direct mailCalculating the cost of Direct Mail, or more realistically, the cost of not doing it!

Just before Christmas it is my brother’s birthday but his card failed to arrive – I had included it in the same envelope as his christmas card (saving postage). Even though I had sent it in plenty of time (I was quite pleased with myself) he thought I’d forgotten him again!

Of course, the envelope was too heavy so Royal Mail kindly sent it ‘snail mail’ instead! It did eventually arrive but of course that meant his christmas card was late too!

It is not only the sending of christmas cards that has been hit by the cost of postage and the new weight restrictions, but all mail in general.

postboxThe internet and email has caused a huge reduction in the posting documents and really it’s only the rise in popularity of ‘online shopping’ and Amazon that keeps our ‘Postie’ on his rounds. 

Social media and online marketing has had a huge increase in growth and commercial printing is being hit drastically but to ignore the potential of Direct Mail is very short sighted. 

We see, on average, 5000 marketing messages each day but how many do we remember? 

Let alone take action…

The ability of placing your marketing message physically into the hand of your target customer, placing it in front of their eyes enabling that person to digest the information at their leisure is extremely advantageous.

Direct Mail is very powerful when done well.

Essentials to make it work…

  • Good design.
  • Good copywriting and interesting text.
  • Good quality and weight of the printed article.

“Love at first sight” syndrome or instant recognition and instant interest is how Direct Mail gets it’s best results.

You may argue though, when your competitor is using internet marketing so well, shouldn’t you just step up your online marketing?  No one is sending mail these days…..

However, if you did, while your competitor isn’t, won’t your mailing be the first to be opened?

Direct Mail can seem to be expensive but many mailing houses can save considerable amounts on normal posting costs, sometimes almost as much as the cost of the actual printing.

Good design plays an essential part.

direct mail catalogueWorking on a 32 page DVD catalogue recently, the available space was limited and rather than crowd the products together or add pages, items were dropped. Increasing the number of pages meant an increase in postage for sending each catalogue. Trading the quality of the design and paper against larger posting costs is a fine juggling act.  Although good design and quality is essential to attract the customer’s attention and produce the desired results, ensuring the end product is cost effective is critical.

Grammage v’ Postage

Recently, on this same subject, while discussing a  high quality, 160 page catalogue, printed by Barclays Print in London, (four colour with an additional special metallic silver throughout) I commented on the thickness of the paper, being surprised it was slightly thinner than I would have expected on such high profile job.

They told me that if the catalogue had been printed to the original specification, 130gsm, the weight of the finished book would have increased the cost of posting by £25,000. On a run of 30,000 catalogues the additional cost of the heavier paper would have been negligible but the extra posting costs were unbelievable.

There are not many commercial printers who would have taken that much care in their customers interests and realised those consequences.

Direct Mail does not have to be expensive done the right way and can generate excellent results when the marketing mix is varied.

One Direct Mail shot can be very effective and add considerable support to an online campaign and vice versa. Building confidence and visibility across a variety of media enhances the chances of conversion and lead generation. 

Just advertising in the yellow pages or only online is unimaginative and parochial. Take advantage of all the media around and use it in conjunction with innovative ideas and good design and your results will be more rewarding and much more effective.

Angie Phillips

A.N.G. Creative Design – Creating Business By Design