Print marketing delivers a sensory-rich experience that builds trust and leaves target audiences with a lasting impression of your brand.
- 82% of people trust print ads more than any other type of advertising.
- 75% of people remembered a print ad one month after seeing it compared to just 44% recalling a digital ad.
- Print marketing has a 9% customer response rate compared to other digital marketing channels, which hover around 1% or less.
While the power of print is undeniable, determining its ROI can be difficult given its tactile nature.
In this article, we'll explain how marketers can effectively and accurately measure the ROI of print marketing, including:
- The difference between measuring print marketing performance and ROI.
- KPIs for measuring print marketing performance.
- Metrics for measuring print marketing ROI.
The Difference Between Print Marketing Performance and ROI
First and foremost, it’s crucial for marketers to understand that measuring the performance of print marketing is not the same as measuring the ROI of print marketing.
Measuring the performance of a print marketing campaign–such as a new product brochure or direct mail campaign–involves tracking metrics known as key performance indicators (KPIs). By tracking specific KPIs, marketers can calculate if a print campaign is achieving its intended goals, such as generating leads at a trade show or increasing brand awareness.
KPIs gauge the immediate effects of a print marketing campaign, but they don’t provide insights into marketing-generated revenue.
ROI, on the other hand, is a financial metric that helps marketers demonstrate the profitability of print marketing and justify their investment in print.
KPIs for Measuring Print Marketing Performance
The KPIs used for measuring print marketing performance should be tailored to specific goals and objectives. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, you’ll want to focus on response rates and conversion rates.
Metrics like cost per response (CPR) and cost per conversion (CPCV) can be used to compare the performance of different print campaigns or marketing channels.
With any print marketing campaign, you’ll want to use a distinct CTA that differs from any other digital marketing campaign. A distinct CTA–such as a unique URL, promo code, phone number or QR code–makes it easy to identify if a lead, conversion or customer came from a print marketing campaign.
While not an exhaustive list of KPIs used to measure print marketing performance, the four KPIs below are the easiest to measure, implement and track.
Response rate is the percentage of recipients who took an initial action in response to a print marketing piece. This could include making a phone call, scanning a QR code, visiting a unique URL on a flier, or any other action that the campaign is designed to encourage. Response rates help marketers understand how well a campaign is engaging and resonating with the target audience.
Response Rate = (Number of Responses / Total Number of Recipients) x 100
For example, if a direct mail postcard was sent to 100,000 recipients and 30,000 of those recipients scanned a QR code on the postcard, the response rate would be 30%.
Conversion rates are the percentage of recipients who take a desired action that has a direct impact on revenue or business growth. This might include making a purchase or signing up for a service. Conversion rates help marketers evaluate the effectiveness of their campaign in driving actual results.
Conversion Rate = (Number of Conversions / Total Number of Responses) x 100
Using the same example from above, if 30,000 recipients scanned a QR code on the postcard (i.e. a response), and 1,000 of those who scanned the QR code went on to make a purchase (i.e. a conversion), the conversion rate would be 3.3%.
Cost per response (CPR) and cost per conversion (CPCV) measure the cost of achieving a specific action or result from a print marketing campaign. CPR and CPCV are calculated by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the total number of responses or conversions, respectively.
It’s important to remember that CPR and CPCV provide insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of your campaign, which can then contribute to your understanding of the overall ROI. But they are not direct measures of ROI.
Metrics for Measuring Print Marketing ROI
In the context of marketing, ROI measures the return generated from a marketing campaign relative to its cost. The formula for calculating ROI is pretty straightforward:
ROI = (Revenue from the campaign - Total cost of the campaign) / Total cost of the campaign
Unfortunately, determining the revenue generated from a print campaign is not as straightforward.
But print isn’t the only channel where there are challenges in measuring ROI.
For instance, a recent LinkedIn study found that 42% of marketers use cost per click (CPC) to measure ROI.
While CPC is a metric exclusive to the realm of digital marketing, similar metrics are used in print marketing, such as CPR and CPCV.
While these three metrics are useful for assessing the cost-effectiveness of a campaign, they don’t take into account the amount of revenue generated from the campaign and should never be used as the sole metric to measure ROI.
For example, a digital campaign may have a low CPC, but if it doesn’t generate any conversions or sales, the ROI will be negative.
Similarly, a print marketing campaign may have a high CPR or CPCV, but if it generates a high volume of sales, the ROI will be positive.
To accurately measure the ROI of print, marketers should use metrics like cost per acquisition (CPA) and customer lifetime value (CLV).
Cost per acquisition (CPA) is the cost of acquiring a new customer or lead. CPA can be calculated by dividing the total cost of the campaign by the number of conversions.
Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is an estimate of the total revenue a customer will generate over the course of their relationship with your business.
High-ROI Print Marketing with Jet Mail
Have additional questions about measuring the ROI of your print marketing campaigns? Jet Mail’s team of print marketing experts are here to help! From printed collateral to direct mail and everything in between, Jet Mail is your partner for high-speed, high-impact and high-ROI print marketing.