If you've ever put together a bulk mail campaign in-house before, you probably know that it isn't fun.
After trying to mail my letters and postcards the “old-fashioned way,” which included the menacing tasks of:
- Printing hundreds of letters on my ink jet printer.
- Signing each letter by hand.
- Stuffing envelopes until my fingers bled.
- Licking stamps until my tongue almost fell off.
I was mentally exhausted.
I kept thinking to myself, “There MUST be a better way.”
It wasn't until I heard about an online service called Click2Mail that things started to get much easier.
Outsourcing and Automation
Click2Mail turned out to be a total game-changer.
Once I realized how much easier this would make my life – I almost had to pinch myself.
Not only did it print, stamp and mail everything for me (which literally saved me DAYS worth of time), but it charged postage rates and production costs that were significantly less expensive than if I were to print, stamp and mail all of these postcards in-house!
At the time of this writing, the cost of postage for one postcard on Click2Mail is $0.278 (meaning, you'll save 6.2¢ compared to the $0.34 cost of a postcard stamp).
This may not sound like a big deal for one postcard – but when you're mailing hundreds or thousands of postcards in one shot, this kind of savings is HUGE.Here's a quick overview of how it all works:
Understanding The Process
The first time I placed an order on Click2Mail, I had no idea what I was doing. It took me about an hour to stumble through each of the steps mentioned above, because I wanted to double and triple check everything before I submitted my order. As you can see, I fly through the process in this video above – but just know that it's okay to go slow. This isn't a race.
Once you have your list sorted and your mail piece written, it's just a matter of getting familiar with the site and learning the step-by-step process.
With most of my mailings, my recipients receive their mail about 1 week after I place the order. The time can be faster or slower depending on how large your order is and where your recipients are geographically located.
As I mentioned in the video above, I typically use 4.25 x 6 postcards with yellow paper. Judging by what I've heard from other direct mail marketers in this business, this particular size and color has a proven track record. I know others who use over-sized (5 x 8 and 6 x 11) postcards, and others who will actually go for letters-in-envelopes. Obviously, you can do whatever you want – but I like to use what has been proven to work.
There isn't any right or wrong way to do this, but personally – I've tried to weigh my cost-to-response ratio very carefully. As hard as we try to make these postcards stand out and look special, the fact remains that many of them will be viewed as “junk mail” and thrown away immediately upon arrival. Given this, I try not to dump too much money into any single postcard.
The goal is to reach as many recipients as possible. The cheaper each piece of mail is, the more people I can reach and at the end of the day – if a property owner needs what I'm trying to help the with, they'll call me. If not, they wont. End of story.
Getting the Best Response Rate
I occasionally hear from people who complain about getting a 2% response rate from one of these mailing campaigns (as if that's a bad thing).
I'll admit, I wouldn't necessarily consider 2% to be “great”, but it does happen from time to time and you should be aware that a weak response is always a possibility. Results are never guaranteed.
While this can certainly be discouraging to think about, the occasional poor response rate shouldn't cause you to give up. Sometimes a campaign will do poorly, but that doesn't mean this strategy doesn't work. This is just real world business. When it happens… Get up. Get out. Try again.
It is difficult to pin-point exactly why some campaigns do better than others. But here are some of the most common problem areas I encounter:
- The quality of the list (what kinds of recipients are you mailing to?)
- The age of the list (are you're working with old information?)
- Failing to target the most appropriate recipients (are you narrowing your list down enough?)
- A weak postcard message (what exactly are you saying to your recipients?)
- No immediate call to action (are you telling your recipients what to do? who to call? which website to visit? and WHY?)
- Failing to give recipients multiple ways of contacting you (phone, website, email, etc.)
The most effective direct mail marketers understand how to target their recipients effectively and write the best sales copy for their mail pieces. When both of these things are done well, it can make a night and day difference in the end result.
Of course, it's not always a slam dunk process, but there are definitely some easy steps you can take to ensure that you covered every angle of this process sufficiently.