direct mail marketing for catalogs, books and magazines

Direct mail marketing is a tried and true form of marketing your message about your services or products. If you have a new book, publish a magazine or even a new catalog, it is a way of staying in touch with your client or subscriber base as well as adding new clients to it. Social networking may be fine for some, but in many instances it has not paid off for all.

Direct mail, done correctly will in most cases bring you a predictable return. According to the U.S. Post office, direct mail accounts for a hefty share of all purchases from marketing efforts. The Post Office campaign which crossed all media of “if it fits, it ships” not only became a catch phrase, but accounted for 35% of all responses.  Not too bad!

First of all, considering statistics, direct mail marketing works and is not only proven, but probably one of the safest marketing tools you can invest in for spreading the word about your book, magazine or other business offering. Let’s then take a look at some of the things you need to know before jumping in as well as some “tricks of the commercial printing and direct mail trade”.

Minimum Quantity To Benefit:

The least amount to process and mail for postal discounts is 200 pieces. The more you mail to may have an effect on your postage rates, as the better chance you will fit into one of the more cost effective postal requirements for mailing.

What Are The Statistical Returns: Generally speaking direct mail marketing, like most of today’s standard marketing techniques, yields a return of approximately 2%. That does not necessarily mean sales, as you still have to convert the interest into sales. Let’s say you can convert 20% of those interested parties into sales which would amount to .004 percent. This means that on a mailing list of 10,000 names you would benefit from acquiring 40 new customers. What is that worth to you? You can do the math based on what your average customer is worth to you.

Most Cost Effective Print Media:

Choosing what to print for your direct mail marketing adventure can be based on many things. If what you are sending out to your list is a catalog or magazine then that is what you must figure out how to keep it as cost effective as possible. For example the first tier in pricing for bulk direct mailing items is based on a weight of no more than 3.3 ounces and I would not suggest that if postage savings are important to you that you take it right to the 3.3 edge. If over 3.3 ounces you bump up to the next tier and more postage money.  Therefore while also considering your choices of paper weights and magazine, book or catalog sizing as they best serve your business and customer model, you also want to understand how adjusting these items can also save you on postage. You may have considered a magazine printing utilizing 60# text, but based on your page count, 45# or 50# may be your answer to conserving postage costs.

For those not mailing their own publication, book or catalog, then the most cost effective print matter to use in direct mail marketing is the post card. 4 x 6” cards will give you the best rate and even mail first class. If you go larger, you do not benefit from the post card rate and bulk mail rates will prevail as the best pricing for you. Depending on your message, brochures, letters and other items may be appropriate but they come at increased costs. For example brochure printing may cost more it requires folding and three tabs per postal requirements. Letters need an envelope plus the cost of insertion. These are things you can way as you define your requirements.

Methods And Rates:

There are a variety of types of direct mail rates from the post office and each is dependent upon both what is to be mailed as well as the list provided to mail them with. Books can mail at a media rate based on the weight of the book and it is one of the most cost effective rates available. Rates are further determined by how you enter the mail to the postal facility. Bulk direct mail would be at the top of the pre sorted rates, and if the postcard or magazine were delivered to a mailing center rather than the local post office a better rate is had. An even better rate is available if the printed pieces are delivered to postal hubs in the location of where the mailed to routes are to be delivered to. These are available providing you are mailing to a tight geographical area.

How To Maximize A Direct Mail List:

If your product or service is generic: If anyone can benefit from your product or service than a “saturation” direct mail marketing campaign is the least cost outlay for you. You must mail to a minimum of 75% of the residents, be they business or residential in a given carrier walk route. A carrier route is one of many that the mail man delivers to in a given zip code. The type of direct mail addressing the recipient would receive would be “Dear Occupant” and you will be blanketing a given area the size of which is dependent on your choices.

If you must reach a specific audience: Should you need to aim your direct mail at a potential client within a given field or demo or to a subscription list, then you will be looking at additional postal rates due to the fact that you will be less likely to fulfill any of the best presort rates such as “saturation”. In that case all you can do is to make sure that your direct mail company is adding everything possible in the addressing to lower your rates, such as bar code and zip append.

How you can reach your intended audience for less: When you purchase a direct mail list for a specific demo or audience it can become more price, especially as compared with an “occupant” list. One way of avoiding higher costs would be to choose a zip or carrier routes in a locality that is typical of your customer model. If you are looking to appeal to upscale clients with high incomes, then an “occupant list” for Beverly Hills would get you the same results as if you chose a demographic list based on incomes.  The later would more than likely not only be at a minimum 4-5 times more costly to purchase as a direct mail list, but also not satisfy “saturation” requirements and more than doubling your postage costs.

Another feature that Printing By Design can provide to you is Co Mailing. Depending on the variables of your magazine or catalog, re pages, size, etc., it may qualify for “Co Mailing”. If it qualifies, your piece would ship to a destination hub where it may mail with a couple of million or more pieces for the absolute best rates possible. You will pay for trucking to the hub, but even after deducting that cost you are still left with a hefty savings on your postage.

I hope this information leads to your better understanding of the benefits of direct mail and how you can work within the requirements to make your project a cost effective one.

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