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The Real Cost of Direct Mail Advertising for Your Business

Direct mail advertising is one of the most traditional forms of advertising. Various marketing materials, including brochures, catalogs, postcards, newsletters, and flyers were used for decades. These approaches used to have some success and a relatively good return on investment (ROI). Direct mail promised low initial capital, high distribution, and strong returns. In 2015, of more than 150 million direct mail promotions sent, 42% of respondents read or scanned the pieces.

Today, more people are conscious about the environmental impact of mass paper use, and they depend on the Internet. Businesses are finding better alternatives to direct mail promotions, such as Internet and digital marketing.

Let’s consider the various costs of direct mail and whether this approach is most effective in the current “online age:”

Design

Both text and design have to be drafted and created, often requiring the services of an expert graphic designer. If you’re attempting to create the materials yourself, you can use the following economic approaches:

  • Text – You can draft this yourself if you have staff who are gifted with marketing and promotional writing skills. For this, you only require basic software like Microsoft Word.
  • Templates – Thousands of templates are available online, costing  between $10 – $30 (on average).

If you choose to hire a professional, an expert ad designer will cost between $50 – $150 per hour for consultation and actual creation of the design.

Will your direct mail ad have a strong ROI?  Despite the time and effort you invest, direct mail can end up costing more than you expect. More and more potential customers throw unwanted mail in the garbage or recycling, leaving your efforts unseen.

DESIGN

Direct Mail Services

A direct mail provider is required to use their service and mailing list. Depending on your requirements, this expense ranges  from $1700 to $5000 (or more). Many direct mail services charge a flat rate that repeats on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis, multiplying your marketing budget exponentially.

DIRECT-MAIL-SERVICES2

Media

Media refers to the paper, envelopes, ink, and other physical materials needed to make your direct mail campaign possible. If the service you engage manages these supplies, you can expect to pay $60 for an average batch. However, if you run multiple campaigns with different designs, materials, and mailing lists, the final cost can increase by $1000 (or more) each month.

Cost To Continue

Continuously running a direct mail campaign often involves added fees on top of what you initially budgeted. Additional expenses include redesigns, rebranding, new supplies, and many more unexpected fees. Direct mail efforts can increase year after year, with diminishing returns.

COST-TO-CONTINUE

The Alternative

Direct mail ads are a form of local advertising, but there are better strategies to reach your target market. The Internet provides an opportunity for businesses to adverstise their products and services at an affordable price, with a high ROI. An effective online marketing strategy is local SEO (search engine optimization). SEO can promote your business far more effectively than direct mail. The average person accesses the internet at home 17 hours a week. You can reach your target market in an instant, without spending thousands of dollars each month, not knowing if your mail piece is in the trash.

Direct mail advertising is a “one-shot” effort, with dubious rewards. Local SEO and Internet marketing cost far less and have proven results. Local SEO Search Inc. has a full team of Internet marketing experts who can build your business at a fraction of the cost direct mail requires. Start your online marketing campaign today; call us! (416) 888-8756.

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