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Anyone use direct mail for marketing?

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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26
TX
If anyone still uses direct mail for any marketing I wanted to share a company we have had very good results from. This is not an affiliate thing or money making thing its just that they have given me good service & low prices.
www.brokerageprinting.com
Right now they are doing a 10k mailing list for me for less than 400.oo this is a jumbo postcard, printed 2 sides in color. They have done other projects for me and I have been pleased with everything they have done.
Janet
 

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Nate

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 24, 2007
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Thanks Janet. I needed something like this for February or March. I'll take a look... and might come back to you with a question or two ;)
 
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nomadjanet

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
310
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TX
They merge the address from your excell file list & forward them to the mailing house and we pay for bulk rate instead of regular. They handle it all and we pay them no mark up on the postage.
Janet
 

Micklee

New Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
20
2
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NJ
I've been using Vista Print and have been very happy with them. I followed the link above to check out their pricing, but couldn't pull up a price list. Is there another website addy for them without having to submit all my info?
 

randallg99

Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
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Janet and all those interested

we use mail houses and printers from all over the country and typically send out 30-40k pieces per month and we also send out approx 120k circulars per month. Some thoughts off the top of my head that may help save money and increase effectiveness....

1. largest sized postcard without penalty is 6 x 11
2. significant savings in postage is made by purchasing `saturation` lists (someone in San Antonio just turned me onto this... let me know if you want her name/number)
3. use labels on the envelope/address that are creative... instead of `Current Resident/Occupant,` maybe something like `happy homeowner,`... something eye catching and creative
4. when using 3rd class, you are best having it mailed from local post office by having the printer fedex the actual post cards to the local post office.
5. if using envelopes, our best response has resulted from cursive writing for labels and the letters would also have
6. always include dates to create urgency for response
7. always make separate checks for postage to guarantee delivery... you never know or need to even trust the financial health of printer
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
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Where do you all get your mailing lists from? Are they from existing customers and people who've expressed interest and shared information or can you/do you buy the information of customers from marketing firms?

Janet and all those interested

we use mail houses and printers from all over the country and typically send out 30-40k pieces per month and we also send out approx 120k circulars per month. Some thoughts off the top of my head that may help save money and increase effectiveness....

1. largest sized postcard without penalty is 6 x 11
2. significant savings in postage is made by purchasing `saturation` lists (someone in San Antonio just turned me onto this... let me know if you want her name/number)
3. use labels on the envelope/address that are creative... instead of `Current Resident/Occupant,` maybe something like `happy homeowner,`... something eye catching and creative
4. when using 3rd class, you are best having it mailed from local post office by having the printer fedex the actual post cards to the local post office.
5. if using envelopes, our best response has resulted from cursive writing for labels and the letters would also have
6. always include dates to create urgency for response
7. always make separate checks for postage to guarantee delivery... you never know or need to even trust the financial health of printer
Great advice. If and when I choose to go down the direct mailing path, I'll revisit this post. Very helpful, thanks!
 

randallg99

Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
1,390
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>>>Where do you all get your mailing lists from? Are they from existing customers and people who've expressed interest and shared information or can you/do you buy the information of customers from marketing firms?<<<

our direct mail program targets all of the above... we use promotions to obtain names, we also have an existing mailing list of current clients and lastly we buy lists based on zip codes, hh income levels, age and other demographic measures. The actual promotion and type of marketing campaign determines our preference.
 

Yankees338

Bronze Contributor
Jul 24, 2007
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Where do you go to buy lists from? And...what do you usually pay for the information?
 

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randallg99

Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
1,390
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Where do you go to buy lists from? And...what do you usually pay for the information?
mail houses/print shops has access to Donnelly and other data compiling companies.... the information is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of the entire project.

the cost of the entire project really depends on the objectives... if mailing to a current client base that is familiar with product and services offered, you can choose to be more personal and use more writing without having to offer discounts and/or give-aways.

But on the other hand, to gain more marketshare, a more aggressive offer and perhaps more bolder statements are necessary to gain peoples attention who may not be so familiar with your company/services/products... but the cost of a special list becomes a necessary part of the marketing plan.
 

Peter2

Fastane Legend. RIP.
Aug 2, 2007
413
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Palm Beach, FL
This is something I have a lot of experience with. In one of my businesses, I had my own printing/mailing department. I used to outsource it, but quickly changed to doing everything in house. We printed and mailed out 50-60 million postcards/year.

