Compared to print, social media has it made. Cookies makes tracking metrics such as return on investment (ROI), retention, leads and losses on the web incredibly easy. When every social and digital platform has their own built-in app analytics, conveniently broken down into charts, graphs, and digestible data, it’s hard to believe that there would be any other way to know your consumers. While you may not be able to gather your customer’s favorite cereal based on their mail habits, there are sure-fire ways to track the success of a direct mail campaign. All it takes is a little foresight, and a vigilant tracking strategy. 


Use Google Analytics


That’s right, Google’s robust analytics feature isn’t just for digital campaigns. In fact you can easily integrate your catalog campaign with a digital path just by including a URL on your print materials. For example, if you mail a furniture catalog to customers, you may direct them to a landing page created specifically for a sales promotion on sofas. Tell Google Analytics to track this URL and you’ll have data that tells you not only how many people followed through to your website, but that they’re sales came directly from the print catalog, because the URL wasn’t available anywhere else. What’s more, is that you can also set up tracking for goals in Google Analytics. A goal, for example, is a conversion. You can know how many people received the catalog, visited your promotion’s landing page and purchased a sofa.


Include Unique Offer Codes


If your catalog campaign is promoting a product or a seasonal sale, or perhaps your rewarding your direct mail customers with a special incentive to purchase, consider using unique offer codes. Unique campaign codes can help you gather even more comprehensive data about your customers. Each customer has a unique code mailed to them on their individual catalog like “JUSTFORYOU88” while another customer’s code might be “JUSTFORYOU89”—you get it. With each unique code, you can track who specifically responds to your marketing and how. This insight into customer behavior and response is invaluable, and can be used to help inform the strategy of future campaigns.


Add QR Codes


While some might insist that QR codes were short-lived, many advertising and marketing professionals argue they’re still relevant. QR codes are the faster, easier way to direct customers to your website. While QR codes aren’t unique, you can still collect data such as how many people responded to the call to action based on how often the barcode was used. It’s important to keep in mind though that customers need to use their smartphones to scan the QR code, so your website needs to be mobile optimized. With 52% of internet users browsing on their phones worldwide, it’s a no brainer.

The Good Old Telephone


That’s right, there’s still nothing wrong with using a telephone number to track your campaign’s success. While this is the most basic of tracking methods, it still works. Simply include a toll-free number for customers to dial to track response rates—telephone response rates were as high as 53% in 2017.


Matchback Your Prospects


Perhaps the most common method for tracking catalog responses is through the matchback process, which seeks to understand a customer’s path to purchase by source and channel. Maybe a mother has received a clothing catalog and wishes to purchase a bathing suit for her daughter. Will she go to the website or the store? Matchbacking allows you track the vehicle through which your customer made their sale allowing you to better tailor future campaigns. If, for example, you know that the majority of your catalog recipients made purchases through your website, next time, you may include an offer code valid online only.


Regardless of how you do it, tracking your catalog campaign’s success is important. These methods will help you determine your ROI, which marketing strategies are working and which aren’t.