A lot of people think “bulk rate” is a single set price. You either pay for first class postage to mail letters or postcards, or if you’re sending a large enough quantity, you get a discount – bulk rate. However, it’s not as simple as that, and not knowing how bulk rate actually works can easily trip you up. You’ll be paying too much for your direct mail postcards, reducing your return on investment right from the start.
The size of your postcards affects what you pay.
It might be tempting to assume that the biggest possible postcard will deliver the biggest marketing punch, and for some businesses or marketing campaigns that’s certainly true. But the bigger your postcard the more it will cost to mail it. Many businesses of all types find they get the same or better response using mid-size postcards. It’s amazing how much information you can get on one of these postcards – without over-stuffing it.
As you’re considering the size of your postcard, you’ll also want to consider its “hand” – what it feels like when your recipient picks it up. Thicker paper stock says “quality.” The last thing you want is a postcard that is so flimsy your recipients instantly think “cheap” when they pull it from their mailbox. This factor may not affect what you pay, but it can subtly affect the response you get to your mailing.
Your mailing list affects what you pay.
Every Door Direct Mail may be touted by the postal service as the least expensive option, but unless what you do or sell appeals to everyone, you’re delivering your marketing message to people who aren’t interested. Potentially a lot of people. That guarantees a poor response, and nothing is more costly than that.
Beyond EDDM, though, there are other factors. The total quantity you mail affects your cost, of course. But more isn’t necessarily better. The key is targeting, so that your mailing list includes only people who are highly likely to want or need what you have to offer. There’s a good chance that at some point you’ll want to purchase or rent a mailing list to reach new prospects, and the fees you pay for that list are part of your cost to send direct mail postcards.
Are you confident you know how to choose the right source as well as selection criteria to ensure you’re getting the best list at the best price?
There are other ways you can pay too much for direct mail postcards.
Sorting, labeling the sorted piles of postcards, filling out paperwork and delivering your mailing to the appropriate post office all take time. Sorting isn’t as easy as it sounds, and if you make mistakes due to misinterpreting the rules, you’ll have to start over. That costs more and delays your marketing. Hand-addressing or affixing address labels is also very time-consuming. Ask your direct mail company about addressing postcards as part of your printing process.
And have a serious talk with them about handling all the details of producing your postcards and getting them on their way to your prospects. This is their business, so they can do it more efficiently and cost-effectively than you can. Most small businesses find the benefits are greater than the small additional cost.
And here’s another dangerous hidden cost: failure to obtain the highest quality professional custom design for your postcards. Postcards that aren’t uniquely yours in every respect simply don’t perform as well. That can be harder to quantify than direct-cost problems, but you’ll feel it just as much on your bottom line.