All You Need To Know About Direct Mail Marketing

In today’s society, direct mail (also known as ‘snail mail’) is dismissed as an antiquated marketing channel. Instead of using this old method, contemporary society has embraced email marketing and social media channels.  However, while the popularity of the online generation is growing, there is evidence of snail mail showing a return on investment – so what is the problem?

In the majority of cases, it will come down to cost.  A direct mailing will always cost more per message than email channels.  The delivery of a direct message will require more of an initial investment than online channels.  Of course, this is not the only issue facing people who choose to use direct mailing options.  

While the initial investment is a problem, the return on investment after a marketing campaign is also a challenge.  If the campaign is ‘breaking the bank’, the chances are high that the direct mail strategy is incorrect.  

How to keep direct mail marketing costs low?


1. Target, Target, And More Targeting!

One of the best methods available to keep direct mail costs down is targeting the audience.  Using direct mail targeting, you will reduce costs on postage and printing of labels; therefore, saving the expenses for people who are more likely to buy products from you – a good return-on-investment option.  That being said, it is important to consider the more people you send direct mail to, the greater the chance of consolidating of production costs.  To grow the mailing list, it is recommended that you expand the list using a target market and avoid wasting money on people outside of the group.


2. Cleaning The Mailing List Regularly

If you have not updated the company’s mailing list in the last year, it is likely that a great portion of the people you are targeting (or trying to target) have moved.  In fact, one month can make a large difference in the accuracy of a mailing list.  Just as you would not avoid personal hygiene, a mailing list needs to be cleaned before all direct mail campaigns.  By performing this task, you will avoid wasting most on direct mailing to unavailable companies.


3. Using A Permit Imprint

If the company has a presort permit, it is advised that you print it directly onto the direct mail item.  This will save costs of time and labor regarding stamping the print and metering the mail individually.  If the company does not have a permit, the majority of direct mail houses will offer a permit that can be hired.


4. Know The Different Postal Size Regulations

To save costs on direct mailing campaigns, it is recommended that you know the dimensions of the different mailing pieces before printing them.  Each item has a rate, but you may find yourself surprised at the price if you budget for the set rate exclusively.  Research cannot wait until after printing, particularly if you have the dimensions wrong and the label is already printed.  In these cases, you will be wasting money as you will need to reprint labels and send the item again. If you decide to use stamps for your direct marketing campaign, then check out to find somewhere near you.


5. Offering The Audience Suitable Channels For Follow-Up

It is always recommended to offer the target audience a follow-up service and using online providers can be the most cost-effective option.  Storing the content online is much cheaper than sending additional content out in several printed items.  However, you need to be wary of the audience and try to avoid a target market that does not understand online follow-up techniques.  In these cases, you should note that you have already paid for a certain weight’s worth of postage regardless of whether it has been used.  If you remain within the cost limitations, adding an additional leaflet will be a marginal expense.

While direct mail can be more costly than online communication, the tips above should remove the myth that it will always be more expensive.  If completed correctly, it is possible for direct mail marketing to be cost-effective; however, this does require some strategic planning.

FG Editorial Team
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