direct mail marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Direct Mail Marketing: Expert Tips for Successful Direct Mail Marketing

Direct mail is one of the most effective marketing tools for businesses looking to reach their target audience with a personalized message. But, it can be costly, and every penny counts when it comes to making an impact. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you make the most of your direct mail marketing campaigns, save money, and increase your ROI.

1. Be Flexible with Your Printing and Paper Options

Being flexible with your finished size and paper stock can make a significant impact on the cost of your direct mail marketing campaign. Different printers and mailhouses have different processes, and even small changes in artwork can trigger a substantial price increase. By working with your printer and being open to adjustments, you can achieve your desired results at a lower cost. When in doubt ask your printer to recommend a size for your direct mail marketing and create size-appropriate artwork for your mailing.

2. Skip the Coatings

Coatings like UV or Aqueous (AQ) are sold with the idea that they protect your piece much more than without the coating. The reality, though, is that your mail piece will be mangled by the USPS. Their sorting equipment is very fast and efficient but anything but gentle. There’s just no full-proof way to protect the piece from scrapes and streaks.
In our experience, the UV smudges a lot, AQ a little less, and uncoated pieces don’t smudge but everything can streak. Personally, we think the UV looks the worst when mangled by the USPS equipment because it’s smearing the coating around like a thin layer of molasses.
In a way, you’re really just paying for the type of streak or smudge that will eventually end up on some of your pieces. It just happens to be that some of those streaks and smudges cost more than others.
We recommend going with the cheaper marks and avoiding coatings altogether – unless it’s a design or style choice, but that is a different story altogether. By doing so, you can save money while still achieving the results you want.

3. Pay Attention to Postage

Postage is one of the most significant expenses when it comes to direct mail marketing campaigns. However, there are ways to reduce costs and stretch your budget. One of the biggest contributors to postage costs is the size and artwork of your mail piece. By working with a trusted vendor and understanding the USPS requirements, you can avoid accidentally skyrocketing your postage costs.
The post office offers discounts for certain efforts, like working with co-minglers and using software that sorts mail into trays for easy processing. However, be aware that some vendors may keep these discounts for themselves rather than passing them on to you.
Dropping your mail off at a large city’s BMEU post office can also result in deeper discounts than dropping it off at a local post office. Additionally, there are companies that offer a flat rate for postage, but be sure to ask if they are marking it up and if there are other opportunities to reduce costs.
One question can save you up to 5% off your postage total, so be sure to ask your vendor directly if they are marking up their postage. Finally, be mindful of the size and artwork of your mail piece, as even small changes can impact your postage costs significantly. By working with a trusted vendor and understanding the USPS requirements, you can ensure that you’re only paying what you need to and not inflating costs with something that could be fixed with a small change.

4. Research Your Mailing List Provider

Finally, having a good mailing list provider is critical for the success of your direct mail marketing campaign. Not all list providers are created equal, and a low-quality list can cost you twice, once when you pay for it and again when your mail pieces are delivered to the wrong people. Research your provider before buying, ask them where they get their list information and how they scrub their data.

Wrap Up

Direct mail marketing can be an incredibly effective way to reach your target audience with a personalized message. However, it’s also an investment that requires careful planning and execution. By being flexible with your printing options, avoiding coatings, being mindful of your postage, and partnering with a reliable mailing list provider, you can increase your ROI and take your business to the next level.
For more expert tips on how to succeed with direct mail marketing, contact Applied Business Systems today. We can help you develop a personalized strategy that fits your business and delivers results. Contact us or Get a Quote today.