You need to track your print campaign performance. While digital marketing is a well-oiled machine when it comes to campaign tracking, many businesses fail to leverage that same tracking for print media.

However, you can track your print campaigns and use the data you collect to make systematic improvements to your print strategies. Here's a helpful guide that will help you keep tabs on those amazing, creative print campaigns.

Why Should You Use Print Campaigns?

It's easier to track digital campaigns, so why use print advertising?

Here's why:

It's safe to say that print campaigns are valuable. But how do you track print campaign performance?

5 Ways to Track Print Campaign Performance

1. Use PURLS

One of the easiest ways to track print performance is to simply track the website performance of a specific web page. Personalized URLs (PURLs) let you set up specific web pages for each print campaign so that you can track the performance of each specific web page. For example, you can include one PURL (www.mybusiness.com/brochure1) on one brochure campaign and a different PURL (www.mybusiness.com/brochure2) on a second brochure campaign. Then, you can see how many people are visiting each PURL and track their conversion rates.

2. Leverage QR Codes

In 2020, around 11 million households will scan a QR code using their smartphone. These machine-readable codes are a great way to track overall campaign performance. You can sync them with Google Analytics to see which customers scan the code on your printed materials, their demographics, how they behave, and what their overall conversion rates are (even down the line).

This is probably the simplest way to track print campaigns. Tracking parameters (which can help you customize QR codes) will help you A/B test your print materials, and the instant integration with Google Analytics can help you monitor a plethora of metrics. Of course, there's a small problem — some customers won't scan QR codes. That's why we heavily recommend using at least one other form of tracking (or all of them!) in conjunction. It helps you cover all of your bases.

3. Track Phone Calls

Despite the prevalence of the digital age, phone calls are still a powerful sales tool. 92 percent of customers pick up a phone before they make a purchase. There are 5 billion phones on the planet (which is more than the total number of toothbrushes). Here's the great thing — tracking phone calls is easy. You can generate a phone number for each print campaign, and then track the metrics for each phone number. Again, this makes A/B testing super easy. Plus, you have the added benefit of being able to leverage the data your sales reps are plugging into your CRM — which can help you track behavior beyond the numbers.

4. Create Hashtags

The average person spends a massive 3 hours a day on social media. And there are countless ways to track social media performance. You can create unique hashtags for each print campaign and track those hashtags on social media. For example, you could put "Let us know what you think about our great deals! #bestdealsever" on one set of brochures, and "Tell us about these amazing deals! #ourbestdealsever" on another. You can then see which hashtags are trending and how they're growing.

There are plenty of advantages to using this method. It boosts your social accounts — which is always a good thing. It also allows you to track the widespread impact of your print campaigns by tracking hashtags across groups. Hashtags are also a great way to get interesting with branding.

5. Google Trends

Here's a great secret hack I learned at the 2019 Inbound conference in a star-struck hallway conversation with Rand Fishkin. After you launch a print ad or direct mail campaign, check Google Trends for the name of the brand or company. If you see a spike in search queries, it means your campaign is working. This is a great data point to use as a KPI metric to track performance.

Are You Ready to Dominate Your Print Campaigns?

Print campaigns aren't difficult to track. You can track phone calls, hashtags, website URLs, or QR codes to help you understand how your print campaigns are measuring up. So, how do you get started?

At Ironmark, we bring expertise to every branch of marketing and every marketing strategy. Are you ready to build your next print campaign? Let's talk!

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

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