If postage costs are keeping you from exploring a direct mail marketing campaign, look again. Several options are available to reduce the cost of direct mail. Your marketing message doesn’t have to be a traditional letter-in-a-branded-envelope, and you don’t have to mail it.
Factors that determine the campaign’s cost include the size of your list, personalization, and whether you will mail the piece alone.
Single Direct Mailings
A single mailing is one of the most expensive forms of direct mail. It typically involves an offer, adding promotional material, and inserting everything into an envelope. Usually, the recipient’s name and address are on the letter, the envelope, or both. The best mailing deal is a bulk postage option. If your offer requires personalization and individual postage, cleaning up your list will save money.
Mail inserts are direct mail offers inserted along with invoices, notices, or other routine mailings. This usually saves on postage because the message arrives with an item that is being posted anyway. However, the final weight and thickness of the envelope limit what you can send. If the cost increases because of the weight or size of the mailing, you might defeat any savings.
Test savings against the benefits you might lose if the recipient is not the target for the offer. For this reason, mail inserts work better in the business-to-consumer market than in business-to-business. However, if your market aligns with a company that regularly sends mail into an area, you could find new clients cost-effectively.
Look for special postage promotions run by the USPS to encourage the use of direct mail campaigns. Bulk postings are one way the USPS makes money.
For example, USPS may offer 3% postage discounts for mailings with a QR code on the envelope. If you’re a small business sending 500 pieces of mail, this might not add up to a lot. If your mailing list is 7,500, it can be quite a significant saving.
Discounts and Deals
Look for discounts or savings for presenting the envelopes sorted by zip code or drop-shipped to larger distribution centers. Marketing with a company in a related industry can increase the size of your mailing and generate savings for both companies.
Some vendors can commingle direct mail, which involves combining mailings by zip code or state and sending them in co-palletized batches.
Manual distribution can work for small companies. If you have 100 offers, paying a student to walk door-to-door might be a better option than mail. Make sure you trust the student so the envelopes don’t land in the nearest dumpster!