What is direct mail marketing?
When we talk about direct mail marketing, we are talking about a mode of marketing that encompasses a wide variety of materials. It could be catalogs, postcards, sales letters, newsletters and brochures. Big organizations know that direct mail advertising always works if it is packaged well.
So, what is direct mail marketing? This sort of marketing refers to any type of physical correspondence that business owners send to their customers. The aim is to get them to respond positively which normally is them patronizing your brand. This marketing method can be used by both B2C and B2B businesses. All you need to have as a business owner is an identity, a call to action and of course a means of contact. Be creative but ensure that the gist of the message reaches your customers. You can use the following common forms of direct mail:
- Coupon envelopes
- Business cards
- Toy cards
How does direct mail marketing work?
There is more to direct mail marketing
Now before we even delve into the details of how direct mail marketing works, we need to answer the question that has got everyone’s tongue wagging. Does direct mail marketing work in a digital age? The answer is a big yes. We are going to be expounding on this. The trends in digital marketing in 2021 have continued to be a major part of any marketing strategy but this has also exposed the loopholes that only good old-fashioned advertising can seal. Package yourself right and push that package into the mail and it will have a huge impact on your customers. This will also be reflected in your ROI. Direct mail marketing complements your digital marketing efforts. So go ahead and give your customers personalized attention and here is how.
Define your goals
First and foremost you need to define your goals. What is it that you want to achieve with your direct mail marketing campaign? Do you want to bring new customers on board or do you simply want more traffic to your website? Perhaps you just want to inform your customers that you have restocked or have a new product. You need to have a clear goal in mind before indulging in this sort of campaign because this is what governs the decisions you make in the entire process.
Get a mailing list and avatar
A good direct mail marketing campaign works with a mailing list. This is the only way you can be certain that your marketing material lands on the right doorstep. Advertising speaks to the masses but direct mailing focuses on the individual hence its efficiency. For you to get an effective list you will need to define your target market. Who are you selling to? You will need your customer’s avatar. Here are some of the factors that you have to consider.
- Education level
- Income level
- Marital status
- Owns a car or not
- Owns a home or not
Nowadays you also have to consider if your customer owns a pet or not. These are just some of the demographics that you should be able to cover when making a mailing list. Once you have a customer’s avatar you need to find them. For a business that has limited resources then mailing list brokers might not be down your alley. You can instead use the following:
- Phone companies
- Credit card companies
- Colleges or universities
You can also get your name on several mailing lists. Obtain all the free information that you can. You can get this from companies that are in the same lane of business as you. Note down every reaction you get and save the response from those that were most effective no matter the source. Direct mail inserts should have keywords and colors .You should ensure that your colors and the images are in sync. Never use neon colors for serious products or services. Color psychology is a major determinant of how your mail is reciprocated.
Choose your Call To Action
This is your final chance to impress and convince your customer. This is the reason why you should initially have had a clear goal in mind. This is where you tell the customer why you wanted their attention. A good CTA is one that not only grabs the attention but is also memorable. You can hire a copywriter on Content Hub to help.
Choose your format
Now that you know what you want, your customer and where to find them then you need to choose a format of the material to be used. Most businesses use standard postcards but why should you follow suit when you can be unique? Here are just some of the options you have:
- Regular sized postcards 4 x 6 inches
- Oversized postcards 6 x9 / 6 x 11 inches
Designing your mail
Once again your goal and CTA come into play here. This should be what your design revolves around. You can opt to work with an independent professional designer or get one from Fiverr, Upwork or 4OVER4’s Content Hub . Do not overdo the images or the texts. A modern design template should be good to go.
Time to send mail
Congratulations, you are now going to print and send large volumes of mail to hundreds if not thousands of addresses.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, Direct mail average response rates range from 1% from a list of prospects to 3.7% from an in-house list of previous buyers.
How do you define your target audience
The best way to send any marketing message is to send it to people who actually want to hear from you. Otherwise, you waste a lot of promotional items on people who will not even look at them.
Determining the right audience depends on your type of business. As Edward Nash, the father of Direct Mail puts it, when it comes to identifying your target market, “There is only one common denominator that you can count on – interest in your product” (Nash, 2000, p. 56). A couple of questions you may need to answer to determine your specific target audience include:
- Income level
- Education level
- Homeowner or not
- Car owner or not
- Kids at home
- Employed or not
- Similarities of your current customers
- Unique attributes
The better way to do it is to use 5 main audience segmentation methods to help you effectively target more qualified prospects and maximize your marketing spend.
