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How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost?

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

Did you hear the news? Print is dead. Did you hear the other news? The idea of print being dead is completely bogus.

Data continuously shows that consumers respond favorably to direct mail. And here are some stats to back that up:

What do these numbers indicate? When done strategically, direct mail is a fantastic way to increase revenue for your business.

Before we discuss costs, let’s figure out which type of direct mail piece will be the most effective for your brand. While research from the Data and Marketing Association suggests that the response rate is typically highest for oversized envelopes (as opposed to, say, a letter-sized mailer), you’ll still want to determine what will work be best for your campaign goals.

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Which is right for you is going to depend on a few different things:

  1. What’s your budget? – Oversized mailers and catalogs are more expensive to design, print and ship (because they are heavier).
  2. What are you selling? – If you sell a more serious product, like insurance for instance, you most likely will want to send a traditional letter. If your offer is more fun, you can create a colorful and eye-catching postcard.
  3. Who is your campaign targeting? – If you’re nurturing past customers who already know what you’re about, you won’t need to give them so much information. A letter or postcard will do. If you’re targeting cold leads, you might need to send a bigger brochure so they can learn more about you.

If you’re interested in the more expensive direct mail pieces, it’s a good idea to do a test run on a smaller group so you can measure how well it converts before going wider with it.

Direct Mail Costs

Direct mail pieces can cost anywhere from 30 cents to more than $10 per person, depending on how much you spend on design, marketing copy, mailing lists, printing, and distribution. Some organizations do much of this inhouse and wind up only paying for printing and mailing.

Let’s break down these individual cost factors:

Design Costs ($0 – $100)

When it comes to designing your direct mail piece, you have a few different options:

  • DIY – If you only require something very basic, like a renewal letter, you should be able to create something suitable in Microsoft Word.
  • Use a template – You can find numerous online sites that sell templates that cost around $10 on average.
  • Hire a professional – If you need help in the creativity department, your best bet is to pay a professional print designer. You may use someone local in your area, or find a freelancer online on sites like UpWork.

Marketing Copy Costs ($0 – $100)

If you have a very small budget, you may have no other choice but to write your own marketing copy. However, if you have a bit to spend, we always suggest clients hire a professional copywriter. This copy has got to be persuasive and there is an art to getting it just right. Copywriters, good ones anyway, are trained to write content that hooks the reader and gets them to buy.

Mailing Lists Costs ($0 – $0.30 / record)

Free mailing lists can be had by either gathering data you already have on your current customers, or by doing a trade of your info with another business in your industry.

If neither of these options is possible, you’ll end up paying anywhere between .02-.30 cents per record. The cost will vary based on the quality of the data, how many records you buy, and how many times you can send to the list (make sure you’re clear on that last part).

Printing Costs ($0.03 – $2.00 / person)

Printing costs will vary based on the following:

  1. Black and white vs. color
  2. Paper quality
  3. Paper size
  4. 1 sided vs. 2 sided
  5. Number of pages
  6. Quantity

Visit any online printing business to find out exact printing costs for your campaign.

Distribution Costs ($0.25 – $2.00 / piece)

Of course, the final cost you will have to consider is mailing costs. Prices fluctuate and are dependent on the current postage rate, the amount of mail you send, and how much all of that mail weighs. Remember, the bigger the pieces, the heavier the order, and the more you’re going to pay.

Direct mail, if done right, is both an effective and cost-effective way to market your business.

Need help with your next direct mail campaign? Get in touch with us today. We’ll help you determine exactly which piece will work the best and help you get the best ROI no mater your budget.

Topics: advertising, print, print ads, direct mail

3 Ways to Create Revenue-Generating Direct Mail Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Thu, May 04, 2017 @ 11:58 AM

I found my old Trapper Keeper over the weekend. (If you’re under 35, Google it). I thought my Trapper Keeper was the coolest thing ever back in the day (still kinda do) and couldn’t wait to show it to my daughter, who I thought might want to use it for school.

