It is always critical to quantify the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. But how do you define success? Particularly with 1:1 printing, you have to use the right yardstick. If you are like most marketers, you might be used to thinking in terms of response rates, but let’s look at three less commonly used (but more critical) metrics to keep in mind.
1. Cost per lead. Typically, marketers are used to thinking about cost per piece, and with traditional direct mail in the $.10 range, it’s hard for 1:1 print marketing to compete on a cost basis. But everything changes when you look at what your program costs per lead rather than per piece.
If you mail 100,000 postcards at $.25 each (including postage), that’s a project cost of $25,000. If that campaign achieves a 1% response rate, that’s 250 leads at a cost of $100 per lead. On the other hand, if you mail 25,000 1:1 postcards at a cost of $1.00 each, that is still a project cost of $25,000. But if you achieve a 12% response rate, that’s 3,000 leads. Now your cost per lead drops to $8.33!
2. Cost per sale. Not all leads translate into sales. Divide the number of people who actually make a purchase into your total costs and this will give you the cost per sale. If only 33% of respondents to these hypothetical campaigns make a purchase, your cost per sale is $300 for the static campaign, while for the 1:1 campaign, it is $25.00.
3. Lifetime customer value. The value of the sale often goes beyond the initial purchase. If 1:1 personalization woos the buyer of one make of car to another, and if that customer becomes loyal to that brand, the return on investment from that piece includes the value of every car purchased by that customer over his or her lifetime. This is an important metric for marketers of long-term purchases, such as automobiles, financial products, and insurance.
The bottom line? Before you measure your results in any print campaign, make sure you understand all of the available measuring sticks, then use the one(s) that are the most impactful for you.
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