Dialing direct mail advertising cost down.

Controlling Direct Mail Advertising Cost — 4 Things You Must Know

With postage rates on the rise, today’s marketers must embrace some strategic planning to control direct mail advertising costs. From the format you choose to mail to the print technologies you use to produce your promotion, there are many ways to bring your direct mail advertising costs down—and get your promotion into the hands of customers with economy and scale. Here are four things you can do to minimize your direct mail advertising cost.

1. Choose Your Format Wisely

It’s estimated that direct mail response rates can be 10 to 30 times higher than that of digital. It seems the tactile, interactive format of direct mail has widespread appeal and in fact, 95% of 18-to-29-year-olds respond positively to receiving personal cards and letters. Yet the ROI of your direct mail campaign is only as good as the cost control that goes into your planning. There are many different direct mail advertising format choices to consider, and some can be costlier to produce than others. For example, perfectly square direct mail pieces are eye-catching, but their aspect ratio makes them nonmachinable so they’ll come with a postal surcharge that can drive your direct mail advertising costs up. On the other hand, oversized postcard mailers in compliance with postal aspect ratio requirements can be visually engaging and economical.

A format that engages recipients can raise your conversion rate, boosting ROI. Direct mail advertising self-mailers can be made highly interactive with scratch off and peel-off features that incentivize customers to spend more time with your promotion, as will QR codes that encourage prospects to go online for more information. Direct mail advertising elements like die cuts can reveal incentive messaging and savings offers, while peel-to-reveal stickers can improve open rates.

Newspaper advertising inserts are a useful direct mail format that eliminates the need to produce a more expensive direct mail package to engage prospects. A simple 8.5 x 11 flyer inserted into the circulation of a daily newspaper can be an economical way to augment existing direct mail advertising efforts. Coupons can be added to make your newspaper insert direct mail promotion even more successful—driving customers to your brick-and-mortar location or online to make a purchase.

2. Understand Your Print Options

Knowing the best technology for your print run can help you avoid paying too much for your direct mail advertising. Identify your requirements for paper stock, image quality, and print run quantity before you ask for estimates from your direct mail advertising printer. For larger print runs, consider a high-speed offset web press. It prints on continuous rolls of paper ideal for printing newspapers, inserts and another high-volume print jobs. It also minimizes the cost of separate finishing by doing all the finish work inline, including the cutting, collating, stitching and punching.

Are you looking for print economy that doesn’t sacrifice quality for smaller print runs? Sheet-fed press offers a great deal of flexibility to print smaller print runs (starting at 1000 sheets) on a wide range of stock finishes, weights, and sizes.

3. Share Your Distribution

Postal rates increased by about 2.5% on January 27, 2019. As a result, the costs to distribute your direct mail advertising to prospects and customers is at an all-time high. Shared mail lets you spread your direct mail advertising across many different advertisers. It’s estimated that shared mail can reduce distribution cost by as much as 30% of traditional direct mail options by allowing direct mail advertisers to combine their promotions into a single package.  This shared direct mail cost can be as low as pennies per household.  It also allows you to target your distribution based on zip code, basic demographics or carrier route—targeting recipients at the household level.

For those shared mail advertisers looking for more visibility, Target Direct at Upper Valley Press offers a detached shared mail postcard. It mails alongside a shared mail package, making use of the postal savings, yet the postcard is distributed as a standalone piece for maximum visibility.

4. Be Smart About When and How You Mail

Direct mail advertisers must have a valid business reply mail or postage-due permit and must be able to meet specific barcode requirements for addressing bulk mail. Failure to comply with postage regulations can cost you in time and money (and potential fines). Many direct mail printers offer in-house distribution services to streamline direct mail advertising promotions. Using one vendor to print, finish, insert and mail your promotions can simplify the process and provide a competitive advantage—and cost savings. For example, Upper Valley Press has postal verification on premises so that we can expedite postal review of your direct mail advertising. This gets your pieces out the door quickly with complete assurance that it’s postal ready and compliant.

Want more money-saving direct mail advertising ideas? Contact us to learn more.