This is your Postalytics Playbook: a one-stop source to calculate and answer all your questions about direct mail return on investment (ROI). 

No one embarks on a business strategy without doing their research first (well, sometimes they do plunge into the unknown, but it’s usually not a good idea). Direct mail marketing is one of those areas where your business should make informed decisions and understand what it takes to be successful. The reason? Direct mail, even when it’s perfectly executed, has a price tag. You can’t recover most of the money you spend on a direct mail campaign if you decide later that it’s not working out. Once you put ink on paper, you are financially committed to the project, and you’d better have a clear set of goals and expectations already prepared.

Understanding the costs and opportunities associated with direct mail is important. Such knowledge allows you to make intelligent decisions about your direct mail strategy. To understand ROI, you must be able to predict both the benefits (the “R” portion of the ROI) and the costs (the “I” portion). That’s what this playbook is all about.

When designing a direct mail marketing campaign in the traditional manner, marketers must make many decisions on their own. Each choice can affect both the costs and the potential benefits. Marketers work with multiple entities, such as print service providers, mailing list brokers, graphic artists, copy editors, and the postal service. They may receive conflicting advice about mailpiece sizes, colors, mailing classifications, and more. For many marketers, this traditional method is too complicated and can deter them from including direct mail in their overall marketing strategy. It also makes it more difficult to track expenses, evaluate results, and compute the ROI.

Fortunately, automation has made the entire process easier. Platforms like Postalytics handle many of the details, significantly reducing the number of decisions marketers must make and reducing their reliance on a collection of vendors and service providers. Predicting the ROI of a Postalytics campaign is much easier than computing the expected ROI of a campaign constructed in the traditional manner.

Impressive Direct Mail ROI Figures

Recent studies underscore the unparalleled effectiveness of direct mail campaigns in delivering impressive ROI. According to the 2021 Response Rate Report released by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), campaigns using letter-sized envelopes boasted a remarkable 112% ROI. Direct mail outperformed text messaging, email, paid search, social media advertising, and digital display advertising. 

A 2018 study by the United States Postal Service (USPS) showed that direct mail recipients purchased 28% more items and spent 28% more than consumers responding to non-mailed advertising.

As the old gasoline ad cautioned, “Your mileage may vary”. The return on your investment in direct mail depends on the offer, the relevance of your mailing list, and many other factors. But studies have shown that direct mail’s potential for return is generally better than other channels you may choose to promote your company’s goods and services. With the right strategy and execution, you could be looking at significant returns.

What Are Common Returns on Direct Mail Campaigns?

Direct mail has a reputation among marketers (many of whom were raised on digital-only campaigns) that mail is less effective and more of a hassle than digital channels. With modern tools at your disposal, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Direct mail is among the oldest and most effective advertising channels. It has been tried and tested in every industry, category, and niche. Although sometimes viewed as outdated in favor of digital channels, direct mail provides one of the highest, most reliable ROIs of any advertising channel. If used correctly, it can be a turning point for companies looking to expand their advertising operations.

ROI of Marketing Campaigns by MediumThough the ROI is higher for direct mail than other marketing channels, few marketers are taking advantage. Only 38% of marketers participating in the ANA study said they ran direct mail campaigns. For those marketers who choose to make the investment, direct mail offers high returns and less competition.

How Many Respond to Direct Mail?

ROI calculations, like those mentioned above, are encouraging, but sometimes marketers want a more granular representation of direct mail’s expected performance. Indeed, not all direct mail campaigns are designed to deliver easily measured results like gross sales or donation figures companies typically use to calculate ROI.

Often, companies use direct mail to begin a relationship with individuals in their target audience. They enroll those prospects who respond to their direct mail campaign in lead nurturing sequences that may progress through multiple channels. In this case, calculating the dollar value of the initial direct mail effort is impossible until much further in the buyer’s journey, when they eventually make a purchase. Attribution is also difficult as all the contacts between the company and the customer contribute to the eventual sales success. Direct mail may have begun the journey, but it can’t take all the credit for the eventual sale.

