measuring ROI from printed marketing materials

Measuring ROI from your Print Marketing Materials

Measuring ROI from your Print Marketing Materials


Print is used for such a wide variety of sales, marketing and promotional purposes it can be tricky to measure your return on investment. However, in these days where we’re all tasked to get the most bang for our marketing buck, there’s plenty of reasons to try and track every response to calculate what we’re getting in return for our print marketing spend.

Measuring your ROI starts with having a direct response mechanism on the printed item. Including one or more calls to action (something on the print that encourages the reader to get in touch) means that you can directly measure any responses from your target audience and therefore track the profit or value created by it.

Only you will know what action you want your target audience to take, but here are the most popular response mechanisms from a recent Q&A session we conducted, provided by a number of marketing professionals.

Website, Telephone or Post
Obviously, these are the three most popular ways customers might communicate with you, so you need to implement ways to record profitable activities through all three channels. Website responses can be tracked by analytics packages. Telephone responses are typically tracked by asking the customer where they saw the advert or noting down codes from either the printed item or an offer. Similarly postal tracking is straightforward as a code is used on the return form which relates to the printed item.

Personalised Landing Pages (PURL)
A PURL is a website page that’s personalised to each visitor. Making a PURL relevant to each customer drives up their likelihood to firstly visit the page and then to take a profitable action (such as buy something). Combined with a well-targeted offer, this can drive up response rates and resultant ROI.

Response Codes
Add a response code that your customer should quote when communicating or ordering from you – ideally including a location-based element. That way, you can track not only the effectiveness of the item but get an idea of regional responses which can often be tied in to specific events wherever the collateral was used – such as trade shows.

QR Codes


Webmart Printing Brain QR Code

QR Codes – try scanning it with a QR app on your smartphone.


Quick Response Codes are square codes recognised by smart phones. Readers use their phones to scan the code and it then takes them to a website landing page. This visit can be tracked through to any order or further response mechanism. QR codes require your audience to be technically-savvy though, otherwise they’ll not bother.

Trade Shows
Where you use printed materials as handouts at a tradeshow, their cost is typically included in the overall budget for the show and the ROI calculated for the entire event. However, adding direct response mechanisms such as a customised landing page or QR code can allow you to track responses directly through your Analytics packages or other tracking mechanisms.

Discount slip/Voucher/Special Offer
However you choose to display it on your print, offering a good deal or offer encourages action from your customers. You’ll need the capture mechanisms in place to measure their response – be that a sales team noting the response to a call or software logging a website visit – but displaying a particular offer is a real driver to increase ROI and the code associated with the offer allows you to track not only the effectiveness of the printed item but of the offer itself.

If you have any case studies of how you’ve measured your ROI from print, we’d love to share it with our readers.