As the president of a direct mail and direct marketing company, I probably see a lot more direct mail on a regular basis than the average person. You might think that would make me somewhat immune to direct mail (both good and bad), but it doesn’t. I think part of that is because—like you—I get a fair amount of direct mail at home. It has my name on it. It’s supposed to appeal to me. And far too often I just shake my head and think: “What a waste of money.”
That’s the experience I had recently when a mailing came to my house. It was a simple card. It was totally unremarkable. I knew that our company hadn’t mailed it (hey, I am a pro, and I can tell these things!). I also know that if I didn’t have a vested interest in direct mail, this piece would have gone straight into the recycle bin without another thought.
There was nothing about this card that suggested who the company was, what they did or why that should matter to me. It was only after a careful reading that I was able to decipher what the company was offering (and it wasn’t much of an offer). Again, if I were not professionally curious about direct mail, I wouldn’t have discovered any of this.
As I tossed the card into the recycle bin, it occurred to me that this was a company that needed to generate business. Unfortunately, their drive to save money was stronger than their drive to increase business. And as I stared at the card at the bottom of the bin, I thought, “Not only did they not save money—they wasted it!”
Direct mail marketing—like any form of marketing—costs money. But if you are going to do it, you should do it right. If you don’t, you’re simply throwing your money away. Printing a card or flyer or letter costs money. Postage to send your piece costs money. Renting a list and labeling the mail pieces costs money. Most businesses understand that. But when it comes to writing the copy or designing the mail piece, some businesses are extremely reluctant to pay—even though the offer and the design are two of the most critical components to a mailing’s success.
If the poor quality of your design and copy prevent your audience from even considering your message, you’d be better off sticking your money in your pocket.
That doesn’t mean you should overpay for copy or that you should spend outrageous design fees. That’s not a good use of your resources, either. But if your mailing ends up in the recycle bin without being looked at, you’ve probably lost more than the cost of good design and good copy. You’ve just thrown away everything you spent on printing, postage and mailing—in addition to the time you’ve spent on the project.
Don’t throw away money in an attempt to save money on your direct mailings. Tell us about your project. We can help you with the strategy, the design, the copy, the printing and even the list. And we’ll look for the most cost-effective ways to make that happen. Don’t let your mailing end up at the bottom of a recycle bin. It’s such a waste.