Marketing Channel Response - Prospect List
The ANA provides us with another statistic that may be more relevant, where a direct sale is not the goal. As you can see from the chart below, the percentage of people who respond to a direct mail campaign is at least four times greater than other direct marketing approaches. And direct mail’s effectiveness is improving, most likely because of better targeting. Over the years, the response rate for direct mail has risen from 1.4% in 2010 to 2.9% in 2016 and 4.9% by 2019.

By the way, The Marketing Channel Response statistics below are for prospect lists full of individuals who may have no prior exposure to your company. The ANA reports the response rate for house lists comprising your existing and past customers and identified prospects is almost twice as good, at 9%!

Computing the Direct Mail ROI

Direct mail is still one of the most popular advertising channels in use today, and for good reason — it provides reliable returns that often surpass digital channels. While everyone works to modernize and build a presence on the web, companies that embrace new technology that enhances traditional advertising channels often find them less competitive and more reliable.

To understand what direct mail ROI you can realistically expect, you must first understand the costs of running a direct mail campaign. Ultimately, your cost depends heavily on what tasks you can complete in-house and what you must pay others for outside work. A company with in-house designers and copywriters will almost always spend less than one that outsources this work. When you use direct mail automation tools to streamline the production and fulfillment processes, you’ll cut the time and cost side of the equation dramatically.

To make your ROI calculation easy, enter your project information into Postalytics’ Free Direct Mail ROI Calculator. With only a handful of details, the calculator instantly provides you with the results you can expect from your direct mail campaign.

Included in the results are important figures such as the number of sales it takes to break even and an analysis that compares the cost and performance of an automated campaign vs. a traditional non-automated project. Make sure your direct mail campaigns consistently produce positive results. Bookmark the page and use the calculator every time. Predict your project ROI with this handy tool to furnish budget guidance, maximize your direct mail investment, and sidestep expensive mistakes before they occur. For agencies, the Postalytics ROI Calculator can show your clients the value of adding direct mail to their marketing strategy, allowing you to close more deals.




What Are the Costs?

A common question asked by marketers considering direct mail is: How much does direct mail cost?

Direct mail campaign cost estimates vary tremendously, and there’s often a bit of mystery involved in the calculation of direct mail prices.

Even the way vendors present advertising costs can be highly variable.

Some quotes will aggregate direct mail costs, while others will itemize charges down to the smallest detail. Hidden costs associated with the mechanics of creating and managing modern direct mail campaigns are often missing from proposals you may receive.

We’ve seen thousands of customers build and launch campaigns with our software, and we’ve mailed millions of postcards and letters. Below are the things we’ve learned along the way that can be helpful for you as you determine the true costs of your direct mailing efforts.

Cost Per Piece

Most marketers will spend between $.65 and $3.00 out-of-pocket per piece on a direct mail campaign. Costs vary, however, and marketers cannot control many of them.

How do you estimate direct mail cost? Traditional direct mail advertising involves many vendors, each with several components that deliver on a complex project. Some factors that impact the cost of direct mail include:

  • Volume
  • Direct mail design costs
  • Copywriting costs
  • Quantity or mailing list size
  • Postage rates & choices
  • Format choice (cost of paper, ink, printing & handling)
  • Personalization

New software tools (like Postalytics) simplify cost estimating significantly. Since software handles much of the work, fewer surprises that can affect the cost of a direct mail campaign are likely to occur.

Cost Per 1,000

Cost per thousand, or CPM, is a common way that advertising is measured. It boils the price of an advertisement down to a cost for 1,000 “impressions”.

Little known fact: The “M” in CPM stands for “mille”. Mille is Latin for thousands.

To calculate direct mail cost per 1,000, take the total cost of the campaign and divide it by the number of pieces. Multiply the result by 1,000.

While pros in the direct marketing industry typically do not use it, CPM is a common way to measure the cost of other mass media, like TV and radio.

Direct mail cost per 1,000 is sometimes used to compare to other media that are highly scalable and capable of reaching large audiences. You’ll find that direct mail seems expensive when measured by CPM relative to some other channels.

For example:

  • Cable TV Cost Per 1,000–$23.00
  • Radio Cost Per 1,000—$5.22
  • Static Billboard Cost Per 1,000—$3.47

If direct mail costs 10-20 times more per CPM, why do it? The answer is because channels that are “cheap” by CPM standards have some drawbacks. With mass media, you spend money to advertise to people who are not prospects for your products.

