How can you tell if your 1:1 print efforts are working? Measure them. Even if you don't have a full-time staff of business analysts, creating a simple ROI doesn't have to be daunting. Here’s how to get started. 

Set specific goals for your campaign.

What are the goals of the campaign? If you don't have well-defined goals, you won't know whether you are meeting objectives or not. The first step is to get those goals nailed down. Do you want to increase total revenue and profits? Is the purpose to increase sales of a particular product or service or expand into a new market? Is it general branding? 

Crunch the numbers

Customize this basic print ROI model with your own assumptions to determine whether your campaign will be successful. 

Number of Pieces Printed 20,000
Total Cost $2,500
Response Rate Anticipated 2.5%
Percentage of Respondents 25%
Expected to Purchase
Average Profit per Purchase $50

Number of Respondents 500
Cost per Response $5.00
Number of Buyers 125
Cost per Buyer $20
Cost per Printed Piece $0.125
Profit per Printed Piece $0.31

Total Profit/(Loss) $6,250
Total Cost $2,500

Design your printed materials to track responses. 

Include a customized coupon, personalized barcode, or use campaign-specific landing pages or 800 numbers to determine which customers are responding to which printed pieces.

Document how new customers found you. 

Train your sales and customer service personnel to ask how a client learned about you so you can be certain new sales are a result of your marketing efforts rather than another factor, such as a competitor going out of business.

Recognize that it's not all about dollars and cents. 

While some metrics are black and white, others can only be captured through market research. For example, you might organize a focus group or survey of those who received a specific printed piece to measure their recall, perceptions about your company, and purchase intent resulting from the piece.

These strategies will enable you to cost-justify your print marketing budget and focus your efforts where you will receive the greatest returns.