How To Track The ROI For Your Flyers And Posters

Flyers and posters are very cost-effective forms of advertising and increasing awareness for your business. Using printed material for promotion offers you a great return on your investment, however it’s not always so easy to calculate the exact value. In order to optimize your print campaigns and gain insights from your marketing efforts, you have to track your flyers and posters.

To measure and then improve your ROI, you’ll need a clear direct response for your printed flyers and posters. Therefore, you have to include at least one call-to-action which tells your customers what to do next and gives you a response that you can track. The action and the form of contact between your business and your customers will vary between different types of business or even campaigns. You will have to decide what’s best for your target audience.

Here we will discuss several tactics for measuring the reach of your print advertising material. Learn how to harness the economic power of printed flyers and posters combined with tracking your ROI!

Quick introduction to measuring your response rate?

The key to successful tracking is defining an ideal result – when your customers view your flyer or poster, what do you want them to do? Usually, this takes the form of a call to action: “Order now!” Following this, you can measure how successful responses are from inquiries and lead generation to orders or purchases. Your basic metric is the response rate, the percentage of potential customers from your campaign’s total target audience who react to your printed item. Individual responses can vary, but to give an incentive to produce the ideal result such as an order or purchase, you can leverage discounts and offers.

How to track your flyers & posters to maximize your return on investment

You can use the following measures and methods to increase the response rate for your printed promotional material. Some are more suited for posters, while others might work best with flyers. Keep your target audience and ideal response in mind to determine what works best for your campaign.

Coupons and vouchers

A printed flyer is a perfect opportunity for a coupon or voucher with which your customers can receive a discount, a freebie or any other kind of deal. It works particularly well for walk-in customers at businesses like stores or restaurants. You can track different areas with varying coupon codes or simply colors, or you poll your customers to find out which area they came from. That way you gain insight into where your flyer distribution yielded which response rate. Consolidate the information you collect with existing customer data where possible. As for discount rates, do a quick competitor analysis and be aware that most people don’t act on a 10% coupon unless they were going to get an item anyway. When relying on a deal to increase business, make it at least 15%.

QR Codes

A QR code is particularly well-suited for posters so your audience can interact with them on the spot, but it works on flyers as well. You can set a QR code to do an array of things when scanned: open a website, open your business page (on Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare or Google), make a phone call, send an e-mail. Make sure to specifically track responses via a URL referrer, extension number or email address. If your campaign covers a large area, think about breaking it up and targeting specific neighborhoods with individual codes.

Promotional codes

The promo code is ideal for flyers, but you can use it on posters as well if you make it short and memorable. The principle is identical to a physical voucher or coupon: offer customers an incentive to take action now and profit from a limited deal or discount. When a customer uses a code on your website or for placing a phone order, you’ll know they are responding to your printed advertising. Again, make sure to gain detailed insight by using different codes for different media: one for posters, one for flyers, one for display ads – or segment your distribution area.

Run a sub-domain or landing page

Sometimes you don’t want to offer a discount or perhaps a promotional code is not suited for your business. You can still track your print advertising in these cases by using a sub-domain or dedicated landing page. Instead of simply including your regular website on your flyer or poster, point your audience to a subdomain like this: or to a landing page: It’s a very effective and economic way of tracking your print campaign response rate, as you can use your web analytics solution such as Google Analytics to track traffic, conversions and customer data.

Again, as with other methods, there is a wealth of information you can glean from the details. Use different sub-domains or landing pages not only for different campaigns, but different target groups as well. Over time, you will learn just where your response rate is the highest and where your print marketing is most effective. In follow-up campaigns, you can then specifically target your most responsive and valuable customers to further increase your ROI. It will also serve you to compare different media such as flyers and posters against each other to optimize your efforts.

Ask your customers

“How did you hear about us?” This can easily be incorporated into your website funnel as a simple optional drop-down selection. Anyone calling in won’t mind answering an additional one or two questions. You might have noticed stores asking customers for their ZIP code – combine that with the question if people have received your flyer or seen your poster, and you can track your response rate combined with an area. A longer questionnaire is best reserved for a post-sale follow-up, such as an email. If you need to, you can offer an incentive such as a discount towards future orders to encourage customers to provide feedback.

Mail-order form

Part of your flyer can be a classic mail-order form which people can send in to order, subscribe to updates or request more information. This standard marketing tool was the equivalent of a landing page before the rise of the web, and it’s still highly successful with target groups who prefer not to order online.

Phone calls

If your call-to-action is for people to call, you can point them to a specific contact name or extension number in order to track the response rate for your print campaign. Whoever answers the phone on the side of your business needs to keep track of incoming responses to your marketing. Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Your phone tracking can be as simple as the question “Do you have our flyer in front of you?” to callers.

Track improvements

One of the oldest methods of gauging the response to print campaigns is watching for any improvements in the time after your marketing effort. Are your sales up? Has the number of customers increased? Are there more inquiries? Do people subscribe to your mailing list? Does your website receive more direct traffic? Correlation is not always causation, but you can draw reasonable conclusions on the effectiveness of print advertising if you watch for improvements, especially when you track the rest of your advertising mix, such as display ads etc.


To fully optimize your campaigns and maximize your return on investment, learn to master segmentation. As we’ve outlined above, most methods offer opportunities to track different distribution areas for your print material to learn where exactly your response rate is the highest, but you should also test different variables and leverage segmentation. You can run A/B tests with different codes or landing pages; you can specifically target repeat customers and reorders; you can make changes from campaign to campaign to increase your response rate.

Combine your efforts here with existing analytics. How many of your website audience are repeat customers or viewers and reacted to your print material? How many of these converted to new sales? Find out which existing customers were moved to respond by your print marketing, then offer them a subscription to your mailing list for future updates and promotions. You can also target direct traffic customers who are not repeat visitors to your website and send them a questionnaire. By combining tracking and segmentation tactics, you will learn how to maximize your print ROI and increase your business even further.


The importance of a strong call-to-action

As we’ve outlined in the beginning, it’s important to have a clear idea of the ideal response for your print marketing, otherwise it ends up being a scattershot with results that are hard to track. Your flyer or poster clearly needs to outline what exactly it is you offer, how your business stands out from the rest (your unique selling points), what the benefits are for the customer, and how they should act upon viewing your advertising. Use compelling images and language to state your point and highlight the use and benefit of your product or service. For example, pictures of people using your product are more appealing than simple product shots. While your logo and slogan are important for branding, don’t make them the single item to stand out. Instead, everything on your flyer or poster should flow toward a strong call to action so that your audience will react and convert from viewers to customers.

This blog is inspired by our friends from ChilliPrinting.

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