- Location specific
- People stats
- Business stats
- Hobbies & Traits
- Customer segmentation
Location specific (Geographic segmentation)
Any form of direct mail marketing that wants to target people in a specific geographical area has to get a list of addresses, carrier routes, or zip codes.
The main criteria for this is:
- ZIP code
- Carrier route
Look for people within the proximity of your business because this means that they will be more likely to buy from you to reduce the cost of shipping. It will take less time to reach your store.
Be on the lookout for local events, holidays and traditions taking place in your area. For instance, if there’s a monthly craft fair, you could create a promotion that ties into that fair. This will create awareness of your business amongst the right group of people.
Be aware of the limits of your business. If there are regions your business cannot reach or deliver to, it makes sense to avoid sending direct mail postcards for marketing to people in that region.
People stats (Demographic segmentation)
In this case you use demographic data like age, gender, and median income to group people together. This will enable you to connect with them on a more personal level as you can come up with promotions that are uniquely targeted at them based on the information you have about them.
Consider the products and services you’re offering. If they’re not targeted at everyone then segmenting your audience demographically makes sense. A good example is if you’re selling pet food, it only makes sense to target pet owners.
Information acquired in demographic segmentation includes:
- Marital status
- Household income
- Number of children
- Homeownership status
- Pet ownership
- Car ownership
One of the best ways to connect with your prospects is to contact them on the day of their birthday with a special offer. This is the kind of thing that warms hearts and makes prospects feel more connected to your business.
Postcard design by Canva
You could also segment your audience based on what’s going on in their life at the moment. For instance, if you have the information about a woman becoming a new mom you could send her a special congratulatory message with a coupon to get something for their new baby. You could check for those who just got married or bought a new home or car and send them offers related to their new stage in life.
You should also tailor your message to suit the audience you’re reaching. For instance, if your products are vegan-friendly then make your messaging clear to highlight this aspect about them. If you’re targeting small business owners, showing them how cost-effective your product or service is will give you more mileage and is more likely to garner their interest.
Business stats (Firmographic segmentation)
This type of segmentation is used for businesses reaching out to other businesses (B2B). Here we’re talking about corporations, LLCs, government agencies, nonprofits and other business types.
Some of the criteria you can use to segment include:
- Employee count
- Number of locations
- SIC code
- NAICS code
For this type of audience, you will need to identify their biggest pain points based on the industry they’re in and how you will alleviate those problems. Tailor the language as if you were marketing to yourself.
Hobbies & Traits (Psychographic segmentation)
This is more about learning your audience’s behaviors. Being able to segment your audience in this way actually enables you to separate them from the mass audience making your messaging much easier and more effective.
An example would be a beads and ornaments selling company that would best target jewelry makers and craft makers (psychographics) and between the ages of 15-40 (demographics) with a custom offer for silver-coated beads, rather than the general population.
Some of the criteria you can use to segment your audience is:
- Personality traits
- Likes and dislikes
So make sure when you’re sending a package to this group, you personalize them. For instance, you can use their name and add more personal information so that your prospect feels like the product was custom made for them. A good example would be, if you know your audience loves coffee you can mention their love for coffee and recommend a cool spot or brand of coffee.
How do you get this data? You can pay for information from companies like Neilsen, Innodata and Experian or use your own in-house data. This can be done by sending out surveys to your existing customers to identify their values and attitudes.
Customer status (Sales stage segmentation)
This type of segmentation considers the place prospects are in the sales journey. They could be in any of the 5 stages below:
- Awareness – Prospect becomes aware they have a problem.
- Consideration – Prospect begins gathering information about possible solutions.
- Evaluation – Prospect begins evaluating different companies and their proposed solutions.
- Purchase – Prospect becomes a customer.
- Post-Purchase – Customer becomes a brand advocate.
This is a more granular form of segmentation that is mostly possible for businesses with the resources to perform advanced segmentation. It allows them to know exactly what their customers and prospects are going through thus allowing them to tailor a more effective message.
The criteria to be used in this stage includes:
- Active customers
- Inactive customers
- One-time buyers
- Frequent buyers
- Loyal customers
- Past customers
You could send thank you greeting cards or postcards to your frequent or loyal buyers. Perhaps a cheeky card with a lovely puppy face to your past customers to remind them that you miss them. Some cool business cards and stickers for your new customers will definitely make a wonderful surprise.
Make use of flyers and brochures to update active customers about new and upcoming products or services. This will certainly make them feel special and in the know which increases the chances of them shopping from you again.
