Measure Your Responses

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While the success of a direct response campaign is easier to gauge than television, radio or outdoor advertising, the performance of a campaign is often measured by the numbers: reply cards, surveys and other returns, coupons redeemed or 800 number calls received.

DeathtoStock_Wired9The ability to match responses to a particular geographic or demographic customer group for a more specific analysis has been nearly impossible.

Now, thanks to the use of barcoding, it is easier than ever before. Used for years by supermarkets and other retail sales operations, barcoding now has a direct mail application. Using a specially designed computer program, each record in a database is assigned an identification code. Each barcode is unique; it can identify the name, address, the offer and various other demographic information.

The barcode is applied directly to the coupon, reply card or other response vehicle. When redeemed it is returned for compilation. The barcodes are then read and converted to data that can be analyzed. The information is also used to update the database.

There are significant benefits of knowing exactly who responded to a specific offer or other call to action. In addition to being able to gauge the success of a particular campaign, the demographic information generated can be used to refine and focus direct marketing efforts, greatly improving the effectiveness and cost efficiency. Responses can provide valuable sales leads and help prioritize a database by separating customers who respond to specific offers from the larger field.

Chances are good that barcoding could help improve the effectiveness of your direct mail efforts, whether you use it to generate sales leads, conduct research of fundraising, sell merchandise through catalogs, to distribute coupons or samples or any other of the multitude of uses.


Bill Nichols

May 8, 2014

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