As Canada’s leading direct mail agency, Direct Response Media Group (DRMG) is all about getting its clients in front of their most qualified prospects and customers through home mailboxes. But guaranteeing engagement success is difficult—and for the same reason—the direct mail giant wanted to introduce a measurable touchpoint between its clients and their audiences. We spoke to Katie Dyson, DRMG’s Marketing Manager, to learn how Beaconstac has allowed them to drive 68,000+ direct mail engagements and reach 28,000+ unique users.
DRMG is Canada’s leading direct mail agency
68,000+ scans and 28,000+ unique users reached
Call tracking has been the primary go-to for measuring direct mail responses for years. It involves assigning a unique phone number to every outgoing direct mail campaign. Once deployed, these numbers will track customer engagement rates based on how many times companies hear back from their audience through incoming calls.
Phone tracking makes perfect sense when monitoring direct mail responses. Still, it presents one significant downside—phone calls can’t take an audience directly to a digital destination, providing little room for omnichannel experiences that increase the quality of customer interactions.
Katie Dyson, head of marketing at DRMG–Canada's leading Direct Mailer, serving over 15,000 brands, wanted to tap into a new touchpoint that served both as a direct response tracking tool and a seamless way for their advertising clients to engage with potential customers.
“For our company specifically, and for our clients, QR Code adoption success would be attribution. Efficient attribution tracking proves the impact and value of direct mail as a touchpoint. In other words, what we’re looking to do is prove engagement with direct mail pieces.”
Call tracking remains the dominant attribution tool for direct mail pieces. But Katie and the marketing team wanted to present a more definite engagement metric for their clients—one that can also double as a seamless customer touchpoint driving website traffic and conversions.
For Katie, the answer was dynamic QR Codes:
“If we can see that someone scans X times, that’s just further attribution for our campaigns. And if clients can prove it on their end through referral traffic, then it’s an easy conversation in terms of proving value through direct mail.”
Dynamic QR Codes provide access to a plethora of marketing benefits for traditional advertisers. For one, it allows businesses to add attribution tracking to physical marketing channels, like direct mail. Every QR Code scan collects first-party data, which is essential for Katie when measuring campaign performance.
Direct mail marketing tends to have a high cost per impression since it involves large quantities of prints. And once they leave the door, there’s not much you can do in terms of adjustments. The high costs alone mean there has to be no room for errors. Still, occasional slip-ups occur, despite caution and attention to detail.
What stood out for Katie was the versatility dynamic QR Codes offer:
“One of the things that stood out to us was the dynamic aspect. If we can keep the code the same, that’s huge for direct mail because if we use an incorrect phone number, it’s game over. It’s printed. It’s not like a digital ad where you can just take it down.”
Deploying dynamic QR Codes provided the flexibility the team needed to remedy the occasional human error. These QR Code variants allow instantaneous updates to their encoded destinations, which means their marketing team is free to edit each QR Code’s content even as the direct mail pieces are en route to their recipients.
“Dynamic QR Codes provide that extra bit of flexibility. Having that dynamic capability means that if a client asks ‘Can the QR Code go to this page instead?’ We can be like—actually, it can.”
In addition to real-time updates, another thing that stood out for Katie was dynamic QR Codes’ ability to offer a mode for capturing audience engagement, which they compile for valuable marketing insights. Each QR Code scan on direct mail collateral captured first-party data, like unique engagements, dates, and location.
According to Katie, location tracking, in particular, brought significant value for the direct mail agency’s future campaign optimizations:
“The location tracking offered by Beaconstac, that’s huge. We can see where people scan from and we can actually reuse that data to better target direct mail campaigns in the future.”
Scan location is just one of the metrics that can be collected from a QR Code scan. But once visualized into a report, it can provide a snapshot of a particular area’s demographics, which Katie and the team used to optimize an essential aspect of their marketing segmentation.
“We’ve used it on certain campaigns that are a little bit larger. We just do an export of the postal codes, upload it, and get the targeting. Or we can do reverse lookup—if we export the postal codes of where most people scan from, then we can look up what demographics are in that area and target similar areas based on that.”
DRMG found the exact tools it needed to configure a robust, convenient, and measurable customer touchpoint through Beaconstac’s dynamic QR Code solution. Each dynamic QR Code on a direct mail piece provided a portal that instantly connected each client to their target audiences. This frictionless connection led to an improvement in the direct mail agency’s overall engagement rate:
“As a whole, QR Code implementation on direct mail campaigns has definitely increased our engagement metrics. We’re also planning to do a detailed study on the effectiveness of QR Code usage with all the clients we’ve worked with to pitch to future prospects.”
As we’re writing this, DRMG has crossed 68,000+ QR Code engagements, reaching nearly 28,000+ unique users from over 200 cities in Canada. And due to dynamic QR Codes’ attributable nature, DRMG is now able to offer a more efficient point of interaction for its direct mail campaigns—allowing clients to expand on product value instantly while capturing insightful audience data.
unique users engaged
“Beaconstac's platform has provided us with tools to formulate better and more interactive direct mail marketing campaigns. Dynamic QR Codes have given us more flexibility and leeway during campaign implementation. Advanced analytics has allowed us to derive campaign-specific insights and iterate on the fly.”
Senior Digital Strategy Manager, Direct Response Media Group (DRMG)