An eye-catching design and enticing offer are only part of the total direct mail package. Many “behind the scenes” processes contribute to its success, including prepress, mail list processing, variable data composition, printing and delivery. Of course, the success of a direct mail campaign can only be measured when responses start pouring in but keep these tips in mind so your campaign is handled properly before and after it drops.
With a century of practical application, the validation of countless business and academic studies, and robust statistics supporting its effectiveness, direct mail marketing is firmly established as an essential marketing channel. Any marketer can create a successful campaign by sticking to the core elements of a quality list, appealing design, and a strong offer. You may be satisfied with achieving average response rates, but you could take your direct mail to the next level by triggering response through appealing to our hidden addictions.
You designed what you believed to be the perfect mail piece for your direct mail marketing project. You incorporated eye-popping color and catchy graphics. You narrowed down your target audience to the best possible prospects. You're sure you did everything right, but your mailing was a failure anyway. You find yourself asking how is this possible? Where did I go wrong?
Savvy marketers know that utilizing multiple channels is the best way to reach a targeted audience. However, some choose not to utilize what is arguably the king of all marketing, Direct Mail. The reasons why are varied and sometimes based on incorrect assumptions, but the most common reason is cost. Those with a tight budget may not believe they can afford to include direct mail in their marketing mix. Others have experienced impressive results and automatically include direct mail. Whether you think you can't afford it, or are absolutely committed to using direct mail, there are options to fit any budget that you can count to achieve a winning ROI.
In the print production of direct mail there are many factors which affect costs. Because price is dependent on the design specifications unique to a project, commercial printers price every job individually. Color, paper choices, print method, and bindery finishing all contribute to cost and should be taken into account during project planning and budgeting. It is important to have a basic understanding of how your direct mail project will be produced. The following overview covers some of the more common considerations every marketer should be aware of and how different production techniques affect cost.
When was the last time you received a birthday present, wrapped in decorative paper, tied with a brightly colored ribbon, and you chose not to unwrap the gift? If you’re like me the answer is never. What’s in the box? Shake it. Does it make a noise? Is there something loose inside rattling around? How heavy does it feel? What could fit inside? These are some of the thoughts that might go through your mind.
The cost of paper is one of the most important considerations for any print project. In fact, paper can account for 50% or more of the total project cost. If your marketing budget is slimmer than ever, you may be tempted to buy your own paper from a paper mill or distributor as an alternative to buying it through your printer. But does buying your own paper really save you time and money?
Savvy marketers know the best allocation of their budget is a mix incorporating multiple channels. It could be a mistake to neglect the use of one particular channel over another, and eliminating one entirely could hinder your ability to effectively reach your target audience. Success or failure of a marketing campaign can mean rapid growth or calamitous loss of money.
Take a moment to think about which TV ads you remember most from years past. Chances are the ads you remember most are either the funniest or out of the ordinary. Two of my favorite ads both debuted during Super Bowls. One is the Betty White Snickers commercial created by BBDO North America from 2010, You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry. Betty White is playing a rough game of football and turns into a young man after eating a Snickers bar. The other is Cat Herders, made by Fallon in 2000 for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). In this one grizzled cowboys herd thousands of cats like cattle. My all-time favorite is the Quiznos commercial from 2004 which featured two rodent-like creatures, dubbed spongemonkeys, singing about loving Quiznos subs. One is wearing an old fashioned bowler hat and the other is wearing a seafaring hat and playing guitar. The ad created by the Martin Agency in Richmond generated a huge amount of buzz. People were divided, either loving or hating the ad. Quiznos saw a 400% increase in unique visits to its website in the month the ad aired on TV and the campaign is considered one of the first to go viral.