This is an important question because it can help you determine if your advertising will actually make you money.
Measuring response rates requires that you have pre-set goals before sending out your campaign.
Is the goal of your drive traffic to your website? Then you'll need to make sure you web address is "proud and loud" on your postcard design and then make sure that your website analytics are up and running.
Or maybe your goal is number of phone calls you receive? Or the number of people that come into your store? Or maybe your goal is just raw sales. But whatever it is, have it pre-defined before your pull the trigger. This pre-planning will make sure that you know what you're measuring.
Another great way to measure response rates is to use a unique tracking code. For example, it may be easier to measure web traffic if you place a URL on your website that is only used for that direct mail campaign. For example www.yourwebsite.com/funtimes - That way you can track web traffic easily by measuring the number of direct visits to that custom landing page.
You might want to setup a special phone number to use. If you main goal is to get "feet on the floor" at your retail location, ask them to mention your ad when they come in (or ask them if they remember receiving your direct mail piece - you could even have a few samples on hand to hand out or to jog their memory) or bring in a coupon from the mailing.
A modern and marvelous way to track response rate from your mailer is to include a QR code. If you use a unique QR code on your postcard then you know that everyone who uses the QR code received and is responding to your mailing.
So if you send out 10,000 postcards how many people should you expect to respond?
According to a recent study:
Response rates for Direct Mail (Letter-sized envelopes, for instance) had a response rate this year of 3.42 percent...
So doing the math, that means if you send out 10,000 pieces you should expect 342 respondents.
Surprised? I am. That seems low. Amazingly this can actually still be profitably to you.
But...it could be twice as profitable with one simple addition.
Add a magnet to your postcard and you'll get twice the response.
According to a study conducted by Georgia Southern University postcard magnet mailers have been found to be 56.5% more effective than a traditional direct mail postcard.