Direct mail is one of the simplest and most powerful methods of reaching out to large chunks of the public at once, and when done properly, it can also be one of the least-expensive sources of impressions in your advertising arsenal.
Properly budgeting for direct mail flyers and your overall spend is vital for seeing these benefits. When planning a direct mail campaign, you should attempt to account for all the costs up-front, so let’s take a quick look at everything that’s going to go into one:
Major Costs Affecting Your Direct Mail Flyers And Their Budget
1 – A Mailing List
If you’ve got a database in place already, this may be free, or effectively so. After all, the best email lists are the ones you’ve built yourself from your own leads and prospects. However, if you lack such a database, you’ll have to buy a list from a broker who specializes in creating custom mailing lists.
2 – Creative Costs
Any direct mail material is going to require – at a minimum- a writer and an artist, and likely a third person doing layout. Do you have people capable of these jobs on-staff, or are you going to have to hire help on the creative side?
We strongly recommend not skimping here. People inexperienced in writing copy, or designing one-sheets, are not going to produce materials that are nearly as effective as what marketing professionals can create.
3 – Printing
There’s a world of printing services available, using a variety of techniques from traditional plate-stamping to modern digital printing methods. Which you employ will depend on your individual needs.
Broadly speaking, traditional ink-on-plate stamping is best for mass-producing many copies of the exact same thing, because it’s quick and efficient. Digital processes are better for materials that need to be customized per-customer. These are slower to produce, but impossible to print using stamping techniques.
Call around to various printers, and inquire into their facilities as well as their prices. Get multiple estimates before committing!
4 – Proofs And Revisions
You’ll rarely get direct mail flyers right on the first try. Chances are, you will need to run off a few proofs before settling on the exact design you want. Each proof will cost extra money, so be sure to ask about those prices when you’re investigating printers.
5 – Quality Control Costs
You’ll have to make some executive decisions regarding the exact level of quality you want in the printing. Print jobs involving hundreds or thousands of items are inevitably going to have a few flaws in the batch. How carefully these are watched for, and how strict the standards are, is solely a function of how much money you’re willing to pay for QC.
This is another matter that should be investigated ahead of time when you’re negotiating with printers.
6 – Postage Prices
Finally, there’s the matter of the mailing costs themselves. Some print shops or paper-based marketing companies will already have deals in place with USPS that get them better rates on bulk mailing.
If they don’t offer these services, or you want to handle logistics yourself, you first have to register with the USPS and buy a license establishing yourself as a bulk-mailer, as well as also paying a yearly fee for access. This will be at least several hundred dollars a year.
These prices tend to change often, so contact your local Post Office and inquire as to fees at the moment. This may make a significant difference in whether you mail yourself or hire someone else to do it.
Related Post: How to purchase the right direct mail list
Need more advice? Just contact One Stop Mail with any questions!
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