Take advantage of custom postcards to send your inactive customers some coupons with a 30% discount and a time limit of a month or two to redeem the offer. Do things differently with those who abandon carts when they're shopping on your site and send them some flyers with pictures of what they left in their cart. Having a physical copy of what you want is most likely going to nudge them to shop more than an email would. People notice when you make an effort.
How to do Direct Mail Marketing for Real Estate
How you sell your property matters
Savvy real estate agents, marketers and investors have resorted to real estate direct mail marketing to scale up their prospecting for buyers and listings. They have not been disappointed.
So why is direct mail marketing good for your real estate business?
- Agents get to connect directly with local prospects
- Prospects like holding onto postcards and a real estate card will one day come in handy
- Great ROI
Who to send real estate direct mail to
- Absentee Homeowners
- Tax Delinquent
- Expired Listings
- Eviction Records
Running a direct mail marketing campaign for real estate
Below is a practical step-by-step process on how to create a killer direct mail campaign for your realtor business:
a. Create a mailing list
We already mentioned this step but you need to create one exclusively for your real estate business. This list is an inventory of the properties that you would like to be recipients of your mails. This list will aid you in establishing zip codes,types of neighborhoods, type of properties in those neighborhoods and even the type of motivation for instance high equity. Do your due diligence and ensure that your mailing list is filled with the addresses of individuals who are likely to make a purchase
b. Clarify the addresses
You cannot afford to work with the wrong addresses so once you have the mailing list profile, it is time to get it right. You can obtain addresses from various sources as we have initially mentioned. In addition to that, you can make use of public records and an app called the DealMachine. This app comes at a cost but reviews online show that it will be worth your while.
c. Create a mailing piece
3D Real estate business cards -
You may have the right addresses but you need to ensure that you are meeting a prospect’s needs. Not all homeowners have the same needs and therefore do not mail a common brochure or catalog to all of them. Ensure to develop a mailing piece that consists of an offer that will appeal to a large percentage of them. Do not forget your CTA. Encourage your prospects to act but do not be pushy.
d. Time for a test run
Do not kick start the real campaign until you test the waters. Start with a few prospects already on your mailing list and see how it goes. If you get a response of 5 percent then you can roll out the entire campaign. Anything below 2 percent means you should make adjustments.
e. Run the entire campaign
If you got good results from the test run then you should run the full campaign. Use the response of the real campaign to understand your mailers. Ensure that the amount of mail you send matches your ability to handle the responses.
f. Handle the responses
This is why you invested in direct mail marketing for real estate, you wanted a response. You can therefore not afford to ignore what your customers say. Ensure that you have a system in place to track the emails and phone calls. This is where the customer support team comes in. They can either make you or break you. Ensure that every response is followed up and close deals where possible.
g. Analyze the results
Most agents and marketers overlook this aspect of a marketing campaign. You will need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Did you meet your expectations?
- What percentage of your audience responded better?
- Did the campaign affect your sales figures positively?
- Did the campaign enhance the client database?
36 percent of Americans are planning to buy a home in the next five years . This is a great opportunity to use direct mail.
Who uses direct mail marketing?
Direct mail can be used by anyone
A high percentage of the world has gone digital and this begs the question, who uses direct mail marketing? Well, someone who wants a high return on investment, ROI. As mentioned before, direct mail marketing does not target the masses. The aim here is to communicate with an individual. So the business person who uses direct mail marketing is one who has already identified their unique audience and wants to do the following:
They want to interact with the customer
When it comes to direct mail marketing, the business owner wants to show genuine interest in the buyer. To such a business owner, the customer ceases to be a figure in their sales report and becomes real. They will go to the extent of finding out what the customer likes and dislikes. They will then go ahead and package the item in physical mail instead of popping up as spam. The excitement of opening a package does not only happen during Christmas. The customer is elated and will definitely consider your Call to Action.
They want the customer to remember them
A clever business owner will make a memorable moment out of their direct mail campaign. Bring up some nostalgic feelings about the good old times. Physical mail sparks emotions and rarely is it about bad emotions. Remember the movie, “ You’ve Got Mail”?
There is a wide demographic and they want to reach it
Let us face it, lots of people hate the ads that pop up in their mail. Instead of selling your product, sell a sense of appeal. With direct mail marketing, you can never go wrong. Everyone loves receiving things in their mail meaning that if you target the right person, you're well on your way to earning a customer.
They want to exploit the benefits of creativity
Direct mail should not be categorized as analog advertising because it is not. You can add a twist of artist adventure to your campaigns. The fact that this sort of marketing complements other methods means you create items that you can use to expand and obtain new customers. If you were sending out standard greeting cards why not try die-cut ones?
