Everything You Need To Know About Direct Mail Marketing Cost In 2022

Direct mail marketing cost is a complex variable of the latest and old-school marketing techniques that we haven't had time to reflect on. Here's what you need to know if you're looking to advertise your business through direct mail marketing in 2022.

Marketers love getting in touch with their clients.

Whether it is by sending out print ads, event invites, or product brochures, they like knowing that they are grabbing the customer’s attention directly. And don’t for a moment think that they can’t afford the direct mail marketing cost because they absolutely can!

In this article, we cover just how to plan your direct mail marketing cost strategy. However, before we get there, let’s talk a bit about what direct mail marketing means and why it is important to use it

What Is Direct Mail Marketing?

Direct Mail Marketing is a type of direct marketing that’s delivered physically to a prospect’s mailbox through (a postal) … or other delivery service… Email marketing is the digital equivalent (of it)… All that your direct mailers need to have is something identifying you or your business, a call to action (CTA), and a way for your customers to contact you. The ROI direct mail marketing generates is only 1 percentage point behind social media making it the second-highest ROI median.

Why Is Direct Mail Marketing Important In 2022?

The benefits are not limited to just the fact that direct mail marketing provides your clients with physical proof that your business is legit. They also include:

  • You can build your brand because direct mail marketing is more interactive.
  • It gives you the much-need versatility in the way you create content and provide value to your clients.
  • Direct mail marketing response rates are 37% higher than email marketing responses. (Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
  • ROI is 1,255% with US marketers selling $2,095 in goods for every $167 spent on direct mail.
  • An International Communications Research survey found that 73% of consumers actually prefer snail mail over other advertising methods.
  • It increases revenue for your business.

While there is a possibility that some people will just throw away the leaflet without taking a single look, there is also a possibility that some people might buy from you after receiving a mail from you.

Why Does Direct Mail Marketing Still Work?

At this point, there might be many people thinking ‘direct mail? seriously? we’re still using that?’

Yes, we are and there are multiple reasons why.

Firstly, direct mail is interactive. Customers are dealing with the mail physically which increases the probability of them actually looking through the mail/package that you have sent their way before deciding whether they want to keep it or discard it.

Here’s a tip: if you want them to keep it, throw in a promotional offer or a coupon that requires them to bring it to the business sending them the mail.

Secondly, direct mail is memorable. It evokes a sense of nostalgia which will probably spark a more emotional response that could work in the brand’s favor. Emotions have always done wonders for businesses. Take a look at Nike’s advertising campaigns, for example, they always struck a cord and try to improve the world one ad at a time.

Thirdly, it can have a bigger reach by catering to a wider demographic than the digital advertisement. Direct marketing through direct mail can turn many people into potential customers by making sure to grab the audience that fell through the cracks during digital marketing.

Do's & Don'ts of Direct Mail Marketing

Having already talked about direct mail marketing, why it is important and why it still works; it only makes sense that we move on to talk about some dos and don’ts of the approach.

A fair warning though, the most important stuff comes up in the next section: the direct mail marketing cost.

Coming back to the dos and don’ts, here are some that will save you time, money, and energy.

Do: Define your audience

Knowing your ideal audience is the first step in having an effective direct mail marketing campaign. It will save you money because it makes things easier by finding in which area people are most likely to reside. Ask yourself who is your product for and focus your efforts accordingly.

Do: Run tests first

The second step is to send out a few test batches and while you are at it, make sure you have a way to track your customers’ engagement. Set some KPIs that will help you in tracking this.

This can be a coupon code unique to the mail campaign that’s tracked online according to how many customers end up using it. It could also be a phone number to call or an email address set up only for that campaign. That way you can easily keep track of who is engaging with your marketing.

Do: Make sure you have a CTA

Call-to-action or CTAs are more important than you’d think. With the right CTAs, you can take your campaign from nothing to impactful.

Don’t: Forget to proofread your mailers

Whatever you mail, it will set the precedent of the relationship you have with your audience/clients. You can’t start this relationship with bad grammar and incorrect spellings as the foundation. Have someone double-check the text who makes sure the text flows impeccably.

Don’t: Forget to follow up

The KPIs you have set needs to be tracked as well so keep an eye and keep following up on the data that is being gathered.

