

Even the smallest thing, like a sudden burst in customers sharing their experience by word of mouth, can affect your companies’ performance.

How To Optimize Your Direct Mail Marketing

By using any of these tricks, you can evolve your direct mail marketing campaign and overcome one of the few limitations of the channel.

As we mentioned at the start of this list, it’s always a great idea to maximize the likelihood of engagement in your direct mail marketing through incentives such as discount codes.

But another great way of optimizing your direct mail marketing is with personalization.

Those that have used Scribeless’ personalized handwritten notes service to reach out to leads directly, and track the campaign’s progress through a digital channel, have seen a 420% increase in engagement rates.

Get in touch to find out how we can help evolve your direct mail marketing.