There is a lot of money to be saved if you know all the little ways of doing it.
 
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nomadjanet

nomadjanet

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
310
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26
TX
So glad you guys had an interest in this, thought maybe people had stopped using direct mail in this electronic age. :)
You have some very good points & tips on when to send and how to change the options.

We send out quarterly to our current clients about 8k 4 page full color newsletter.
We also send out 10k per month various offers prospecting for new clients. We use a rented list & have it verified by the mail house before sending we have had pretty good results on low returns(bad addresses). Nothing is perfect. We currently have a media advisor who provides us with media pieces designed for our industry. All of the above is for the plumbing & service business.
I really have not used direct mail for real estate except for a few controlled mailings that were to small to use a mail house for.
As far as printing your own, I am sure it is possible to save money if you have the equipent and people to do the job but this is not our specialty & we save money by using others.
Janet
 

Micklee

New Contributor
Sep 4, 2007
20
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NJ
Randallg99,

Is a 'saturation' list a targeted demographic list?

For those just starting out, on a budget or with small biz's you can drive through local targeted areas near your location and simply write down the addresses. When you get a customer from this list you can ask them if they know their neighbors last names and start filling in blanks. My business doesn't take a lot of volume to keep us very busy and this has worked for me. You can check zip codes on usps.com and address them to 'Our Neighbor' or whatever works for you.
 

randallg99

Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
1,390
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Randallg99,

Is a 'saturation' list a targeted demographic list?

Not entirely the same thing.... the saturation list will vastly cover (90%+/-) the households within the `carrier route sort` while the demographic list is designed to pick and choose the dwellings that fit your consumers profile.

Parameters can be set for a mailing using demographics that can be as basic as such as household income levels and can be complex such as number of children in a household or even if a woman is in the household.

Postage is generally cheaper if the Carrier Route Sort is saturated, but you will send out more pieces than a targeted mailing since you will eliminate certain households depending on the criteria you seek.
 
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Nate

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 24, 2007
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Utah
Can you address the mailings according to what your offer is? ie. Dear home owner, Dear parent, Dear avid golfer, etc.? Would that get a better rate of people actually opening the letter?

I have a golf product. Any idea what kind of demographic? I would at first think the more upper class.... but then maybe they have too much money to be looking for deals, so maybe middle class. I really think that lower income levels just don't have the golfers that other areas do... would they?
 

randallg99

Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
1,390
179
92
NJ
Can you address the mailings according to what your offer is? ie. Dear home owner, Dear parent, Dear avid golfer, etc.? Would that get a better rate of people actually opening the letter?
Yes, you can customize the letter and different mail houses have different services... I suggest using local mailing houses for convenience, so you will have to spend time searching and investigating.

For each separate mailing, you can change the label and the content of the post card or the letter. The printer/mail house accordingly adjusts pricing but it may be worth it. Response has typically been better when the consumers name is printed on the envelope, is in a hand-written-like writing, and the consumers name is written on the letter/piece as Dear John Smith....

One important thing - the consumer is having a much harder time absorbing information due to time starvation. If you send a letter, it had better grab them immediately and convincingly. If memory serves correctly, it takes just 2 seconds for the average consumer to determine the worthiness of the letter/postcard before deciding to open or delve further or the customer will simply toss away without any recollection of it.

I have a golf product. Any idea what kind of demographic? I would at first think the more upper class.... but then maybe they have too much money to be looking for deals, so maybe middle class. I really think that lower income levels just don't have the golfers that other areas do... would they?
I would not be afraid to deliver the pieces to the upper middle class... Everyone likes a bargain, and that is everyone except for perhaps the super rich who only make up less than 5% of the population.

I see mostly men playing golf... perhaps the golf products you offer should target male dominated households and you can avoid single mother households? (I am speculating, but I believe that single mothers dont have the leisure time to spend 5-6 hours on a course shooting a round...)

If you speak with a mail house, or a company like ADVO* (marriage mail company), ask them these specific questions you would be surprised at the kind of data they can provide. You dont have to use this specific company, but you can investigate their services and in the process have access to their data which is pretty intense.

Peter mentioned he was involved in printing... maybe he can chime in with his expertise with some ideas.

*I am not in any way shape or form advocating ADVOs services, but they are an example
 

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