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Marketing campaign response rates

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 11 Oct, 2012
Essential Essential topic

Which media give the best clickthrough rates?

I shared this engaging call-to-action on our Pinterest last week. Since size of a call-to-action has an impact on response rates, you would certainly expect this to perform well, although other factors may be at work here...

There was an interesting discussion on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter about this, thanks if you took part or shared. This tweet was my favourite summary:

Most labelled it “dumb” since lone drivers aren’t going to scan while driving and even passengers would need to be quick on the draw with their scanners.

In terms of communications effectiveness, while you can’t miss the call-to-action, there is no “reason to click” or branding associated, both vital for QR code campaigns. Others noted that when you scanned through to the landing page it wasn’t optimised for mobile, in fact unreadable on mobile. Another common mistake with QR code campaigns...

Others said these obvious points were missing the point and it was genius because of the PR and discussion it would generate. I agree it’s certainly “remarkable”, but virals are surely only worthwhile if they’re connected to a brand and have a positive impact on it.

Marketing campaign response rates

Coincidentally I was also looking at this new research on campaign response from Nellymoser. It’s interesting to see that in the US, at least, QR code response exceeds that of many digital media.

Average campaign response rates

I thought this was a useful compilation since I’m often asked by marketers creating budgets and conversion models as to which response rates to use. If you’re a student creating a budget for an assignment for a business sector you’re unfamiliar with, this can be tricky. For IDM online marketing qualifications we usually assess students on the quality of their recommendations and how they construct the model rather than the assumptions. If you’re looking for a starting point for campaign response, these are the range of campaign response averages I recommend.

These are based on compilations across sectors, if you follow the links, you can find some sector examples:

Of course, “your mileage will vary” and some would say it’s meaningless to present average rates since there are so many sector and campaign factors that affect response.

My CRITICAL mnemonic is a good way of thinking through the factors to help increase your campaign response rate:

  • Creative - the combination of visual imagery, branding, copy and call-to-action. Achieving AIDA - Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action is still important here
  • Relevance - depending on targeting and creative. Relevance is the mantra in Google to boost Quality Score in Pay-per-click
  • Integration - if the ad has been viewed in other media (higher frequency) a higher response is more likely (usually peaking at 3–4 impressions)
  • Targeting (and Timing) - Probably the biggest factor to ensure a relevant ad. Digital offers day-parting to ensure ads are run at peak viewing times for different platforms and to coincide with ads
  • Copy (and Call-to-action) - obvious, but the reason to respond often isn’t stressed.
  • Attributes - These are the technical attributes of the campaign like effectiveness on a mobile platform and response mechanism.
  • Landing page - a relevant page like these example landing pages tailored to the campaign will always make the campaign more effective compared to linking to the home page or a product page.

I hope you find the response rate averages useful. Do share the range you have achieved or other sources. Thanks.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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