The first thing to think about is your list. Who will be ultimately receiving your flyers? Have you been collecting your customer's contact information? If you have been in business, you should already have a list of current customers and their contact information. Those are the best contacts to have, because they are already interested in your products. If you have not been collecting contact information, start! There are several ways to gather the information, through your website or offer a drawing...whatever it takes! It's very valuable information and also increases the value of your business.
Ultimately, you can purchase a list. If you are new in business or would like to expand your customer base, there are hundreds of services that sell lists. You can be very specific as to an area. If you are a retailer, you want to stick within 5 miles of your establishment, a little longer if more rural. Otherwise you may be wasting those dollars. If you're a service provider you may want to concentrate on certain neighborhoods. Think about what other demographics are important for reaching your customers. The lists are available through the United States Postal Service, other services online or through marketing firms.
Next you want to think about the actual flyer. You will need to have something professionally printed and of good quality. You want to make a good impression. If they see bad flyers, they will think you have bad products or services. So, spend the time to have a professionally designed and printed piece. Make sure it stands out. A boring flyer will get you nowhere. You can make your piece original in many ways and if you cannot figure out how, find someone who can. Just remember, the more original the shape or size, the more expensive it is going to be to deliver it.
Sending out a direct piece with no offer is like waving to someone going down the road. Its nice, but you probably won't get any sales out of it. There needs to be a hook. An offer or discount that will peak interest and compel someone to keep your flyer.
Once you have your marketing piece designed you will need to have it printed, labeled and mailed.
Most printing companies offer direct mail services. These services are usually cost effective and a great way to save a little time, frustration, and postage. Once your piece is printed the same facility can usually set up everything for you. You download your list, or can sometime even buy your list from the same company. They will usually charge you a service fee for labeling and cleaning up your list. It is very important that your service checks the integrity of your list and make sure there are no duplicate addresses, the changes of addresses are up to date and that your coding is accurate.
The service provider usually has a bulk mailing rate based on the number of items they have mailed. The more mail, the cheaper it is to send something. By keeping your size to a standard one and using a bulk mailing service's rates, you can usually get your piece down to about $.21 to $24 per piece for postage to mail. It is up to you and your designer to know exactly what those sizes are. The USPS offers a complete resource area with templates and important dimensions.
Once you have paid for postage, your mailing will be sent out within a few business days. Your service should finish by handing you a confirmation from the postal service of completion of your services.
So when you're asking yourself why is this direct mail thing so expensive keep these fees in mind:
- The mailing list
- The design
- The printing
- The mailing service
- The postage
According to many reporting services the response rate is 1 to 2%. The best way to use direct marketing is in a campaign where the flyer is part of a larger campaign. You should follow up with a phone call or place other advertisements at the same time to reinforce your business presence.