Direct mail is an incredibly powerful tactic. In fact, research shows that 79% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately—compared to 45% who do the same with email. For companies willing to try it out, print mailers and ads can quickly turn into a profitable form of advertising.
In today’s digital-driven age, however, many companies want ways to directly track the impact of all of their marketing efforts. Though you might think that would rule out print ads as a possible tactic, would you be surprised if we told you that not only is it possible to drive traffic to your site with print ads, but that it’s possible to track that traffic, as well?
Writing for Small Business Trends, Amanda DiSilvestro explains how to track print ads with Google Analytics, one of today's most popular web tracking tool suites. Her walkthrough is more in-depth, but here's a quick overview of how the process works:
1. Pick a vanity URL like webgraphicsinc.com/printad to feature in your mailer. The vanity URL must be unique to this specific ad campaign.
2. Create tracking codes to your landing page for the ad. Here, you’re essentially creating a set of tags for the landing page so that when a viewer clicks or visits a certain page, you can track that traffic specifically.
3. Redirect your vanity URL to the tracked URL you just set up. You may need some help setting this up, but this will redirect someone who types in your vanity URL (webgraphicsinc.com/printad) to the custom tracked URL you just set up.
4. Run the ad and track progress. In the days after your print ad is mailed out, you’ll be able to track how many people visited the custom campaign URL. Because the only people who visit the vanity URL will be people who received the ad, you’ll be able to see a direct connection between the number of mailers sent out, and the amount of visitors to that page.
As you can see, just because print ads and EDDM are ‘offline’ tactics doesn’t mean they can’t be integrated with today’s latest technology. As a matter of fact, many organizations set up unique landing pages and tracked URLs for all of their tactics to measure which ones are the most effective. Doing so is a great way to see what’s driving traffic, and what isn’t.
You may not be able to click on a print ad, but you can still drive traffic to your web site and track it with the right systems in place. Direct mail is still very much effective, and this is yet another great way to track how well it’s working for your business.