Direct Mail Without Call Tracking Is Just Silly

There’s no rational reason why anyone should spend a dime, dollar, or penny on direct mail and then fail to use a call tracking number on the direct mail pieces themselves. Call tracking numbers provide incredibly valuable data about which mailers produce calls.

Not only can they tell you which ad copy, colors, size, CTA, geographic targeting efforts, and offers, produce calls—they can tell you which don’t. Can you say optimization? They’re also really easy to implement on direct mail pieces. You’re putting a phone number on their anyway, right? You might as well put a phone number that gives you data.

Now let’s talk pros and cons.

Possible objection #1: Using call tracking numbers on a direct mail piece will confuse the consumer because the phone number on the mailer will be different from your actual business phone number.

Research in The New York Times indicates that about 94% of people in the U.S. can’t remember a single business phone number. They don’t know one business phone number. Not one. No one will even notice that the call tracking number on a mailer is different from the number on your website.

And even if they did, who cares? Are they honestly going to be so confused or befuddled that they’ll just throw up their hands and say, “Well, I would’ve called them, but there’s a different number on here than the one I’m used to seeing.”

Of course not.

Possible objection #2: The data I get won’t be that worthwhile.

If you’re an advertiser, don’t you want to hold the direct mail firm you hired accountable? Don’t you want to see how many calls that firm is producing for you? And if you’re a direct mail firm, don’t you want to know which tactics are working so you can keep your clients happy?

Call tracking can literally save accounts. How? Well, if someone wants to cancel, the account rep for can simply pull up the call tracking data. The data generally shows that the DM company is doing a really good job at generating phone calls for the client. On the other hand, it also shows that the client’s employees are really bad on the phone and/or that the client’s employees are not even answering the phone sometimes.

It’s handy proof that the problem isn’t the direct mail company. Thus, the direct mail company keeps its client.

Possible objection #3: Why can’t the consumer just bring in the coupon?

This won’t work for three reasons: First, it isn’t 1979. Gathering a stack of coupons brought in by consumers doesn’t qualify as marketing analytics. Second, our data shows that 85% or more of consumers won’t actually bring in a coupon or remember to “mention it” when they call. Your data simply won’t be accurate. And third, it’s simpler to just log in to a call tracking solution and see how many calls your direct mailers are generating.

To sum it up

I recently spoke to an executive at a direct mail company who indicated that using call tracking is actively saving accounts. If clients are ready to drop the company, it simply shows the clients the call tracking data, listens to a few calls, and emails the client the results. The client is generally stunned at how many calls are actually being generated by direct mail. Clients are also often stunned at how poorly their employees are handling customers on the phone.

McKay Allen is marketing content manager at LogMyCalls.

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