What Are the Benefits of Direct Mail Call Tracking?

When it comes to determining the effectiveness of your direct mail, it’s crucial to track your campaign using as many methods as possible. One of the best ways to track your pieces is using call tracking.

Simply put, call tracking is a service you purchase that provides unique phone numbers for use on your direct mail pieces (or any advertisement, for that matter). Any time a customer calls your tracking number, it forwards seamlessly to your business number. The call tracking software then records the number of calls you receive so you can analyze the effectiveness of your campaign.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why should I use call tracking?”, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the many benefits of direct mail call tracking. You’ll find it not only makes measuring your direct mail easier, but it also offers a host of other advantages that will improve your business. Let’s dive in.

Measure Success More Accurately

Most businesses that conduct direct mail campaigns primarily track and measure their success by counting coupons or comparing sales data during periods they executed direct mail vs. periods they didn’t. Unfortunately, neither of these methods alone (or together) give a complete picture of the campaign’s success. But call tracking gives you the clarity that counting coupons and analyzing sales data alone can’t.

What’s Wrong with Just Counting Coupons?

Counting coupons is only 100% accurate if 100% of your customers used coupons. Using this method, you’d have no way of accounting for the customers who ordered from you as a result of your piece, but didn’t use a coupon. Not accounting for these customers may cause you to vastly underestimate the success of your campaign. While they may not have been interested in your coupon, these patrons were still intrigued by your mail piece enough to place an order.

When you track phone calls, you can easily account for both customers who used coupons and customers who didn’t. This is because anyone who called still had to use your tracking phone number (regardless of whether they used coupons), so you can tie their order back to your advertisement.

What’s Wrong with Just Looking at Sales Data?

Looking at sales data alone doesn’t help you accurately measure the success of your campaign. If you’re not tracking where your sales are coming from, there’s no way to tell whether increased sales are a result of your direct mail or just from everyday business. When you track phone calls, it’s easy to figure out how much of your sales came from customers who saw your direct mail piece.

If the concept of direct mail tracking is new to you, check out our in-depth guide on how to track and measure direct mail campaigns.

direct mail coupons on a stainless steel table

Real-Life Example: Call Tracking Reveals Higher Response Rates

One of our clients tracked calls and coupon redemptions from a 10-week direct mail campaign over a 17-week period. They mailed 15,000 menus over 10 weeks with an average of 1,500 pieces sent each week. Here’s what they found at the end of 17 weeks:

Response Rates

Phone Calls (8.17%) vs. Coupon Redemptions (3.5%)

It’s important to keep in mind that the call tracking response rate is based on phone calls alone and does not capture any orders that were placed in store or online. And obviously, some of the customers who called would have used coupons, so there’d be some overlap between the two percentages. But the point is, if the client had only been counting coupons, they would have vastly underestimated their response rate.

Week Number of
Menus Mailed
Running Total
Menus Mailed
Calls Received Running Total
Calls Received
Running Total
Response Rate
1 1,829 1,829 42 42 2.30%
2 1,093 2,922 63 105 3.59%
3 1,519 4,441 82 187 4.21%
4 1,312 5,753 54 241 4.19%
5 1,758 7,511 67 308 4.10%
6 1,277 8,788 75 383 4.36%
7 1,809 10,597 64 447 4.22%
8 1,347 11,944 86 533 4.46%
9 1,472 13,416 88 621 4.63%
10 1,584 15,000 96 717 4.78%
11 No Mailing 15,000 91 808 5.39%
12 No Mailing 15,000 72 880 5.87%
13 No Mailing 15,000 77 957 6.38%
14 No Mailing 15,000 83 1,040 6.93%
15 No Mailing 15,000 62 1,102 7.35%
16 No Mailing 15,000 73 1,175 7.83%
17 No Mailing 15,000 50 1,225 8.17%
15,000 1,225 8.17%


  • Use several tracking methods. The only way to get a comprehensive look at your direct mail campaign’s success is by looking at data from several tracking methods.
  • Don’t rely on coupon counting alone. Counting coupons doesn’t account for customers who didn’t use a coupon, but still ordered because they saw your piece.

Monitor Your Customer Service

Call tracking not only helps you measure the success of your campaigns, but it also makes it easier to monitor your employees. Since most call tracking services include free access to your recordings, you can monitor your employees to see how they’re doing on phone calls. If you notice problems and issues cropping up repeatedly with your customer service, you can isolate and fix them. Plus, if your workers know their calls are being monitored, it’s easier to keep them accountable because they know you’ll hear how they’re treating customers.

Real-Life Example: Call Tracking Helps Monitor Business Operations

One of our clients was experiencing declining sales after they’d finished their mailing. They were disappointed and told us the program wasn’t working. To investigate, our team pulled report data from our call tracking software and found the client had actually gotten an impressive 5.72% response rate. This didn’t even include online orders, coupon redemptions, or walk-in orders.

686 Phone Calls / 12,000 Mailers = 5.72% Response Rate

So if their marketing was working, why were their sales down?

When the client listened to their phone calls, they realized customers were receiving discounts they didn’t even ask for and that employees weren’t properly upselling the way they’d been trained. These customer service issues were the reason why the client was seeing a decline in sales. But without the response rate data and call recordings, they would have continued thinking their direct mail didn’t work, rather than discovering the source of the problem.


  • Call tracking provides transparency and accountability. Being able to listen to recorded calls makes it easier to check up on your employees and ensure they’re providing the best customer service they can. It also gives you a better glimpse into your sales process to pinpoint areas of improvement.

Pinpoint Your Most Effective Mail Pieces

Call tracking also makes it easier to determine which of your direct mail ads are getting the best response. When you use call tracking, you can place a unique tracking number on each piece in your campaign. This helps you figure out which specific ad prospects are responding to, as well as which pieces are having the biggest impact on your sales. Just be sure to keep cost in mind when you’re purchasing tracking phone numbers. The more lines you add, the more expensive your tracking becomes.


  • Call tracking helps you find which ads are most effective. By tracking each of your mail pieces, you can pinpoint which ones are or aren’t working so you can keep using your best ads or improve underperforming pieces.

Measure the Longevity of Your Advertising

Most business owners who send direct mail assume that once people stop cashing in coupons, their direct mail campaign has run its course. However, it’s important to remember that many customers place orders long after they’ve received your pieces.

With call tracking, you can continue analyzing the results of your campaign beyond when your last direct mail pieces hit homes. Many of our clients have used this service and were amazed by the number of phone calls they received even after their campaign was finished.

Real-Life Example: Call Tracking Proves Direct Mail’s Long-Term Impact

One of our clients chose to continue tracking phone calls for 7 weeks after their last round of mailers hit homes. They received 717 calls during the first 10 weeks and 508 calls in the 7-week period after they finished their campaign. That means they received 41% of their total calls after their initial campaign ended. If they hadn’t been using call tracking, they’d have no idea how effective their mail piece was in the long run.

Phone Calls Over Time


  • Call tracking helps you monitor the lifespan of your campaigns. Direct mail pieces can produce sales long after they’ve hit mailboxes, and call tracking helps prove this.


As you can see, there are many benefits to incorporating call tracking into your direct mail campaigns. While counting coupons and looking at sales data are important pieces of the puzzle, you can’t accurately determine whether your campaign is a success if you’re not also tracking phone calls. Ultimately, the information you gain from call tracking helps you accurately measure the success of your direct mail so you can continue to execute successful campaigns.

Gathering data is just the first step in getting better results from your direct mail. Learn how to put the information you gather to use in our guide on how to analyze and test direct mail campaigns.