Mass media is:

  • Largely Untargeted—Everyone on the road sees the billboard, and most are not your prospects.
  • Un-personalized—You can’t customize the offer or call to action in your radio ad according to the person listening.
  • Not Triggered—You can’t trigger a cable TV ad based on the actions or behavior of an individual prospect.

Direct mail is not the same as “mass media” channels. It is much more like email or digital marketing.

Fixed Costs and Campaign Volume

Fixed costs are factors in direct mail campaign ROI calculations.

The overhead expenses for equipment, people, and hours spent on setting up and running a campaign are spread across all the direct mail pieces you produce. Naturally, the fixed expense portion of the cost per piece drops as the volume of items grows.

Let’s say it costs a printer $1,000 for the equipment and their labor to make printing plates, prepare the files, set up the press, and do all the other work necessary before they ever print a piece:

  • $1,000 divided by 10,000 pieces puts the fixed costs at $0.10 per piece.
  • $1,000 divided by 500 pieces puts the fixed costs at $2.00 per piece.

That’s why you don’t see many small batches or triggered direct mail projects produced by traditional printers/mailers and agencies. The high fixed costs make it difficult to achieve a favorable ROI.

Spread the Fixed Costs Associated with Campaigns

Newer direct mail automation tools like Postalytics solve this problem by bundling the volume from multiple clients.

This volume enables a printer who is part of our provider network to produce a run of, say, 6×9 postcards that might include a single triggered postcard for one Postalytics client, a small batch of 50 for another, a batch of 2,000 for a third client, and so forth. Postalytics can spread the fixed costs among many jobs for multiple clients, allowing our customers to enjoy volume pricing regardless of the number of pieces in their campaigns.

Print service providers can get more productivity from their staff and equipment and process larger jobs by aggregating lots of small campaigns through software.

It’s a win/win.

Hidden Direct Mail Costs Lurk Behind the Scenes

The biggest direct mail campaign costs can be items vendors do not include in the proposals you receive. If you’re not careful, the things that you didn’t even consider can be the costliest parts of putting together a direct mail campaign.

Our customers tell us they often fail to account for three direct mail “hidden cost” areas:

Direct mail campaign administration time can be a huge hidden cost. Marketers typically devote dozens of hours spread over 4-6 weeks to pull together creative, coordinate data, proof the creative and data with print partners, and more.

Direct mail integration costs can be massive if you’re trying to use the multi-channel marketing approach that marketers agree is most effective. If you’re using a CRM, marketing automation, or an E-commerce platform, your direct mail service should integrate seamlessly for each multi-channel campaign. That rarely happens with outsourced service providers doing most of the work.

Direct mail tracking & analytics costs are often not considered when planning a direct mail campaign. The time and effort required to answer the question “What happened after I sent the mail?” can be a huge time sink. Ideally, your direct mail service provider should offer easy-to-read campaign dashboards that tell you where your mail is at all times and identify exactly who has responded. Many service providers, however, do not offer such a service.

Direct Mail Design Charges

Direct mail design costs play a big factor in your overall direct mail cost. We see organizations take different approaches, all of which can work.

Design it In-house

Many companies opt for a do-it-yourself design, sometimes enlisting someone with digital or print design skills within their company to design their postcards or letters.

This is the least expensive strategy, in terms of upfront cost. If your internal resource isn’t familiar with print or direct mail design, be sure they follow direct mail design best practices. Design mistakes can increase production, distribution, and follow-up expenses.

Use a Professionally Built Template

Marketers can access professionally designed direct mail templates in newer direct mail automation tools. These templates enable marketers without professional design experience to work within proven frameworks that will represent their brands well and produce results.

Postalytics makes creating and designing your postcards or letters simple and free. We offer high-quality templates you can use when designing your mailers, free of charge. 

Hire a Designer or Agency

The cost of hiring a professional designer or an agency can vary. On average, you can expect to spend between $150-$250 for a standard postcard or letter from a mid-range designer. More experienced designers may charge as much as $1,000, and newer designers may charge less.

Copywriting Outlay

The cost of direct mail is also affected by copywriting charges. So is the ROI.

Don’t send inferior copy. You’ll get poor results.