This data will comprise all the engaged customers who will be receptive to your future advances in marketing and if they become your loyal customers, then they might even share your business with their friends.

Don’t: Forget to drive traffic to your online presence

While this article is all about reaching your audience through direct mail marketing, don’t forget that there is an entire world present on the digital front.

Let’s face it, most of your business will still take place online to get more and more people involved. At the end of the day, it is the leads and conversions that matter the most which are why now is the best time to jump to the direct mail marketing costs.

5 Direct Mail Marketing Cost Variables That You Need To Know

Direct mail marketing’s cost is a little tricky topic which is why we will try to simplify the whole thing as much as possible for you.

Not all companies handle this tricky part all by themselves. While some opt to do it all themselves, others ask other agencies to handle it for them.

The direct mail marketing cost really depends on several things like graphics, copy, collateral type, printing, number of packages, and postage.

Direct mail pieces can cost anywhere between $0.30 to $10 per person, depending on all these factors. Many marketers measure direct mail marketing costs as cost per thousand (CPM) which simplifies the whole process by a significant amount.

The process for this is quite simple, just take the total cost of your campaign and divide it by 1000. Note that volume plays a big role in deciding direct mail pricing. If you wish to conduct an affordable campaign, opt for bulk mailing.

Now, here’s how the total direct mail marketing cost is divided: designing costs, copywriting costs, mailing lists costs, format costs, personalization costs, printing costs, and postage costs.

Let’s consider them all separately.

1. Design Costs

A major factor in determining the final total cost of direct mail marketing is design. The charges can vary between a range of $10 to $1000 depending on the type of approach you are taking to get the mail designed. Know the answers to the following questions and you should be fine:

  • Will stock images or custom photographs be included in the design?
  • Will the design include intricate details or be generic?
  • Will help be required or is it an in-house job?

2. Copywriting Cost

Another thing that is done in-house or outsourced is copywriting. It also can help you determine the total cost and ROI which is why extra emphasis is placed on producing creative copies. After the design, it is the copy that persuades people to take action that will benefit your business.

While many businesses simply overlook the importance of the copies in a direct mail, the fact that it is truly an art shouldn’t be ignored for the sake of the business’ growth.

Its importance is reflected in the cost range that starts from $100 and ends at $2000, depending on the number of words and the number of copywriting experiences the person has under his/her belt.

3. Mailing Lists Cost

Now, this one largely depends on the direct mail marketing objectives the business has.

If the business needs to introduce a new product or service to its existing customer base, it makes sense to use the in-house mailing list that the business has cultivated over the years.

If the business is looking to expand its database and get new leads, then the approach will have to be a little different. The business will have to buy or rent mailing lists and that starts from $30 per 1000.

Mailing list costs are calculated either as per thousand or per record, similar to cost per 1000 mails. Rates depend on the quality, the number of records, and the number of times you want to use a particular list.

4. Format Cost

This is what raises the cost of direct mail campaign because the type and size of direct mail dictate it significantly.

Not only that but the paper stock and coating options you choose can also make a difference to the overall cost. For example, a small postcard won’t take as much paper and ink as a poster or brochure might.

One important thing to mention here would be that the small direct mail items are not as effective as assumed to be. It is the bigger-sized mail items that have more impact.

5. Personalization Cost

With format and size out of the way, you need to consider how you want to personalize the direct mail. While un-personalized options might be cheaper, they will lack the effect you would want them to have and might not result in your expected goals.

However, on the other hand, variable data printing (VDP) for a personalized touch can be quite expensive. The rates are calculated as direct mail cost per 1000 which means you can’t personalize a few pieces at a time.

6. Printing & Postage Cost

This is the expected one on the list. For both printing and postage, the more items you print, the more you will have to pay. Typically, the printing costs range between $0.05 to $2.00 per piece whereas heavier mails will cost you more.

You might get a discount if you order in bulk – posting too – but that’s a decision that a brand has to make accordingly. The page count, paper size, stock, colors, ink, etc. are some other decisions you will have to make that will change your final cost.

As for postage, it is the most expensive element on this list. The distribution charges depend on the number of mailing, size, weight, destination, speed of delivery, and destination. When any one of these factors will increase, the cost of direct mail marketing will increase as well.

That’s all that you need to know about direct mail marketing and how much it costs. Beware of any lurking costs that might change changes for you.

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