The competition is not as stiff and they want to stand out
While everyone is shifting to digital marketing methods, the grass seems to be greener in the physical marketing realm. The playing field is smaller which means that it is easier for your brand to stand out. Let us face it, it's not only children who look forward to surprise gifts. People love physical mail. It is not only eye-catching but appeals to their human nature.
What is a direct mail marketing strategy?
Strategize your marketing plan
Direct mail marketing is not just a method of marketing. It is a strategy. Google defines strategy as a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim. You have to have a plan. There is no one for all direct mail marketing method. However, there are some common factors in almost every effective direct mail. What would be the best course of action is to go through them and see how best you can integrate these strategies into your individual direct mail marketing plan. Here are some of the best strategies to implement.
#1 Apply the 40-40-20 rule
Play by the rules
The 40-40-20 rule is a fascinating ration in marketing. 40 percent for the audience, 40 percent towards the offer and 20 percent towards creativity. 40 percent for the audience is paramount since the audience determines how the campaign is structured and this is what determines how it all goes. 40 percent goes towards the offer because this is what drives the CTA and of course 20 percent towards creativity. Creativity touches on the copy, images, graphics and of course, packaging.
There is a big problem when it comes to this rule. Most marketers do not apply it instead they focus on creativity. 40 percent of your campaign success lingers on your mailing list. An excellent list is made up of prospects and customers that already know your brand but if you are trying to reach a new customer base you need to be certain that they are good prospects who are interested in your services. How do you go about it? Start by checking what your prospects have in common. The key here is to get the audience right. Most businesses focus on a wide range of customer profiles instead of niching down to maintain relevance. The marketplace needs to be defined. Segment your audience. You will then be able to craft a message specifically meant for them hence bring you closer to success.
The customer will ask, “ What’s in it for me?” when reading your direct mail. Do not just focus on praising your business products, you will only fail to deliver the desired results. Now the other error is focusing on one type of benefit, discounts. This is a good option but not the only one plus it is not always effective. Seek out what other offers you can use to appeal to your prospects perhaps a free consultation or an ebook dealing with an interesting subject? What is it that you want your prospect to do once they read your mail? Then offer them something that catalyzes the process.
The last 20 percent of the rule goes to the creative design, mail format and timing. This is what we call a presentation. Do not just focus on the art. Focus on standing out in the mailbox and being professional as well. First impressions count.
2# Make use of personalized material
Create personalized materials so as to leave your brand imprinted in your customer’s minds and they are more likely to respond.
#3 Decide on the appropriate time to use direct mail marketing
Direct mail marketing is a great marketing tactic but you should ask yourself if you should incorporate it now or later. How will you tie it with your other marketing efforts ? It is true that with this method you will reach an audience that cannot be reached online but this is a marketing strategy that works with good timing plus budget. You should ensure that your mailer lands in the customer's hands when they are about to make a purchase. This means you should know their purchase decision journey.
#4 Design mailers according to your target audience
We already mentioned that 40 percent of your campaign is made up of your audience. The creatives should work with this perspective being at the core of everything that they do. The design and message should be in sync with the recipients. Before everything, determine your audience.
#5 Go to your audience more than once as you slowly integrate them into the bigger marketing picture
You will not get the loyalty of a customer by making them smile once. You will need to be consistent with your direct mail marketing methods. This is the only way you can get a conversion. Target the same persona one more time but with a different message or tactic. Be confident in how you approach them. It will take several attempts before landing a sale.
#6 Measure the performance
Do not just hit the wall. With the right direct mail marketing plan, you should have in place performance indicators which will be measured after the campaign. You can check the number of hits on your landing page, how many people used the coupon codes or even do call tracking. You need to measure your campaign performance so that you can pivot and optimize what is working for you and what is not. This is how you will know what your customers need or what you didn’t know was missing.
#7 Think like your customer
Align yourself to your customer. This is the only guaranteed way of getting their attention and hopefully getting a purchase. All you need to do is ask yourself a few questions.
- Is my brand well represented?
- Is my brand offering a solution to the customer’s problem?
- Is everything clear and compelling enough including the call to action?
#8 Make use of graphics to get the attention
Even though the physical mail sphere does not have stiff competition there is a need to grab the customer’s attention quickly and memorably. Make use of creatives. This means fewer stock images and more of what will leave your customers in awe. This does not mean that you overdo the artwork. Less is more. You can find free templates of different print essentials at the Creative Corner.