Experienced copywriters know how to deliver messages that convince customers to act. Your desired action might be calling your company to set up an appointment, buying a product, or visiting a website to fill out a contact form.

Copywriting charges are similar to prices quoted by graphic design freelancers and agencies. Plan to spend between $200 and $2,000, depending upon the complexity of the piece and the experience of the copywriter.

If you have a small budget, you’ll probably have to handle copywriting yourself.

Read up on direct mail copywriting best practices and handle the messaging on your own. With Postalytics, you can easily add copy to your postcards and other collateral that you send through our system and monitor the results. Postalytics makes it easy to re-use or re-purpose well-performing templates.

Direct Mail List Costs

Not all direct mail campaigns require mailing list acquisition. Some campaigns may use only your house list, available without an out-of-pocket expense.

However, if you’re using direct mail for acquisition or lead generation, you’ll need to factor the mailing list cost into your overall direct mail marketing budget and ROI calculations.

Most direct mailers rent mailing lists rather than buy them outright. The costs are considerably lower, and as they gather responses, they can build up their own in-house list.

Mailing list rental can cost between $0.03–$0.30 per record, depending on several factors, with the quality of the data itself as one of the primary cost components. Often, vendors quote mailing list rental prices on a per 1,000 basis.

The primary varieties of rented lists are residential, occupant, and business lists. You can also rent specialty lists built from behavioral data (both offline and online). These lists are more expensive but can enable you to segment and target more accurately.

Postalytics has integrated a wholesale provider of mailing lists into our software. The wholesaler only offers mailing lists from premium compiled sources and we pass along transparent pricing.

Postage Costs

Direct mail postage is often the largest cost component for any campaign. Postage costs are drastically different for First Class and Standard Class mailings. Think through the characteristics of different classes of mail and the timing of delivery as you decide which category of mail to choose.

You may have noticed that postage rates are increasing. The USPS is on track to raise rates twice a year until they reach a sustainable level of funding. Given the overall reduction in mail volume, analysts expect the volatility in postage rates to continue for some time. Check with your direct mail service provider for guidance on current and projected rates.

First Class Mail Postage Costs

First Class Mail is the most expensive option offered by the USPS, and with the price comes their highest level of service. Direct mail service providers can often reduce First Class postage through volume discounts. The First Class level of service provides:

  • Fast delivery—usually within 3-5 business days after mail enters the delivery network
  • Priority processing—during peak mailing periods, the USPS processes First Class Mail first
  • Free forwarding–the USPS will forward First Class Mail for recipients who file a change of address notice with the post office
  • Detailed Intelligent Mail barcode data—marketers can track the mail all the way to the local post office, right before delivery

Marketing Mail Postage Costs

Direct mailers use Marketing Mail (also known as Standard Class Mail) to lower direct mail advertising costs. This is a class of mail open only to direct mail service providers like commercial printers. The USPS requires minimum volumes. Pricing varies based on the format or the weight. The Marketing Mail level of service provides:

  • Slower delivery—between 10-15 business days
  • Lower priority processing—during peak seasons or regional slowdowns because of equipment issues, etc., The USPS processes Marketing Mail after other types of mail
  • Not forwarded–Undeliverable as Addressed mail is destroyed
  • Limited Intelligent Mail barcode data
First Class Mail Marketing Mail
Most expensive level of service  Lower postage costs–non-priority service
Fast delivery–3-5 business days Slower delivery—10-15 business days
First Class Mail is processed first Marketing Mail is processed after other types of mail
Free forwarding Not forwarded
Detailed Intelligent Mail barcode data Limited Intelligent Mail barcode data

At Postalytics, we offer a simple, flat-rate pricing system for both First Class and Marketing Mail—even at low volumes. We’re able to do this by taking advantage of USPS work share discounts while funneling mail from many customers through high-volume, sophisticated printers and mailers. Presorted First Class Mail costs the USPS less money to process and deliver, resulting in a steep discount on postage. We pass these benefits on to all our customers through our fixed-rate pricing.

Format, Printing, and Shipping Costs

Here is where direct mail costs really add up. Direct mail advertising costs can vary widely, depending on the collateral you are sending, the quality of the stock, and the number of prospects included in your campaign.