As I opened and closed and opened and closed the Velcro flap, hearing that familiar thwip, thwip, thwip, thwip, I imagined my daughter walking down the hallway of her school, suddenly the coolest kid in her class because she had a genu-ine Trapper Keeper in almost-pristine condition. It would be a beautiful bond we share, like when and if she wants to wear my wedding dress down the aisle.

What is it?”

After explaining the wondrous thing I was offering her, all she could manage to say was, “No, thanks,” before giving me a strange look and walking to her bedroom. Teenagers.

Why do I mention my Trapper Keeper? Because my daughter, and most people her age, are obsessed with all-things digital. If I wanted to give her my Smartphone or iPad she would have been more than happy to take them.

But just because you don’t have to charge a Trapper Keeper or can’t text on it doesn’t mean it’s obsolete. Far from it. Kids still take notes and get handout sheets. They still need to keep their paper-stuff organized.

Typically the idea of launching a direct mail campaign gets the same sneer and quizzical look my daughter gave me. And why? Because it’s a bit old-fashioned? Because the tactic has been around awhile? Many marketers assume direct mail no longer works, and/or they believe postage rates are outrageous.

The truth is direct mail very much works and it’s very affordable.

The StatsDirect Mail Advertising - Three Arrows Hit in Red Target on a Hanging Sack on Natural Bokeh Background..jpeg

 

According to a recent USPS Household Diary Study, 42% of recipients scan or read direct mail pieces. This means that close to half of your target audience is going to actually stop what they’re doing to read your message. Even more exciting: if you’ve designed your direct mail campaign optimally (I’ll get to that), you might actually achieve a one to two percent (heck – even a 10%) response rate. Yes, that is totally achievable with direct mail.

Now let’s compare that to an average digital banner ad. You’re lucky if you get a 0.14% clickthrough rate. Even then, once someone lands on your landing page, you’re lucky if you convert 2%.

Now let’s discuss cost.

Many will say to their media buyers who are crazy enough to suggest launching a direct mail campaign, “But a digital banner will be seen by millions of eyes and it costs less than a direct mail campaign.

Let’s do a little math to dispel this misconception:

If you execute a direct mail campaign to 10,000 targets, and achieved only a 1% response rate, you would have gained 100 new customers. Not too shabby. Remember, with direct mail you can rent or create a highly-targeted list of prospects inexpensively so you don’t waste precious circulation. With direct mail, you ONLY send your offer to households that meet your criteria.

In order to gain those same 100 customers with your digital banner ad, it would have to reach 3,035,700 pairs of eyes. Not only is that a whole lot of people, but you can bet a good majority of them are non-targets, meaning they are not and never will be interested in what you have to offer. Wasted money.

So, which scenario is a better way to spend your ad dollars?

3 Ways to Create Revenue-Generating Direct Mail Campaigns

Now that you understand direct mail is not only still an incredibly effective and affordable way to get your offer in front of the right people, let’s look at three ways you get can the most bang for your buck:

Be Creative

Even if you send a plain-old enveloped mailer you’ll likely get a good response. That’s because most people get very little mail these days. But imagine the response rate you could get if your mailer was creative and attention-grabbing?

Consider using heavier stocks and coatings that invite people to notice your mailer. Maybe use a #10 envelope instead of a standard. Or forget an envelope altogether and try something that folds in a unique way. If you make it fun for people to open your mailer, chances are they will. Make it like a game or a gift and watch your response rate soar.

Leverage Technology

By all means take advantage of technology that will help you personalize your mailers and increase engagement and response. High-resolution inkjet, four-color inkjet and digital 1-to-1 print offer hyper-personalized mailers. Perhaps more importantly, this technology allows marketers to create individual versions of offers instead of mailing general messages to large groups.

