Direct Mail Advertising Cost

Direct mail is a traditional and popular way to market products and services. In fact, majority of people will probably have it in their mailbox right now, stuffed into their bills, or tucked inside their newspapers.

More money is in fact spent on direct mail than other forms of advertising.

What is Direct Mail Advertising?

If you want to market your product or service using direct mail, just make sure that you have a good list. This list contains the people who will most likely get your product or service. Then, you should have an irresistible offer to your potential customers such as “Buy One Take One” or “Limited Time Offer.” Another tip is to take advantage of postal rate offers. You can dramatically cut direct mail advertising cost by checking with your local post office on how you can send bulk letters yet save on the cost.

To make it successful, you need to realize the amount of revenue you wish to achieve. Then, determine your direct mail response ratio – if 100 customers see your product and 50 will buy it, then you have a 50% ratio. Finally, you need to estimate your response rate. Generally, successful direct mailing produce either 1-2% response. Don’t worry if 98% of people don’t respond to your mail since that is the normal result. The 2% who responds to you will be enough to achieve your revenue goal.

Advantages of Direct Mail

In direct mail advertising, your letters are like salesmen that sell for you. So if you send out 1,000 direct mail postcards, you will have 1,000 salesmen. This means that every business can have the potential to increase profits through this type of advertising. Here are some advantages in using this marketing plan:

  • You can target the group or market that will receive your advertising message. This means that your focus can be directed to a specific mailing list instead of campaigning to a scattered group.
  • Sampling and couponing can be practical with direct mail. If you plan it well, you’ll have the most predictable and consistent method of customer generation.
  • You can develop a very distinctive business personality. It can also enhance the information known to your potential customers and persuade them to order.

Direct Mail Advertising Rates

The largest cost of direct mail is postage. This accounts for about one-third of the cost of this campaign. It would be best if you have the necessary resources to do in-house mailing since you can save money through organizing and sending these letters from your office. If not, you can just hire a full-service mailing house to do the work for you.

Other costs such as fulfillment, copywriting, designing, printing, and mailing list will depend on the services you require. For example, the four-color postcard is the most common and simplest form of direct mail marketing. It’s also the easiest and least expensive to mail. Take note that catalogs, newsletters, brochures, and mailers would raise your costs considerably. These are examples of mailing postcard prices from different suppliers to give you ideas:

  • $400 for 1,000 postcards
  • $765 for 5,000 postcards including mailing, sorting, printing, and design
  • $898 for color printing as well as direct mailing of almost $2,000 postcards
  • $965 for 5,000 postcards which included custom design, printing, and mailing
  • $1,280 for 5x8 postcards printed and mailed first class with front and back in full-color

Another way to cut costs is to team up with another business in a cooperative effort. With this approach, your printed piece can be included in an envelope with other ads. The good thing about this is you can choose specific ZIP codes you will cover. Also, you’ll have a say on how your coupons or ads are printed – whether matte or glossy paper, two or four color, or single or double sided.

On the other hand, you can also send out direct mail in individual pieces if you don’t want to share space with others. In this approach, you can specifically choose to target the recipients of your mail not by geographic location but by reading preferences, schooling, talents, hobbies and habits. Remember that your fixed cost in this approach is the size, design, printing, paper, and postage on top of other variable costs.

So direct mail is undeniably the best advertising medium to customize your image and appeal. Make your message concise, clear, and easy to believe in. Coordinate with various suppliers to save cost and effectively target a precise market to be profitable in this endeavor.


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