B2B Marketing Blog

How To Measure The ROI Of Print Marketing

By Chris Collins
Jan 22, 2018

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategy quickly gaining traction among B2B marketers. By bringing sales and marketing together and developing unique strategies for specific key accounts, firms can be more focused, personal and creative in their communications with prospects.

Print materials are important ingredients for every type of direct mail campaign.

To help organizations stand out among the countless emails and calls their prospects receive everyday, print marketing offers a fresh and cost-effective way to advertise and increase awareness of your business.

However, even though print marketing offers value, it can be tricky to calculate its exact value. To improve your print campaigns and get insights for your ABM strategy, you’ll have to measure the ROI of print marketing.  

In this post we will discuss several tactics for measuring the reach of your print advertising material, and the ROI of printed flyers, custom posters and other print products.  

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Measuring Your Response Rate

The key to successful tracking is defining an action. What do you want your key accounts to do after they view your letter, flyer or poster? Call you, send you an email, visit your page or buy a product?

Whatever your goal is, make sure it is clear by adding a call-to-action to your print materials such as “Order now”. Thanks to this, you’ll be able to measure the number of orders or purchases tied to this campaign. Your basic metric will be the response rate.

A best practice is to separate out each campaign in your CRM, this way you can compare performance across different mailers and print materials.

How to Measure Print To Maximize ROI

You can use the following measures and methods to increase the response rate for your printed promotional material within your ABM campaigns.

There are a variety of account-based marketing campaigns and tactics where the following print materials can help increase engagement and generate pipeline value.

Coupons and Vouchers

A printed flyer is a perfect opportunity for a coupon or voucher with which your customers can receive a discount, a freebie or any other offer. Simply send a personalized letter to your target persona in your key account and attach the flyer to it.

You can easily track different engagement rates using coupon codes, and track engagement with solutions like Bizible which uses predictive scoring to evaluate the likelihood of conversion. 

Additionally, by consolidating the information you collect, you can identify which business verticals, buyer personas and messages perform best within your ABM campaign.

As for discount rates, make sure to do a quick competitor analysis and be aware that discounts only work when the percieved value is greater than the effort your target customer has to make.

Using QR Codes

A QR code is particularly well-suited for posters and flyers. You can set a QR code to do an array of things when scanned: open a website, open your business page (on Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare or Google), make a phone call, send an email.

Make sure to specifically track responses via a URL referrer, extension number or email address. 

If you want to use QR codes on posters and flyers to target key accounts, display them in places where audiences might see them, such as at conferences, seminars, and trade shows.

Always make sure that the QR code leads to an action that can reveal the prospect's company. For instance, this could be a CTA to send an email, subscribe to a newsletter, or fill out a form to access your gated content.

Bizible can track offline marketing touchpoints to show the ROI of conferences and event sponsorships.  

Create Unique Subdomains and Landing Pages

If you don’t want to offer discounts, you can still track your print advertising by taking advantage of sub-domains or landing pages. Instead of simply adding your general homepage on your print materials, direct your prospects a specific page on your website. This is a cost-effective way of tracking your response rates and it will also allow you to use web analytics solutions to measure ROI, traffic, conversion rates, customer data and more.

Just like with other methods, this is a great opportunity to gather more data. By utilizing unique sub-domains or landing pages not only for different campaigns, but different target groups as well, you can learn where your response rate is highest and where your print marketing is most effective. In follow-up campaigns, you can then focus on your most responsive and valuable customers to further increase your ROI.

Ask Your Customers

This method is quite useful for small and medium sized enterprises, but even for ABM campaigns that target larger key accounts, they can often reveal surprising insights.

Asking your customers directly: “How did you hear about us?” won’t do any harm. Actually, it can easily be incorporated into your website funnel as a simple optional drop-down selection. Anyone calling in won’t mind answering an additional one or two questions. A longer questionnaire is best reserved for a post-sale follow-up, such as an email. If you need to, you can offer an incentive such as a discount towards future orders to encourage customers to provide feedback.

Mail-Order Form

Part of your flyer could also be a classic mail-order form which people can send in to order, subscribe to updates or request more information. This standard marketing tool was the equivalent of a landing page before the rise of the web. However, while it can be still successful with specific target groups who prefer not to order online, in the modern B2B world it just makes your business look old and slow.

Track Improvements

If you’re running wider campaigns aimed at lots of small and medium sized business, one of the oldest methods of measuring the response rates of print campaigns is looking for improvements in the period after you launched them.

Are there significantly more sales, new customers or leads? Do more people subscribe to your mailing list? Does the organic traffic to your website increase? Of course, correlation is not always causation, but you can draw reasonable conclusions as to the effectiveness of your print campaigns by monitoring your key metrics, especially when you track the rest of your advertising mix, such as display ads etc.

The Importance of Segmentation

While key account management is by definition focused on providing personal messages to specific prospects, segmentation is a vital part of optimizing your print marketing and ABM campaigns. Moreover, it can be done without limiting your level of personalization too much.

Group your key accounts by business verticals, job function of the target persona and print material used. This will allow you to identify where the highest response rates come from and, therefore, optimize your campaigns.

Additionally, if you have a large enough number of key accounts, try A/B testing with different codes, landing pages, messages and targeting specific job groups or verticals. Based on your findings, you can then make changes to increase your response rate.

The Importance of a Strong Call-to-Action

As we’ve mentioned, defining the ideal response for your print marketing is fundamental, otherwise it ends up being a scattershot with results that are hard to track. Your flyer, poster or letter needs to include a specific CTA that tells your key account what to do next. Similarly, everything on your print material should flow toward your CTA so that your audience will react in the way you want them to. 

For more information on account-based marketing strategies in B2B, download the guide below. 

CMO's Guide to ABM Orchestration  How to plan, execute, and measure your ABM strategy.    Download Now

Topics: account based marketing

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