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Can You Measure the Effectiveness of Print Advertising?

How to Measure Print Advertising Effectiveness

Measuring the effectiveness of an advertising campaign is essential. It helps you better understand your audience and it allows you to optimize your messaging, strategy, budget, and more.

But can you measure the effectiveness of print advertising?

Yes, you absolutely can measure print advertising effectiveness. In fact, while there was a time when there were very limited options to measuring the results of print ads, in today's modern age, you can measure the results of print ads using similar methods you would use to measure results of digital ads.

Let’s take a look at some easy ways you can measure the effectiveness of your print advertising campaign today!

How to Measure Print Advertising Effectiveness

Use Promo Codes or Coupon Codes

Promo Codes

Providing a discount or special offer to your audience within your print advertisement is a great way to generate more sales. And it gives you the opportunity to easily measure how well your print ads are performing.

All you need to do is create a promo code or coupon code that can be applied when a customer or prospect makes a purchase. You can then measure how effective your print advertising campaign is by seeing how many individuals took advantage of your promo code.

Use Vanity URLs and UTM Tracking Codes

Vanity URLs are unique, typically shortened, and memorable URLs that lead customers and prospects to a specific landing page set up for a specific advertising campaign.

By leading your audience to a landing page created specifically for your print advertising campaign, you can then apply UTM tracking codes or parameters to the URL making it easy to track web traffic.

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes are the additional text added to the end of a URL and help you track where website traffic comes from.

For example, if you’re looking to direct people to www.GreatWebsite.com/great-product, then when you go into your web analytics service like Google Analytics, you wouldn’t know if the traffic was generated organically, from a blog post, or from your print advertisement.

If you add a UTM code to create a special URL just for your print advertisement like www.GreatWebsite.com/great-product?utm_campaign=promotion_&utm_medium_print-ad, then you’d be able to organize your traffic and easily measure the effectiveness of your print advertising campaign.

Keep in mind, however, when adding a UTM code to your URL, you should always shorten your URL using a URL shortener or a branded link to make it easy for your recipients to visit your website since your recipients will need to type in your URL rather than click on it.

Use QR Codes to Measure Print Advertising Results

Use QR Codes

QR codes are one of the most effective and easiest ways to measure the effectiveness of print advertising.

With QR codes your audience simply scans the code with their smartphone, and it leads them straight to a specific landing page or app. By using a unique URL with UTM parameters mentioned above within your QR code, you give your audience a quicker and easier way to access the page you want them to visit.

Include A Unique Point of Contact in Your Print Ad

If the goal for your print advertising campaign is to have individuals contact you, whether by email or phone, then use a unique phone number or email address created just for that specific campaign within your print advertisement.

Anyone who calls that special phone number, or call tracking number, you will know they are calling because they are interested in what your print advertisement has to offer.

The same thing goes for email addresses. Rather than having your audience email your customer service team’s general email address, create a unique email address so you and your team know that anyone who sends an email to that email address came specifically from your print advertising campaign.

Simply Ask Your Customers

A simple survey question can help you measure how many people responded to your print advertisement.

For example, when someone makes a purchase, either send an email or direct them to a questionnaire page after they have checked out asking them where they heard about your company. Include options like social media, Google search, a friend, or your print advertisement. This is also a useful way to measure how well an online ad is doing vs your print ad.

Keep in mind, however, that it can be difficult to get people to fill out forms like these, so it can help by giving them a reason to fill it out like a 10% off discount for their next purchase.

Include A Coupon Cutout

Coupon Cut Out

Coupons printed directly on your print advertisements are the most traditional way to measure print advertising effectiveness and are the perfect way to get people to visit your business and make a purchase.

By providing your audience with an incentive to make a purchase, you can expect to see an increase in sales, and by asking them to bring in the coupon you provided them with in order to take advantage of your offer, you can easily measure how many of your recipients took action on your print ad.

How to Increase the Effectiveness of Print Advertising

Personalize Your Print Advertisements

Creating personalized print ads that are tailored for each recipient can increase your response rate by 135%.

Plus, it’s easy and affordable to do thanks to Variable Data Printing, which allows your printer to print different names, images, addresses, etc. on each printed advertisement without having to stop the printing process.

Give Your Audience A Reason

Your audience will be much more likely to respond to your print advertisement if you give them a good reason that they should.

For example, if you’re promoting your grand opening, give your audience a coupon for 25% off or a free promotional item for the 1st 50 people who visit you. By providing an offer, you give your audience a reason to want to take action and thus increasing the effectiveness of your print advertising campaign.

A/B Test Your Print Advertisements

AB Testing Print Advertisements

If you A/B test your print advertising campaign, you can identify specific elements that are most effective at generating responses.

You can A/B test the format or size of your print ads, the images, messaging, your offer, or how your audience interacts with your print ads. For example, you could test how well a print advertisement performs when including a QR code vs a promo code. Just send half your audience your offer that can be accessed via a QR code and the other half a promo code they can apply to an order. If more people take advantage of your offer using the QR code, then in your next print advertising campaign, you should use QR codes since they performed better than your print ads with promo codes.

Combine Your Print Ads with Digital

Omnichannel advertising is always more effective than single-channel advertising. And while print advertising generates better results than online advertising, you can improve your results by combining print ads and digital ads. In fact, a recent study showed that just by combining print advertising with email advertising, you can see around a 49% increase in sales.


Measuring print advertising effectiveness is absolutely possible. And by utilizing one of the above measuring techniques, you can easily track your results to begin collecting more information about your target audience, while also gaining insight in to how you can optimize your messaging, strategy, offer and more.

Now that you’re ready to begin measuring the effectiveness of your print advertising campaign, click the button below to discover some amazing ways you can take advantage of print marketing today!

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