Direct Mail: 5 Ways to Save More

Posted by on July 12, 2013 in Marketing [ 3 Comments ]

Direct Mail CampaignA perfectly-executed direct mailing campaign can do wonders for growing a business’s popularity. Even though electronic marketing has skyrocketed in recent years, studies show that 65% of adults in the millennial generation prefer to read something on paper (USPS Household Diary study).

If your mailing list is big and your mail is complex, direct mail campaigns can get expensive quickly. However, there are still plenty of ways to keep your direct mail fresh without breaking the bank. Here’s five.

Related: Prepare your direct mail campaign with help from our postage meter vendors


Streamline Your List

Your direct mail campaign is only as good as your list. If you list is lengthy and not targeted correctly, you should be throwing dollars away as quickly as people are throwing your mail away. If your list contains residents who have since moved or even address that aren’t valid, you could be losing money.

  • Keep your list updated every year or so by reaching out to each household directly. Especially do this when creating a new campaign or adjusting your service.
  • Make sure each person on your list is part of your target audience. You should include only those who are likely to use your service or respond to your offer.

Adjust Your Vision

When formulating your new direct mailing campaign, design with budget in mind. If certain materials are more expensive to buy large quantities of, stay away from them. If some letter dimensions cost more than others to mail, choose a more standard size. Modify your campaign ahead of time if you know you will need to work within a tight budget. Be prepared to adjust multiple versions of your mail to cut down on production costs as much as possible.

Related: What Can You Learn From the Top 3 Direct Mail Pieces?

Do It Yourself

One of the most obvious ways to cut down on direct mail costs is to take on more responsibility yourself, so you don’t have to pay for outside help.

  • Graphic designers can be relatively expensive, so try designing something yourself before hiring someone to do it for you. There are plenty of free tutorials online to coach you on making an attractive piece of mail.
  • Printing, packaging and mailing your letters yourself can also cut down on costs. Though it may be time-consuming, the latest developments in copiers and printing technology have made it easy to get professional-looking mail at a lower rate.

Save on Printing

If your mailing list is large and you do decide to hire an outside printer, be sure to opt for bulk discounts. Many companies offer discounted printing rates if you are looking to save some cash. Though they might not be the highest, glossy quality- getting your message out to everyone in your target audience is what’s important. You can also request an estimate from most printers, allowing you to shop around for the best deal before you decide.

Related: Direct Mail Marketing: Eye-Catching Messages

Use a Postage Meter

Postage meters may seem expensive, but they can end up having your business a lot of money in the long run. If you frequently send out large direct mail campaigns, leasing out a postage meter could make your life much easier.

  • Postage meters allow you to print out your own postage labels and personalize them with each customer’s information.
  • They automatically calculate postage cost based on weight and dimension and save you multiple trips to the bank.
  • Once you register for a bulk mailing permit from the post office, you can use your postage meter to send out large amounts of mail at a discounted rate.

Your direct mail campaign does not have to be a huge investment. If you take the time to focus your audience and go through the mailing process yourself, you could end up saving your business time and money. However, you should be sure not to sacrifice quality for quantity or price, as your customers will likely be able to tell what corners you’ve cut by the appearance of your direct mail.

3 thoughts on “Direct Mail: 5 Ways to Save More

  1. avatarLorraine Duclos

    I think there are some really great points in regards to reviewing your direct mail campaigns and print costs based on weight and size and keeping your database clean. These are really important factors.

    Where I don’t agree however is if you are mailing bulk items that the other option and should be noted are the services of Mailing and Lettershop companies. If you have a meter it may weigh the piece and give you the postage but it is not qualifying you for discounted postage rates based on your data and volume. A mailing service can take care of your data clean up, validation for the post office in the US and qualify it for reduced postage. A POSTAGE METER can’t. It just prints out the postage based on the mail piece that you put on the scale. It is 1 dimensional vs having a company look out for you to save money on an ongoing basis.

    Mailing services are located in US and Canada and world wide and truly offer knowledgeable information because they specialize and interface with the post office and their regulations daily. Try one.

  2. avatarErica Bell

    Hi Lorraine,

    Thanks for reading and for your comment. I think whether or not someone is suited for a postage meter or a mailing services company is really dependent on what their needs are and it’s up to each business owner to determine which will save them the most money in the long run.

    – Erica

  3. avatarRick A Hesse

    I don’t see any mention of the Post Offices Every Door Direct Mail program (EDDM) where postage can be as low as 16 cents per piece which is lower than bulk rates and you don’t have to purchase a list.

    This type of campaign is great for retail or restaurants targeting a particular trade area.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>