Direct mail marketing is making a comeback in a big way. No longer viewed as an old school approach to direct response, e-commerce brands are embracing direct mail and seeing huge returns.
However, marketers who are new to the channel can get hung up on a few of direct mail’s negatives. Chief among them: price.
Is Direct Mail Expensive?
Direct mail isn’t outrageously expensive but if you come from the digital marketing world, you might have a bit of sticker shock when shopping direct mail providers. The very thing that makes direct mail so effective comes at a cost. It’s tangible. It isn’t cheap to print and mail physical postcards or letters—at least not as cheap as it is to send a digital marketing message through cyberspace. Nonetheless, if you’re doing direct mail right, the investment is well worth it.
Direct mail nets response rates 10 to 30 times that of all digital channels combined, according to the Data & Marketing Association. As for ROI, US marketers sell $2,095 in goods for every $167 spent on direct mail (that’s a 1,255% return on investment).
And, with a few tricks up your sleeve you can save money on direct mail.
Ways to Save Money on Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail costs more than email and other digital channels, but there are many ways to keep direct mail campaign costs down. Here are 4 of our top tips to control direct mail marketing costs.
1. Use Built-In Direct Mail Audiences instead of Buying Lists.
You do not need to buy or rent direct mail lists anymore. With modern direct mail marketing and automation, you have far superior (and much less expensive) options. Before you contact a listbroker, try these free direct mail audiences already built into your customer database. You can also check out free ways to build a direct mail list here.
Without a doubt, strong targeting is the best way to control the costs of your direct mail campaign and ensure success. So, make sure you aren’t paying for the production or postage of direct mail postcards for anyone who has no need or interest in what you’re offering. There is generally no benefit for casting too wide of a net.
Traditional direct mail vendors might require you to mail unnecessarily large batch sizes, but Inkit enforces no minimum on its customers. You can use our platform to mail a single postcard—in fact, many of our customers sync Inkit with their CRMs and mail based on events and direct mail triggers. As such, their mailings are highly targeted and may even mail on a one-off basis. Find out if your CRM has a direct mail integration with us here.
3. Test Concepts Before Jumping on Direct Mail Trends.
This last tip holds true for any marketing channel. Before you invest a significant amount of money in a direct mail campaign, make sure you’ve developed proof of concept.
You don’t have to jump on the latest trends—such as colors that supposedly convert or larger (read: more expensive) postcards for higher impact—without testing them first. With a sophisticated direct mail CRM tool like Inkit, you can run A/B tests so you know what works before you go all in. We also recommend that just like with email and social, you continually track your campaigns and refine them over time as audience preferences evolve.
4. Choose a Direct Mail Provider in MarTech.
To save money, you’ve got to save time. In the traditional offline direct mail process, it takes weeks if not months to go from concept to mailbox. To significantly shorten the production timeline and get mail out in a timely manner (while still relevant), you need direct mail software that plays well with marketing automation platforms. With Inkit, we print and mail your postcards almost as soon as you hit send. There is no extensive set-up and proofing process. It is truly as easy as sending or triggering an email on your side of things. This quick production allows you to send mail to the customer at the right moment, which can greatly improve your conversion rate and ROI.
Ready to Save Money on Direct Mail?
As you can see, when done well, direct mail is actually a very cost-effective channel to reach your customers. You can lower campaign costs and maximize your direct mail ROI by using built-in direct mail audiences, refined targeting, a/b testing, and having the right direct mail partner.
To learn more about how Inkit can help you save money on direct mail, demo our direct mail software here.