Ask About Postage Discounts

Speak to your media buyer about ways you can save money. He or she might suggest processing your piece in five-digit delivery sequences or a carrier route. They might also discuss drop shipping, commingling and co-palletization with you, all great ways to help you save, and all can be combined to come up with a personal delivery system that fits your budget and gets your offer in front of the right people at the right time.

Ignore what you’ve heard about direct mail campaigns. While everyone is fighting online to get consumer attention, you can quietly and cheaply get their attention offline.

 

Download the CMO's Guide to Integrating Print and Digital Media

Topics: advertising, benefits of print, direct marketing, direct mail

Why Direct Mail Beats Email and How You Can Make It Work for You

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

Ever since digital technology came onto the scene, the myths about print marketing began swirling. But those myths – the ones that claim all print channels are dead – are just that, myths.

The truth is, print marketing is very much alive and well. Direct marketing in particular has been enhanced by web technologies and works synergistically to get leads to visit a webpage to collect information from prospects.

But, too many marketers are relying on digital channels alone, ignoring the data that clearly indicates consumers want to be engaged via multiple formats. A better approach is to engage your prospects everywhere they are. This includes in there living rooms or kitchens with a direct mail piece.

Make no mistake, with the increased saturation of digital marketing, direct mail response rates are higher than ever. Here are four reasons why you should consider using direct mail in the new year:

People are Overwhelmed by Emails

How many emails would you say you get a day? 10? 30? 100 or more? The truth is, most people open, let alone read, very few of the daily emails they receive. While it used to be fun to hear, “You got mail,” many of us now dread checking our email fearing we will be instantly overwhelmed by all the news, updates, and solicitations awaiting us.

What does this mean for email marketers? It means big budgets wasted on sales messages that never get read.

But, going to our physical mailboxes and pulling out the few pieces of mail, especially when none of those pieces are bills, is an enjoyable and welcomed experience nowadays, which means your sales message has a much better chance of being read.

People Trust Print MorePeople Trust Print More

In some ways, technological advances have made consumers’ lives easier, but in many others way, technology has made them vulnerable to privacy risks. With so many reports of hacking in the news, people are becoming more and more fearful of digital communications.

Direct mail is simply not faced with these same privacy issues, and hence, people fear secure opening your mail.

Direct Mail Offers More Creative Options

Human beings look for visual signals throughout their daily lives that help them know how to react to things. When people look through their mail they watch for thick envelopes that may hold treasures, colorful envelopes that seem like the letter is from family or friends, or actual handwriting on the envelope instead of a typed label.

You don’t get these same creative options in email marketing. You have one shot – the subject line – to grab someone’s attention. But direct mail offers many more creative options that will help get your message noticed.

Now that you know why direct mail marketing is beneficial, let’s look at some of the best practices so you can ensure you get the optimum ROI on your next campaign.

Use PersonalizationUse Personalization

Consumers today demand personalized communication, so if you want your direct mail campaigns to be successful, you need to analyze your customer data. By mining information from your CRM and automation platform, you will be able to narrow your segments and personalize each offer and message.

Leverage the Power of Integrated Campaigns

It’s important to make direct mail a part of your overall marketing campaign and integrate it with your other channels. Always send multiple waves of personalized offers through direct mail and make sure your branding and messaging is consistent across your print and digital channels.

Measure Outcomes

How will you know if your direct mail campaign was a success? What does that look like to your business? You’ve got to determine this before you launch any campaign.

Be sure to forecast KPIs and set up your direct mail programs in a way that makes it easy to track results. To determine the ROI of your direct mail campaign, consider using metrics such as cost per mailing, response and conversions rates, and average revenue per buyer.

If you’ve heard that no one is using direct mail any more, you’ve heard wrong. Direct mail is an extremely effective channel and, in many ways, outperforms email campaigns. To be successful with direct marketing, just be sure to focus on personalizing your messaging, integrating your campaigns, and tracking your results.

Download this fact sheet and learn 10 reasons why newspapers are still an effective advertising channel.

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Topics: email marketing, direct mail