#9 Know your verticals
Do not just think like your customer, understand the entire customer base and what your campaign is all about. Why should you understand your campaign? Because not all markets respond in a similar manner. Some customers will love envelopes while others will hate them. Some will love handwritten envelopes and postcards. Avoid marking anything as promotional because it will not be opened. The kind of business you are running also matters. An e-commerce customer will on the other hand take action after a promotional campaign. Your campaign should be professional and trustworthy. Get a good understanding of your target audience and deliver the proper information.
#10 Try 3D Mailers
3D Real estate business cards -
If you want to spruce up your direct mail marketing efforts then you use 3D mailers. Research shows that 3Dmailers are only 50 percent more expensive per lead than standard ones but the performance is 250 percent better. This means that 3D lenticular print mailers are worth the investment.
#11 Get better envelopes
The other investment that you should focus on is envelopes. Most customers don’t open standard envelopes. Try working with well designed envelopes that contain the marketing message themselves.
#12 Postcards are here for you
Another medium that outdoes others is the custom postcard . According to the DMA, postcards lead to a response rate of 42%, followed by catalogs at 36%, flyers at 35.5%, large letter envelopes at 35.2%, and letter envelopes by 34%. Invest in postcards to increase your direct mail marketing ROI.
#13 mention the word free and discounts
Another important element to increasing your conversion rates is by offering incentives. Incentives will cause your customers to read and follow through with the CTA. Make use of samples, coupons, freebies, loyalty goods and such.
Direct mailing campaigns should not replace digital marketing neither should they share the same budget. Direct mail marketing is effective occasionally hence the timing factor. Simply identify your audience, create unique personalized items and offer more value than your competitors.
Does direct mail marketing still work?
Direct mail is super
The world seems to have shifted to the digital sphere and it may seem as though direct mail has become obsolete but that is not the case. Direct mail still remains the best way to reach your audience at a personal level.The Data & Marketing Association in 2016 reported that the direct mail customer response rate increased by 43%. For any serious marketer who wants to be a game-changer here are several reasons why direct mail marketing is still alive and kicking.
Direct mail = great ROI
Direct mail is worth investing in because it is worth the buck. You will get a median ROI of 29 percent. Social media only gets ahead by a mere 1 percent.
Digital marketing is nothing without direct mail
A good marketing strategy consists of multiple channels. A smart marketer does not spend all their finance on Facebook ads. A good marketer does a balancing act of both the digital and the physical. A combination of direct mail and digital marketing makes your message personal and credible.
Direct mail marketing is more personal
Though it’s fairly easy to target your audience on social media with the existence of algorithms and tools that could offer you data on demographics and behaviour, how personal can it really get? Direct mail allows you the opportunity of clearly targeting and being more personal with your customer which will be worth the time and money spent.
Targeting according to Neil Patel
- Enter your city and state or zip code
- Hit enter and select 5 zip codes near you
- Click continue and a map will appear
- Hover your mouse over a route and you will see the number of residents, businesses, and other demographics. You will also be able to calculate the approximate cost of postage.
You can track direct mail
Tracking the responses of an ad on social media is easy but the same cannot be said about direct mail. This does not mean that tracking this sort of marketing method is impossible. A customer can visit your website after interacting with your direct mail. This is a lead from such a campaign. So how can it be tracked?
Choose a unique phone number
If your campaign aims to get people to call you then get a unique number that is left for that purpose.
Create a unique landing page
If your goal is to get customers to visit your website then go ahead and create a landing page that will track the visits. When someone visits or clicks on the landing page it will be known that it was from the direct mail campaign. The CTA of choice does not matter but you should use a unique tracking device.
Direct mail is not common
Most digital marketers have decided to give direct mail a cold shoulder deeming it ineffective and obsolete. But the truth is that most digital marketers are hesitant to put in the work that comes with direct mail. They resort to figures instead of dealing with the individual. According to Marketing Knowledge Center In 2016, there was a 2% decrease in direct mail delivered from 2015. This is a blessing in disguise because with few marketers going direct the more your brand gets to stand out. When you type something in Google, over a million results appear in a matter of seconds. When you send direct mail, you get to land in the hands of the recipient. The internet is too full but mailboxes aren’t. Try competing with that.
Direct mail is romantic
What do you prefer: an E-card or a real card?
Let us look at these statistics from Direct Marketing Statistics
- 73% of American consumers say they prefer being contacted by brands via direct mail because they can read it whenever they want.
- 59% of US respondents say they enjoy getting mail from brands about new products.
- Up to 90% of direct mail gets opened, compared to only 20-30% of emails.
