The Marketing Coach

Direct Mail Becomes Do-able

May 9

Written by:
Wednesday, May 09, 2012  RssIcon

I’ve never been a great believer in direct mail, that is the offers you receive in the form of letters and postcards in the mail. Until now, the expense has been considerable along with the logistics of creating a direct mail ‘piece.’ You needed to purchase mailing lists, pay for printing, and pay for postage and sorting. Like all marketing tactics, you need to track response rates to see if the expense is worth it.

Now comes the U.S. Post Office with a killer deal called “Every Door Direct Mail”.

If all you want to do is target a neighborhood or zip code with a postcard, the USPS will allow you to choose one or more of their carrier routes and the carriers will insert your postcard while they deliver the mail. You can send up to 5,000 pieces at a time. All you have to do is print the card, drop off the stack of postcards to the local station and pay 14.5 cents each. No names, addresses or postage are needed.

Enter the UPS Stores to up the ante.

My good friend Ken Davis, who owns the UPS store on 64th and Greenway in Scottsdale, says most UPS stores are offering to print and deliver the postcards to the appropriate carrier for the price of a postage stamp: 45 cents.

Even with this great deal, it remains important to track the response rate on your marketing investment. According to the Direct Mail Association, in 2010 postcards were the third least expensive form of direct mail at $75.32 cost per lead/order compared to email at $53.85.

Aha! Email marketing isn’t as cheap as you think, which is why tracking your response rate is crucial!
Yet catalogs beat them both with the lowest cost per lead/order of $47.61. Of course now that the cost of postcards has decreased, the total number of postcards sent will increase and the consumer will be more de-sensitized to them.

As for tracking your response rate, you should know that letter-sized envelopes had a response rate of 3.42 percent for an in-house mail list (contacts you know) and 1.38 percent for a prospect list (a list you bought or rented). Those are numbers you want to beat or it’s probably not worth the investment. Interestingly, 60 percent of direct mail campaigns in financial services aimed to produce a direct sale but the response rate was a comparatively low 2.66 percent to a house list and 1.01 percent to a prospect list.

So what do these statistics mean for you? If you want to test a postcard, send a low number and see how people respond. If you send 100 cards and 5 people become customers as a result, you have a nice 5 percent response rate and beat the average. Suddenly direct marketing seems very do-able for a small business.

Copyright ©2012 Meredith Munger

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Security Code
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 
Recent Comments
Re: How Much Is Social Media Really Used?
Thanks Meredith. This relates to my business as a golf professinal trying to gain lesson clientel.
Re: Drinking the Brand Kool-aid
it did help me alot reading the details.
Recent Blog Posts

Whither the Facebook Business Page?

Using Facebook for Marketing

How to Do a Great Media Interview

Creating a Great Web Site

Bureaucracy in Your Business

Marketing by Life Stages

How Much Is Social Media Really Used?

Forget the Product! You’re Selling Values.

The Power of the Phone

1-800 advertising Amy Alexander animated video annual plan Aura Salon Barbara Heggarty blog brand business development business gifts business reviews cartoon channel partner community service competitive edge cost cutting cost of new customer crisis communications CRM CRMbixTXT customer acquisition customer relationship management customer service customers customershare Danger Zone demographics differentiation direct marketing discounts drama drupal elevator pitch email marketing event marketing Facebook First Western Trust Bank focus group gap analysis goals GoAnimate goodwill Google Google AdWords Google maps Google places GoogleAdWords graphic handwritten notes Innovative Media Partners internet marketing Jerry Mills John Rodolf joomla Laser Creations LawyerSuccess lead generation lead nurturing lead nuturing LinkedIn logo Mark Derr B2b CFO market research marketing marketing strategy marketing tools marketshare Mastermind media media buying message Micorsoft AdCenter mobile marketing new business idea new product idea Olympics online lead generation online marketing online video onlun reputation postcard privacy process psychographics public relations QR codes RBC reaching mobile customers recession referral referrals remarketing reporter reputation management response rate results return on investment sales funnel sales lead sales leads sales strategy Salesforce Scottsdale search engine search engine marketing search engine optimization seconary audience secondary markets secondary revenue SEM SEM San Diego SEO SMS txt social media social media marketing strategies survey SWOT tactics target audience text message text messaging Tim Sanders time to close top 5 marketing tactics trends TV ads Twitter US Postal Service Vibes video demographics web analytics web sites why make an online video wordpress Xtranormal yellow pages YouTube ZD Design
Search Blog