The format you choose has a tremendous impact on the total cost of direct mail. A small postcard costs far less in paper, ink, production, and mailing than a multiple-page letter. Many marketers try to keep costs low by choosing smaller formats. However, larger formats may deliver a higher ROI. Choose your format based on the message you’re trying to communicate rather than the format cost. If your message is super simple, a small format might work great. More complex ideas require more space to communicate. Larger items stand out in the mailbox, while small postcards may not gain the same level of consumer attention.

The typical printing costs of a direct mail campaign can range from $0.05–$1.00 per person. Lighter materials will typically cost less, while heavier materials will cost more. Many printers will offer bulk discounts when you reach certain thresholds, so that is also something to consider. Unfortunately, marketers must often buy more items than they really need to qualify for a reasonable per-piece price.

Your printing choices also affect the mailing costs. Mailing prices fluctuate depending on several factors, including postage rate, the amount of mail you’ll be sending, and the weight of each piece. Heavier, more expensive stock results in a higher mailing cost.

Here at Postalytics, we aim to simplify printing and mailing prices into an easy-to-use pricing structure. Postalytics prices are all-inclusive and include the usage of our templates, editor, printing, and mailing services.

Combining all standard costs into one simple-to-understand direct mail cost-per-piece makes it easy for our customers to forecast the ROI for their campaigns and choose the best option that falls within their budget.

Increasing the Return Factor of the ROI

Remember that two factors drive the ROI calculation–investment and return. Raising the return on your direct mail campaign improves the ROI. Nearly all the design decisions marketers make will affect the return, including the offer, the creative, and the copy. 

The right strategy for you depends on many variables, particular to your company, your customers, and your products or services. We can, however, discuss some ideas that will help you raise the ROI on your direct mail marketing campaigns regardless of your individual situation.

Two techniques marketers of any product or service can use to boost the performance of direct mail campaigns stand out:

  1. Personalization
  2. Multi-channel

Personalization Drives Direct Mail ROI Higher

No one likes to feel like just another name on a list. That’s why people respond incredibly well to personalized mail. 

For instance, adding a person’s name in the direct mailpieces can increase campaign response rates by 135%. Adding a name and another piece of personal information can improve the response rate by 500%.

The point is—people are more prone to responding to mail that you create specifically for them. Use information from your mailing list to personalize the copy and add images that correspond with that messaging.

Common direct mail personalization techniques include:

  • Variable Data Printing (VDP)–using a commercial digital printer, you can customize each mailpiece using data, similar to how email personalization works
  • Personalized Landing Pages with pURLs (personalized URLs)–are tools that can use the same data used in VDP to personalize the landing page for each recipient

Traditional Direct Mail Personalization

Traditional direct mailers can include personalization in your campaign with variable data printing and pURLs. The process involves a significant amount of back and forth, often with highly skilled technicians called pre-press operators to set up the VDP run. Printing companies rely on 3rd party landing page software to set up the pURLs. The time involved in setting up personalization can drive the overall cost of direct mail very high when working with traditional printers/mailers.

Automated Direct Mail Personalization

Newer direct mail automation tools like Postalytics enable personalization at no extra cost. Why? Because the production methods associated with automated direct mail are software-based rather than service-based.

Variable Data Printing

VDP is often a standard feature of automated direct mail tools. Because the production software is building postcards and letters electronically, there’s no difference between producing a highly personalized mailpiece and a batch and blast mailpiece. There are no meetings, calls, or people needed to coordinate the hand-offs associated with traditional direct mail VDP.

Personalized QR Codes and URLs (pURLs)

Service providers usually do not include pURLs in the cost of direct mail projects. They are extra charges. Rather than requiring a printing company or 3rd party software to generate data-driven personalized landing pages, direct mail automation vendors like Postalytics include personalized QR Codes and pURLs that work with existing landing page systems at no extra cost.

Boost Direct Mail ROI – Combine with Other Channels

Ever since technology made it easy for marketers to launch multi-channel marketing campaigns, studies have shown that added channels boost direct mail performance. A recent assessment from Keypoint Intelligence recently reinforced the effectiveness of multi-channel marketing. Firms taking part in the study reported a 9% increase in response when their direct mail included digital links. A 9% improvement can be the difference between a poor ROI and an outstanding one.

