Direct mail is costlier than it has ever been in history. I say this with confidence as the cost of stamps, paper and envelopes has been going up for years and will continue in an upward direction.
Direct mail costs more but has proven to be a very good way to spend your advertising budget. Find a winner here and it can be reinvented to use on the Internet and other media.
Testing costs are higher and you can spend through a tight budget quickly. Care in finding the right market and the right message for that market are key.
Once again, testing is critical
Testing is critical in any advertising campaign, never more than with direct mail. Your costs to test are higher with direct mail. You need to target your prospects carefully. Your national postal service has many resources to help you narrow down your market.
Your experience in your past advertising will help you find the right place to focus your direct mail ads. Your local postal service is a wealth of information and you need to learn all you can about how to use their services.
Take advantage of all the free help at your post office
Call or visit a main office in your city or simply go online and visit the national office. Research every service they offer and focus on those services that you can use.
Contact staff who can answer questions or provide advice on how to use the features and services. Get to know this person and use them as a resource for your research.
There are different classes of mail each has a different cost
The main class is first class. First Class is the fastest way to get your mail delivered. Of course, you can courier it but that costs even more. There are some very good reasons to use courier services when you have the right product or service that demands quick response and can support using the higher cost deliver method.
Using courier services can almost guarantee your message will be opened and read
When was the last time you refused to open a package that was couriered to you? We all realize that this type of deliver service is the most expensive type available. When a package arrives at your door you tend to immediately open it.
If your business can support the extra cost and has a real sense of urgency or importance to the message you want to deliver. This is a great way to get your message read.
Closing a big sale with your prospects can be done when you treat the client as a VIP. Who will not consider this a special way to make your presentation? Certainly, you would at least give your full attention to the package and its contents.
You can use 3rd class or bulk mailing at a lower cost
Bulk mail or 3rd class as it used to be known is much cheaper to use. Normally you never use it for your current clients. It is used to gain access to prospects. You can do a general mailing to an area for a lot less money. Postcards are a common way to take advantage of this type of mailing.
Using this type of mail can severely limit your response as many consider this to be junk mail and it simply gets thrown. Make sure you talk to the post office first to ensure they will allow it to still be treated as bulk class or 3rd class postage. Never print something like this without first getting it approved or you could be facing higher mailing costs.
If you use bulk mail or 3rd class, you better make it stand out
You need to make your postcard different so that it stands out. The easiest way to do this is by using a different shape or larger postcard. This may cost more than a normal postcard ad but the added expense is worth it to get your ad read. Make sure you talk to the post office to confirm the cost of mailing the new design.
I have used different shapes, in my mortgage business I had the postcard printed in the shape of a house. This made it stand out from all the other ads. It got people to look at the ad and pulled in some new business. I use postcards for prospecting new areas and for sending updates to my clients.
Now that you have their attention now you need to make them read it
Your headline better reach out and grab them and make them want to read the rest of the ad. Even more important you want them to take some type of step to make contact with you.
Give them a toll-free number to call you or your email to contact you. Make it easy for them to act.
Buying this type of media has standard expenses
Mailing costs are very stable and tend to vary only due to cost increases. The discounts in this type of media are provided by buying more postage or different classes of postage.
The second discounts are made when buying the printing in bulk. Since you have already tested your ad and you know it provides a specific ROI on each mailing you can now use this knowledge to get discounts.
Your printing can be done in bulk by ordering 10,000 copies or more each time and getting the larger order discounts.
It seems common knowledge to do this but you need to watch every nickel when buying media and your advertising materials. These savings add up. The more you mail the larger the discount.
You will already know all the discounts as you have done your research, haven’t you?