Important direct mail marketing Metrics


When marketing with physical collateral such as mail, where CTR, views and likes are not easily measured, how can we determine the success of a campaign?
This blog covers our preferred metrics to keep an eye out for, from the Paperplanes Programmatic Mail experts. 

Response Rates

According to JicMail databases, traditional promotional mail in 2022 has an average of 4.4% response rate, whilst Paperplanes Programmatic mail has an average response of 12%.


These rates are far superior to those of social media marketing, paid search, and particularly e-mail which shockingly only has <1% response!


One of the most crucial KPIs for direct mail is response rate. You can learn how well-received mail was by its recipients. It is the result of dividing the size of the entire campaign by the number of responders. The effectiveness of your mailing list and the design of your mail piece are two variables that affect this rate.


Below, we describe four ways to keep track of responses. You have the option of using these or creating your own response tracking systems.


Discount Codes 

Who likes receiving coupons? Coupons provide specific reductions that entice customers to make purchases from you. Simply input the one-time use coupon code at checkout and that is all that’s required.

Different codes can correspond to different mailing groups to even understand where the most interest is being generated.


Offer special discount codes for each promotion. Request that customers use your website to redeem these codes, increasing your sales, and traffic and giving you more data to optimise your next mailing campaign round. 


Mobile Number

Another clever and effective method of keeping track of responses is call tracking. Include a distinct phone number in every piece of mail you send.


This should be a unique line that is only used by one campaign. Therefore, any calls made to this toll-free number are considered answers.


The use of a toll-free number is advised for this technique to function with minimal customer frustration.


QR Code

pURLs and QR codes are frequently combined. QR codes provide a shortcut for those who might not want to manually type the entire link address, easing the access between physical and digital worlds.


Ask recipients to scan a QR code that they have printed on their mail pieces with any smartphone camera. The code will send users to their individual web pages. It is a terrific approach to increase response rates once more.


Many other applications for QR codes are excellent. To complete checkouts, you can send customers back to their shopping carts or to your online store.

With Paperplanes back end technology, tracking codes and triggers applied to any E-commerce website can allow for individualised/segmented offers and promotions to be automatically personalised and sent to users via a set of triggers that you decide (E.g. inactive customers, abandoned baskets, complimentary products for repeat purchases).

After A/B testing for benchmarks and completing a full mailing campaign, Paperplanes tech is able to pinpoint all data points to report on clear CPA, promotional optimisation, and actionable insights. 


By converting a generic promotional spam mail into a personalised letter with promotion spot-on each individual’s interest,  and having a full 360  view of conversion rate – voucher and QR code tracking is captured along with all other interactions that have occurred on-site due to the presence of direct mail  


Cost per response 


Receiving more responses following a campaign is exciting. However, there are situations when getting those responses costs more than the actual Life Time Value of the consumer. Consequently, you could still feel lost even after acquiring new customers. High response rate advertising efforts are not always effective.


You can determine the worth of campaign spending by looking at the cost per response. This KPI can be determined by estimating the number of responses in advance.


You can proceed with your campaign budget if the cost per response is less than the income received. Otherwise, try to save costs wherever you can.


Calculate the cost per response to learning how much it costs to receive those responses.



Return on Investments

Finding the campaign ROI is overall the clearest top-down screenshot of a costs/results output measurement. The overall revenue generated by a marketing campaign in a set period of time. 


 Calculating the ROI of your campaign is really easy. Start by deducting the campaign expense from your overall revenue. Your profit is the solution.


Although marketers strive for a favourable ROI, they occasionally fall short. Some campaigns fail for a variety of reasons, including bad timing, irrelevant offerings, and other external consumer behavioural variants. 


Direct mail can yield strong returns when it comes to ROI. Some campaigns have a £29 ROI potential for every £1 spent. Paperplanes campaigns typically generate a  further 48% increase in ROI potential compared to standard direct mail.


Cost per Acquisition

Another crucial KPI for gauging the effectiveness of direct marketing is the cost per acquisition.


It is critical to understand whether the price you paid for each acquisition was greater or lower than the profit realised. If it is higher, your campaign may not succeed.


But it can succeed if there is any profit margin. Consider spending $1,000 on a client who only purchased items worth $100.


You may find out from this metric how much it costs the business to acquire a customer. It might have been a returning consumer or a brand-new client.


Whilst Email seems to be a cost-effective method and a modern staple to B2C marketing, we need to consider the subscription/overhead costs, frequency of comms to customers to drive action and resource strain required to drive value. It can add up to a whole lot of emails & costs and little results.

Email tends to cost a whooping £42.55 average CPA to businesses in the UK, whilst direct mail is comparably superior at a £24 CPA average, and Paperplanes Programmatic Direct Mail leads the way with a solid average of £10 CPA.


How many customers chose to purchase from you after receiving your mail is what matters.


You can use this indicator to assess how your direct mail campaigns stack up against those of other channels. On this basis, you can decide which channel is the most cost-effective.

All the aforementioned metrics are vital to make or break a successful direct mail marketing campaign, but more importantly to understand what can be improved and what needs to be focused on for the following mailing campaign.  After all, all marketing channels need nurturing and refinement for real growth and stability.

At Paperplanes our experts have over 50 years of combined experience in digital, mailing, and programmatic marketing, fully taking care of all the process automation and campaign review with data translation and step-by-step consultations on how to optimise and improve your marketing campaign.

Get in touch for a free consultation!