To learn more about multi-channel marketing, refer to this article that discusses how to leverage a combination of direct mail and email.

Here are a few creative ways you could combine direct mail with other channels:

  • Use direct mail to grow your email list. Instead of sending a prospect to a landing page where you encourage them to buy the product, try sending them to a page that entices them to join your email list. Offer them something of value in exchange for the subscription. Then, you can deliver marketing messages to them via email, augmenting your continuing direct mail efforts.
  • Use email to follow up with direct mail campaigns. A direct mail campaign can be a great way to break the ice. Strategic emails sent after the postal mail is delivered help you stay top-of-mind and nurture prospects.
  • Send direct mail campaigns to current subscribers. Instead of going from direct mail to email, try it in reverse. Sending direct mail to your email subscribers can be a great way to break the monotony of email and catch their attention with a special offer.
  • The US Postal Service offers a free option. Informed Delivery allows mailers to send electronic notifications (with links to your sales pages) to Informed Delivery subscribers the day the US Postal Service will deliver their mail. The Informed Delivery subscriber base continues to grow and now numbers over 50 million individuals

By the way, if your database lacks email addresses, outside firms can append the missing information for a fee. The same goes for an email list, with vendors able to match the email addresses to valid postal addresses most of the time.

Some marketers employ more sophisticated multi-channel methods, such as re-targeting people who visit web pages by showing them ads as they browse the web. In other cases, retailers send text messages containing discount offers customers can redeem at the nearest retail location. GPS coordinates captured from a mobile phone as they scan a QR code from their direct mail postcard control the content of the text messages.

One popular strategy is sending messages to customers who left your online shopping site with items still in their shopping cart. Shopping cart abandonment messages have high conversion rates. No matter how you initially attracted a customer to your shopping page, or through which channel you nudge them about their forsaken items, every sale that springs from this strategy is a windfall. It’s revenue you wouldn’t have earned otherwise.

While direct mail is a profitable endeavor as a standalone channel, businesses can increase the ROI of their direct mail campaigns by pairing direct mail with other channels to stay top-of-mind. Combining the two allows you to maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of each channel and forge more reliable connections with your prospects.

How to Maximize Direct Mail ROI

Direct mail is what you make it. Like any other channel, the ROI of your first campaign is usually a poor indicator of the channel’s overall potential. You’ll need to track, measure, and optimize your campaigns to improve their returns over time. As you learn how your audiences respond, you’ll find more reliable returns through the channel.

Obviously, lower costs generate a more favorable ROI for direct mail campaigns. Here are some ways you can reduce the “investment” part of the ROI calculation:

Clean Your Mailing List

You can clean your mailing list in three ways. 

  1. Correct or drop any data records in your mailing file with undeliverable postal addresses. Typical address deficiencies include missing or incorrect ZIP codes, missing street directionals (NE or SW, for example), misspelled street names, or an absence of apartment or suite numbers. Another problem is people who have moved. With about 14% of the US population moving every year, it doesn’t take long for your mailing list to become outdated. Specialized postal software can help with this project. If you mail through Postalytics, our platform will correct addresses, update addresses for people who have moved, and remove those the software cannot fix.
  2. Remove data records for people who cannot possibly respond to your call-to-action. These would be individuals in prison, deceased persons, or nursing home residents.
  3. Filter out people who are highly unlikely to respond because of demographic factors such as location, age, or gender. Trim people who are not eligible for your offer, such as those with low credit scores or current customers who do not qualify for a new customer promotion. Don’t mail to apartment dwellers if your offer only applies to homeowners.

Note that the individuals you remove from your mailing list in this step will vary according to the offer or goal of the campaign. Individuals trimmed from your mailing file can remain in your CRM system as they may be great prospects for a different campaign.

Be Smart About Postal Services

Postage costs can vary widely, depending on the mailing classification and mail type. Postcards cost less than letters, flats, or parcels. First Class Mail costs more than Marketing Mail.

Cost differences shouldn’t prevent you from choosing a more expensive mail type or postal service if it benefits the campaign. You may choose to spend more money to send a flat, for instance, if your testing shows it performs better than letters or postcards. Likewise, you might opt to send your material via First Class Mail because of the quicker and more predictable delivery times. If you are promoting a sale or event, for example, timing the delivery of your mail will be important. Marketing Mail may not provide the narrow delivery window you want.

