Measuring direct mail results in a multichannel age

Share this content:
Tom Mabee
Tom Mabee
Online shopping has migrated from an increasing trend to a way of life for most consumers — and traditional catalogers who once ruled the mail order landscape know this.

However, this doesn't mean catalogs aren't a viable and valuable communication channel driving substantial phone and online responses. But for catalogers, it becomes ever more important to achieve a better understanding of what motivates consumers' shopping behaviors.

Typically, measuring campaign results focuses on attribut­ing purchases to one or more advertising methods based on a variety of factors such as source codes, item codes, matching the customer to a mail file, and the date of the order in relation to the mail date. However, when the same message appears online, in stores, as well as in e-mails and direct mailings, how can the marketer figure out what is driving the response? The simplest approach is to measure the incremental effect of each potential customer contact.

A straightforward way to assess the incremental effect of a campaign is to conduct a hold-out test. First, select two Nth or random samples of names and mail one while suppressing the other, then accumulate all the purchase information for each sample for the campaign period or a little longer. The difference between the mailed sample and the suppressed sample — orders, sales and marketing contribution — is the incremental effect of the campaign.

This method of measure­ment uses all of the purchase activity in both samples, not just the activity attributable by key or by matching to the mail file. In that way, canni­balization between contacts is accounted for.

Incremental sales and incre­mental contribution measure­ments provide clear evaluations of the return on marketing spending for the specific campaign among the specific names in the test. They tell the marketer which campaigns or which segments are worth repeating. Even better, the findings generalize across similar campaigns and with similar kinds of names. This approach provides a clear and simple way to make rational mailing decisions for many segments across many similar campaigns using the results of a single hold-out test.

Each response across every marketing channel has its value and, in as little as one campaign cycle, the incremental value from catalog mailings can easily be measured and understood to determine the best multichannel marketing investment possible.

Tim Mabee is a senior consultant for the Decision Sciences group of Ex­perian Marketing Services. Reach him at tim.mabee@experian.com.

close

Next Article in Direct Mail

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above