Do you know why we love autographs? Because they are the personal signature of someone we admire. In a world where everything is digital, a personal signature is needed. Why not add that personal touch to your brand and make your customer fall in love with it?
Direct mail gets all the attention
Computer & technology box packaging
It is easier to ignore an email than it is to ignore letters and packages. The element of curiosity is a great motivator. No one throws away the mail without glancing first. Many people are bombarded with advertisements daily but they choose to ignore a majority of those adverts. With direct mail, you cannot ignore it lest you miss out on something important.
Direct mail improves brand awareness
Direct mail has the ability to stick around for a while thanks to its tangibility. We also mentioned that one campaign isn’t enough. You need to do the mailing consistently till the customer acts. This consistent mailing is what makes your brand stick on their minds. The purchasing process is initiated from day one when the customer sees your logo. They will think about it and remember it when they are about to make a related purchase. This is called the power of branding.
Direct mail appeals to all age groups
Dance and gymnastics brochure on Creative Corner
Everyone loves receiving something in the mailbox. It should also be noted that not every customer can be reached via social media. Only 46 percent of American adults above the age of 65 use Facebook. This number is still increasing which means marketers have really not done a good job exploiting this growing market.
Direct mail works well with creativity
Postcard design by NKiwexx Graphics
When it comes to direct mail, creativity is the platter that it is served on. Why send standard stuff when you can go ahead and have fun with the entire thing? Of course, it is not easy to come up with fantastic ideas consistently but this can be solved. You can work with a creative copywriter and designer to assist you.
Direct mail indulges the senses
Fragrance company brochure from Canva
Digital marketing cannot appeal to all the senses but direct mail on the hand can. The customer hears the delivery guy, they see the well-designed package and pick it up and open it up to see if it appeals to their taste.
Apart from this, you could include scents in a catalogue. 4OVER4 does a brilliant job of showcasing the different scents they have including pineapple and watermelon on their catalogues. Direct mail catalogues are especially suitable for fragrance and beauty companies.
The only way digital marketing can be twice as effective is when it is complemented by direct mail. Customers should get what they see online.
What will it cost to direct mail marketing my postcards?
How much are you going to spend?
Postcards are a good way of initiating your direct mail marketing campaign. The only thing you need to ensure is that your postcards capture the current trends in style and creativity. We cannot overemphasize the use of die-cut designs. For instance, the Data and Marketing Association states that the response rate for oversized envelopes is higher compared to that of standard sized envelopes. What are we driving at here? There is no standard cost when it comes to marketing materials postcards included. For you to understand direct mail pricing for postcards it is important to understand that advertising costs vary tremendously.
How much does direct mail marketing cost per piece? A majority of marketers spend $ .50 to $ 3.00 on a piece. A 4” by 6” 14pt gloss cover postcard for example costs $0.70 when you’re printing 500 of them whereas a motion 3D lenticular postcard will cost you $1.9 per piece when ordering 4” by 4” 31pt lenticular postcards. This of course when you have not factored in the soft costs such as time. So how do you calculate a working estimate? You will need to check the box when it comes to factors that affect the direct mail cost. These factors are:
- Format selection
- Mailing list size
- Format selection
Another effective method of measuring advertising costs is by using the Cost Per Thousand, (CPM ) calculation. You will take the total cost of the campaign and divide it by 1,000.
You will also need to consider the design charges. There are three approaches to consider.
In house design
You can opt to work with the creative your company hired. It will not cost you much since the creative is on a salary. The only limitation is if your designer is not proficient in design.
Outsource the design task to an agency or individual
You can decide to get your design work done with a freelancer or agency. On average you could spend $150- $250 on a postcard design. Just ensure that you check the designer’s portfolio before agreeing to settle on them.
Use a template
If you are pressed for time and money then you can work with a template. This is what clever marketers with zero design experience work with to showcase their brands and generate fantastic results. Consider getting a free template that you can edit on Creative Corner.
You will also need to consider the copywriting outlay because the cost of direct mail is also impacted by this element. A postcard does not give you much space to work with but you need to make the best of what you have. In this case hire a copywriter to help you come up with a copy that matches your estimated ROI. Ensure that the customer is convinced to take action. It could be visiting your website, setting up an appointment or making a purchase. You should be ready to spend anything between $200 and $2000 on copywriting depending on the complexity of the project.