Also, check to be sure your mailpiece meets all the postal service standards and requirements. Incorrect address placement, improper aspect ratio, or unapproved mailpiece construction can cause surcharges or even rejection of your mailing-any of which will wreak havoc with your campaign’s ROI. Note that any mail produced through the Postalytics platform will conform to the standards. If you are managing your own direct mail project in the traditional manner, however, you will want to avoid any surprises at the post office.

Touch, Test, Touch Again

What would you think of a sales rep who calls a prospect once, leaves a message, and never calls again? You’d probably fire him or her. Don’t take a similar approach with direct mail and send a single campaign, expecting huge sales to result. Good salespeople know they need to touch their prospects several times, with clear goals for each touch. The same applies to direct mail.

Frequency is an important advertising concept. We see very successful clients that send to the same list, with variations in format (postcard sizes and letters), copy, and creative, between 3-7 times. Postalytics makes this easy, enabling you to send to only the non-responders with our unique “Add a Maildrop” feature. 

Send mail to your list, make some changes in the copy, the offer, and the call to action, and send it again. Learn from each of your sends.

You Can Only Measure What You Track

Just as with every marketing campaign, you must track your direct mail metrics to determine the ROI. What percentage of your total sent pieces reached their destination? How many were returned? Who opened and engaged with your mailer? Knowing where the flaws were in a campaign puts you in a position to improve.

In the past, tracking direct mail campaigns was very difficult. However, Postalytics has changed that. By connecting directly with the most popular marketing and analytics platforms, we make it easy to understand the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns and accurately track direct mail ROI.

Direct Mail analytics and tracking dashboard

Our system integrates with platforms like:

  • HubSpot
  • SalesForce
  • Zapier
  • ActiveCampaign
  • InfusionSoft/Keap
  • Marketo
  • Go HighLevel
  • Zoho

That’s just a small sampling of the total number of platforms and tools that integrate with Postalytics. Just about any modern marketing automation, CRM, eCommerce platform, nonprofit fundraising tool, or customer data platform (CDP) can easily integrate with Postalytics via our webhooks technology. Postalytics also has a full-featured API that can be integrated into workflows in 3rd party platforms. 

To maximize your direct mail ROI, you must track your campaigns. Our solutions allow you to do that with fewer headaches and lower campaign costs.

Our system provides companies with the tools they need to track and optimize their direct mail campaigns. 

These include:

pURLsPersonalized URLs are URLs generated specifically for your campaign and its recipients. Your URLs could incorporate the recipients’ name, business, or other data to make them more enticing and interesting to recipients. The platform records customer website visits so you can measure campaign engagement.

QR Codes—Almost every smartphone has a QR code reader. Putting a QR code in your direct mail will drive consumers to your website or app to respond to your offer. These codes are easy to personalize and even easier to track.

Personalized landing pages—Most of our customers will use pURLs and QR codes to direct prospects to personalized landing pages that may incorporate their name or other information about them. Because they arrive at the landing page through the pURL, we can identify them.

pURL and Personalized Landing Pages for Direct Mail

These are just a few of the tools available in Postalytics. Through our deep integrations with analytics platforms, we make it possible for companies to track direct mail campaigns in many of the same ways they would with digital campaigns. That means more data, more information, and a better understanding of your campaigns and the returns they generate.


Direct mail marketing holds an impressive potential for ROI. The tangible nature of direct mail, coupled with its ability to reach targeted audiences, makes it an incredibly effective marketing tool. However, the performance is not automatic. Your ability to maximize the value from direct mail depends on how effectively you manage your campaigns. 

With tools like Postalytics, you can gain an edge over your competitors. The software allows you to bring the same level of tracking and data analysis to your direct mail efforts that you do to your digital campaigns. Postalytics also offers more predictable and controlled costs and keeps you from making expensive mistakes. What does this mean for you? It means more control, more insights, and, ultimately, better ROI. 

The superior ROI of direct mail is not a given–you earn it. By utilizing the strategies and tools laid out in this playbook, you can significantly lower your costs and improve your campaign performance. The result? A better return on your marketing investment.