6 Tips for Controlling Direct Mail Costs


managing-direct-mail-costsIt’s no secret: print is expensive. In fact, one of the elements that make many businesses shy away from direct mail is the upfront cost. Many other online marketing approaches are far cheaper, particularly when it comes to using visuals. However, it’s also no secret that direct mail can be extremely effective when it’s executed correctly.

The good news is that there are ways to manage the cost of direct mail marketing and still reap the benefits. We’ve outlined some tips to help you effectively plan and implement your frugal direct mail campaign for success:

1. Be selective.

Even Apple saves money on direct mail this way. Rather than sending out an entire catalog of information on the MacBook Pro, they only sent promotional information to select journalists. This helped Apple save a great deal of money, and combined with a highly-targeted direct mail list, employed the best of frugality with effectiveness.

2. Try a postcard.

You don’t have to break the bank to do effective direct mail marketing. In fact, a study by the US Postal Service concluded that postcards were the most likely items of mail to be scanned. It’s easy to simply throw an unopened envelope into the recycling bin without looking at it. Most people will at least glance at the back of a postcard. Postcards are inexpensive to produce and mail, which means you can enjoy high visibility with low cost.

3. Consider sending them yourself.

For small operations, it can be less expensive to have the print company send the direct mail to you, and then you spend the time stuffing the envelopes and licking the stamps. Of course, you’ll need to weigh the value of your time. Sometimes using the mailing service of the printing company can be money well-spent.

4. The list is crucial.

The list of consumers you target with direct mail is extremely important, and this cannot be overemphasized. In order for direct mail to generate significant returns, it should contain your most valuable prospects that are as close to your ideal customer as possible. If you spend hours on anything related to direct mail, spend it here. Have your list as tailored as possible before even thinking about buying stamps.

5. Use minimal color.

Color can be extremely important, but it also hikes the cost of direct mailing substantially. If you stick mainly to black and white, you’ll save money. Add a splash of color by choosing colored envelopes, or simply sticking to a limited palette.

6. Do a one-pager.

If you’d rather not use postcards, a single page pitch is going to save money on shipping and on printing as well. Brief is better.

Direct mail doesn’t have to be expensive. Keep in mind that direct mail pitches are extremely effective, and the up-front cost is nothing more than an excellent investment in promoting your brand. Provided that the proper research was conducted beforehand, direct mail provides an opportunity to reach out to your prospects and make contact with them quickly.

Direct Mail Best Practices