Direct mail postage prices at 4OVER4
This is the component that takes the largest share of your direct mail campaign. Postage costs vary depending on the kind of posting you choose. It could be first-class or standard mailing. First-class posting is an expensive option and is offered by the USPS. A small postcard would cost you $.35. However, you can get more affordable direct mail marketing prices where this would cost you $30.5 cents for a 4x6 postcard and $50.5 cents for postage for other sizes. Prices reduce with larger volumes. At 4OVER4 with this service you get:
- First-class postage
- Fast delivery
- The service fee includes mail list processing and items preparation as well as wafer sealing if required
At USPS the service includes:
- Priority mailing
- Tracking of postage with a barcode number
Standard posting also known as Marketing Mail is the preferred choice since it is affordable. The pricing depends on the format. The pricing starts at $.19 and you get the following
- Lower priority processing
- Slow mail
Format, printing and shipping costs
How many postcards are you sending, what is their quality and how many prospects are you dealing with? This is where all the costs start adding up. The format of your postcard matters a lot. A smaller one will cost far less than a large any shape die-cut postcard. You might try to lower your costs by sticking to smaller formats however as we mentioned earlier, larger formats such as large envelopes garner more response rates which translate into higher ROI. let your format choice be guided by the message that you are trying to communicate.
The typical printing cost ranges between $ 0.05 to $ 1.00. The lighter the printing material the lower the cost. The printing choices you make will determine the shipping costs. Do note that the postage rate comes to play here too since it all depends on the amount you are sending.
What makes direct mail brochures effective?
Automotive company brochure template
A trifold layout can improve your marketing success if done right. Brochures are effective because of several reasons.
Brochures are versatile
Marketing brochures can be used to inform customers about products and services. If you are the type of business that experiences high traffic in the waiting or reception area then brochures should be at hand for customers to peruse through. This should be your lobby pitch. You can also mail them out. In short, a brochure will go anywhere.
Brochures are great marketing kits
If you are going to woo your customers with a promotional giveaway then brochures plus the giveaway are a good combination. This is your opportunity to give an overview of your business. A combination of brochures and interesting tangible items will definitely bring the customer to the table.
Brochures offer more information
Tell a wonderful story and package it right into the trifold. Ensure to use wonderful colors that sync with your brand message. Walk up to the door and introduce yourself then offer some special deals that the customer finds irresistible. Brochures are salesmen in disguise.
Brochures are affordable
You can produce brochures at a relatively low cost. There is a need to work with a printer who offers cheap but high-quality brochures. You should also note that the cost depends on the design, color and finishing plus the more you order, the less expensive it gets.
Brochure marketing campaign mistakes
The above reasons why brochures are effective when it comes to direct mail marketing are obvious but why is it still a problem for most marketers? Why don’t they reap the results? There are still mistakes that are being made along the way. It is important to note them so as to be on the right track.
1. You are stretching it too far
Your direct mail brochure is not a company’s mission statement or service catalog of the year. You are trying to invoke a response. Instead of a broad-based campaign settle for a targeted niche one.
2. You assume that your customers have the time to read everything
This is not a school essay that will be read paragraph for paragraph. Brevity is a must so use powerful headlines and concise copy to deliver your message
3. You lack unique selling points
What is it that you do better than your competitors? Your brochure must emphasize this. Uncommon sales figures come out of what is uncommon about your competition.
4. You have a bad list
Define your target audience because a bad mailing list is going nowhere.
5. You have no offer
Most brochures do not have a call to action or a compelling offer. You need to give your customers an incentive so that they can purchase from you. If you can’t find the right words to use, consider engaging a copywriter.
6. Low-quality printing
First impressions are everything. Do not use a desktop printer. Have your brochures professionally printed by 4OVER4.
Where can I get postcard marketing and mailing services?
You can get your postcards and mailing services from 4OVER4 . Yes, there are several online printers but this New York based online printing services majors on helping small businesses achieve their goals. There is no need to wait around for price adjustments.
4over4.com's Direct Mail Services Include
- CASS & NCOA Certification
- Data Process One (1) List ($85 for each additional list)
- Duplicate Item Removal
- Pre-sorting USPS Documentation
- Professional Inkjet addressing
- Delivery to USPS
- Shipment of extra pieces sent to your preferred address (UPS Rates Apply)
How to create direct mail postcards easily?
direct mail postcards
C. Cornelius on 2019-06-11 08:32:02
The courteous staff at 4over4 helped me figure out my mailing list questions. They made what I thought would be a complicated process very easy. And the print quality was also high quality.
The above statement is a testimonial of how you can get your direct mail postcards easily without lifting a finger. The main thing you have to do is select your product, size, paper type and send us your list- we’ll take care of the rest for you! All the direct mailing needs will be handled with a sense of urgency. You will be able to calculate the costs online and use your card for payments. It’s all fully automated. So focus on your list, the printing and shipping is handled.
