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The Direct Mail Advertising Costs of an Effective Campaign

In a world of emails, texts and tweets, beautifully printed postcards and mailers are even more valued. They stand out among messages that vaporize within a few seconds. Useful postcards are posted to refrigerators, right next to “Kinder-artwork” and enjoyed for days or weeks to come. Not every mailer makes it to the place of honor. A catchy offer and colorful image help. So do printing professionals who know how to grab attention. But, how much does direct mail cost? Here are the direct mail advertising costs that go into an effective campaign.

Budgeting for Direct Mail Advertising Costs

Budgeting is a key component of any marketing campaign.

For direct mail campaigns, budget and cost should be determined by three core aspects:

  • Targeted mailing lists
  • Direct mail printing
  • Postage

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Direct Mail List Costs

Unless you’ve cultivated your own mailing lists and have a high degree of surety in its accuracy, chances are you’ll want to purchase a list of the names and addresses of the community you’re trying to reach. The cost of the direct mail list will correspond with how targeted it is and how well it intersects with your target market. Types of mailing lists include:

  • Targeted residential
  • Business to business
  • Saturation mailing lists
  • EDDM
  • New-mover lists

This can often be a “get-what-you-pay-for” where if you find a very cheap direct mailing list it may have enough errors in it to make you overpay for postage and not save any money at all. Always use a local, reputable direct mailing list service.

Design & Printing Related Costs

The cost of printing is influenced by black and white printing, 2-color or 4-color process, 1- or 2-sided printing, and volume. The final tally can vary but can be as little as a penny per piece depending on the size, color, and scope of the print job. The more you print and the more standard the size, the cheaper each mailer costs!

Don’t forget specialized print services, such as variable data printing because they can add to the cost. But they could pay off by creating a memorable postcard that makes it to the refrigerator.

Costs per 1,000 flyers or mailing pieces can vary depending on the thought that goes into a design and the quality of printing.

Postage Rates

Depending on your method of mailing, the size and weight of your mailer. The cost can be as little as $.19 per mailer. A professional direct mail marketer may know tactics to help you trim delivery costs and pass along the most cost-effective postage rates

Direct Mail Advertising Cost Versus Value – Is It Effective?

To determine how much you ultimately want direct mail marketing costs to be, start from the end and decide on your goal. 

Think about how much a new customer is worth to your business and budget accordingly.

Here are a few questions to help you get started on budgeting your next direct mail campaign.

direct mail advertising costs vs value

How to calculate return on investment?

Direct mail, like any marketing initiative, is an exercise in calculating its effectiveness for the spend. Because direct mail costs can be one-time, lower than some digital options and reach more people, calculating whether or not direct mail still works and how well are easier than you might think.

For example: Let’s say you were able to purchase 10,000 widgets at the discounted wholesale price of $1 each, which is a steal because they normally cost $3 and you sell them for $5 retail. At the discounted price, you can afford to offer them at 20% off and make 50% more profit of $30,000 after the cost of the mailing.

If the average widget sale includes 4 per purchase, then you need 2,500 sales to make your goal.

How many people can you reach?

If your house mailing list is 27,800 individual households, you may reach your goal as the average response rate for a mail campaign is 9%, according to the 2018 DMA Response Rate Report. 

Pro tip: If your list isn’t long enough, you may have to supplement with a prospect list that the report says will get about a 5% response rate – but this will cost you. But, if you make your profit numbers, isn’t it worth it?

What will you lose if you avoid any advertising mailers costs?

When you tally up your direct mail advertising costs, you may hesitate because it may appear to be a lot. But, what if you don’t bring in additional revenue or customers? Then your company would fail to grow and your sales may even decrease, due to customer attrition.

A company’s health relies on a steady influx of customers, and a direct mail marketing campaign can help. If you’re ready to reap the rewards of direct mail advertising, contact the professionals at One Stop Mail to get started today!