Promotional print items are a proven and ideal medium engage both existing and potential customers. Not only this, but print advertising offers the opportunity to gain an increased market share through promotional ads, and allows businesses to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
Yet for many companies, the question is often asked whether that business is receiving maximum exposure and engagement from their advertising dollars. The answer can sometimes be difficult to determine.
While promotional and business printing in St. Louis has traditionally been a powerful business marketing practice to engage customers, the best results occur by using creative advertising methods that demonstrate a high degree of professionalism.
An effective marketing strategy is often delivered through a variety of means, including using printed materials to drive customers to an online campaign. In today’s technology driven world, integrating paper and pixels, such as direct mail coupons with scannable QR discount codes, is just one of the many ways to marry printed material with smart technology.
Once your print marketing campaign has been diversified, here are four tips to track the effectiveness of your printed advertisements to ensure you are maximizing your marketing dollars:
Print Telephone Numbers on Flyers & Other Ad Material
This method works especially well for service-oriented businesses where customers may need to call for service appointments, but it can work for many industries.
Begin with a unique telephone number or an easy-to-remember, dedicated 1-800 number to be included on all your print advertising material concerning your new marketing campaign. For businesses that have inbound call centers, it is relatively easy to monitor the percentage and number of calls from different campaigns via telephone extensions. If your campaign has national reach, establishing different numbers for different parts of the country will give valuable insight to the effectiveness of your marketing by region.
For smaller businesses, call-tracking software is relatively easy to set up and exists to measure conversions from print or digital ads, by automatically tracking and analyzing phone calls. By generating different phone numbers to track inbound phone calls to the printed material, you can track which sources are generating the most calls, and which may need adjustments or a different approach.
Use Promo Codes to Track Customer Response
A coupon with a distinct coded number in the advertisement is a proven method for tracking marketing data. The best approach to determine where your advertising responses are coming from is to assign different alpha-numeric codes to all your print advertising. Coupons with unique barcodes or QR codes can hold information pointing to the marketing campaign and are easily scanned at the point of sale to provide conversion rates.
Advertising flyers, plastic mailers, door hangers, and direct mail can boast a call to action, such as, “Bring This Coupon in For a Free Gift” or “Mention This Code for an Additional 5 Percent Off.” Since customers are rarely aware of which specific marketing campaign directed them to your business, using promo codes will establish a direct link to determine customer conversions from each marketing campaign. Keep in mind to use different codes for different campaigns, as well as different markets—print, radio, TV, and direct mail.
Monitor Sales or Store Traffic
A new marketing campaign should correlate to increased foot traffic or sales for a business. Taking note of increased foot traffic in brick-and-mortar establishments during a new marketing campaign is by far more difficult than for online retailers. Yet, new options have been developed that use smart technology to give specific store traffic data. The information can range from counting incoming customers to taking note of which areas of a retail store are most visited.
Pairing a store’s open wi-fi network to location-based sensors called Beacons, allows valuable analytical data to be successfully collected, especially with larger retail outlets. Smaller businesses might consider a simpler product, such as hardwired door counters, which only require a clear line of sight and access to an electrical circuit.
An increase in sales is a sure sign of an effective marketing campaign. In this case, specific numbers attributed to a specific campaign may not be the important factor. A goal of a 15-percent increase in sales over two months can be easily determined by establishing the business’ current sales baseline, then re-evaluating after sixty days.
This indirect method of measuring and analyzing your advertising can also be paired with asking customers exactly how they found out about your business, to determine if direct mail flyers are drumming up new business. Additionally, obtain the customer’s postal code at the point of sale to determine which locations are providing the best customer responses.
Track Printed Ad Campaigns with Online Responses
Most businesses that have a physical location also have established a website as part of a multi-level marketing campaign. When choosing your print advertising vehicle, whether it is a banner display, loyalty cards, door hangers, brochures, or flyers, including your website or social media platform with a custom URL specifically tailored to the new campaign will enable the business to use the same digital metrics as any other online retailer. Offer a special gift or discount as an incentive to drive the prospective client to the unique page. This technique will present a dual opportunity to advertise and convert leads to customers.
It is a good idea to make the campaign link short and easy to remember. Doing so can easily be achieved with a vanity URL—an easy to remember web address that exists only to redirect customers to a harder-to-remember address. Link shortening is commonly used on social platforms such as Twitter, and offers an economical solution to tracking specific offline campaigns with online analytics.
Bear in mind that most print advertising has an inherent time factor built into it. From first delivery or sighting of the advertised material, to the customer’s interaction, and finally the customer’s decision to act upon your marketing campaign, will vary. Adding a call to action which will benefit your customer speeds up the process. Patience in determining the quality of a multi-level advertising campaign is a necessary trait. The end results will offer the information you need to determine what changes—if any—are necessary for future projects.