What is the cost of direct mail postcards and brochures?
Modelling agency brochure
The cost of direct mail postcards and brochures varies from vendor to vendor but if you are a small
business, start-up or non-profit then 4OVER4 is the recommended printer for you.
Make use of the price calculator for direct mail postcards and
direct mail brochures
on their site to
determine the price which is based on size, quantity, paper type and finish.
Direct Mail postcards or brochures, which is better for business marketing?
Let us start by acknowledging the fact that there are distinct differences between postcards and brochures.
A brochure is a self-mailer so there is no need to put it in an envelope. A postcard has an appeal that can
only be exuberated in a mailbox. The question is, what type of message do you want to convey and how long is
it? A brochure offers more space to work with while a postcard emphasizes on brevity and design. You should
also note that postcards are smaller and therefore could be cheaper to print and ship.
While it would be considered a smart move to use both direct mail postcards and brochures, brochures work
best in a support role. You can use them as a follow up tool after a postcard campaign. The only thing you
should remember that a successful mailer is one that is fully customized and unique.
What can direct mail marketing offer that online can’t?
Direct mail is tangible meaning that it is impossible to ignore. Emails can be ignored. As much as an email
can use your first name, direct mail will use what appeals to your taste. Digital marketing cannot exist
without the complementary efforts of direct mail marketing.
Direct mail marketing is definitely more personal than digital. This is undebatable and we can agree that
you would prefer a bouquet of flowers and a card at your doorstep over an e-card and a Whatsapp message with
flowers emoticons on it. They just don't compare.
There are certain products that can only be sold better via direct mail marketing especially those that
require the use of senses like smell. Beauty companies selling perfumes can make use of print catalogues
that include the scent of their perfumes.
Printed text is easier to process and remember. This is why printed catalogs are popular with real estate
and automotive companies that require the customer to get a sense of the house they want to buy or rent by
looking at the pictures and reading the specific features. Plus by having a physical copy in their vicinity
every day, helps make the products more memorable as the customer gets a sense of being more familiar with
the product which makes it easier for them to make a decision to buy.
How all-in-one direct mail marketing saves you money & time
All-in-one direct mail marketing refers to a one-stop location for all of your direct mail marketing needs including printing, lists, data processing or mail services. Direct mail marketing services at 4OVER4 have the following benefits:
- CASS & NCOA Certification
- Data Process One (1) List ($85 for each additional list)
- Duplicate Item Removal
- Pre-sorting USPS Documentation
- Professional Inkjet addressing
- Delivery to USPS
- Shipment of extra pieces sent to your preferred address (UPS Rates Apply)
In addition to your selected print turnaround time, at 4OVER4 your Direct Mailing pieces will be processed as follows:
You can request for the printing process to be done either in 2 or 4 business days. Then the mailing process will continue after that and depending on the quantity you have ordered, your prints will be printed, all their names inkjeted on the postcards, all the certification is done and dropped off at the post office in the duration below.
- 500 - 25,000 1 - 3 business days.
- 30,000 - 60,000 3 - 5 business days.
- 70,000 - 100,000 5 - 7 business days.
Basically, you have control over the speed to which your postcards or any other mail is printed. You’ll also be able to calculate the time when your recipients are likely to receive the mail and be able to calculate your campaign's launch time adding the print turnaround to the estimated Direct Mailing time above, according to the number of pieces printed.
A penny saved is a penny earned. You should have this in mind when engaging in a direct mail marketing campaign. Depending on where you get these services done you could save a significant amount getting your direct mail printed and shipped from one place.
For instance, 4OVER4 charges $31.5 cents for a 4x6 postcard and $50.5 cents for postage of other sizes. However, if you did the mailing yourself you would pay $35 cents and 55 cents respectively.
Direct mail postcard postage rates at 4OVER4
Leverage on direct mail marketing to increase ROI
Traditional methods of marketing have a unique advantage especially in this digital age. Direct mail
marketing stands out from the crowd and gives small businesses the opportunity to connect with their
audience uniquely. The key takeaway is that you must target the right audience. We’ve provided specific
methods of segmenting your audience to do justice to your direct mail marketing campaign. This really is the
foundation of it all.
We already mentioned several sources of listings but you should not stop there. Keep growing. You can rent
outside lists but you should also concentrate on building your own database. Start with a rented list and
build on it. Rent it for one-time use then once your target audience responds, you use their response as
All-in-one direct mail marketing services save you time and money especially now where you can get support
in copywriting, designing, printing and distributing your marketing collateral all from one place.