Is it Time to Add Print/Direct Mail to Your Marketing Mix?

We live in a multi-channel world, and print/direct mail continues to play a significant role in maintaining the balance within all marketing efforts.  It helps drive customers to your web site, creating an additional revenue stream.  If you have a web business and are considering adding print/direct mail, you are probably concerned about the rising cost of paper and postage.  That’s understandable.  However, if the numbers work for your business, adding print/direct mail is something worth considering.

Before getting started, it’s important to have a rough idea of how many unique buyers you have on your file, and how many of those buyers have purchased within the last 12 months.  Then, it’s useful to determine what your cost in the mail will be, and there are many moving parts which influence your cost; circulation level, format, # pages, paper quality and postage to name a few.  Once you have an idea, or range of what your cost per piece might be, you can determine what level of sales you need to break-even and then set goals.

We have conducted many tests for our clients, which have proven that print marketing brings in incremental sales. To make the numbers work, it’s about leveraging your buyer file, and determining what depth of buyer and prospecting circulation is needed to reach your goals.

Setting goals is often a dynamic process, once you see the key factors laid out, you might find a need to make adjustments.  To show how this might look, I have included examples of two different circulation levels below.

Circ Depth 1 is a conservative example.  Here, the goal is to test a direct mail piece, with less than $50,000 cost, and a 4.0+ ROAS.  To get to this level, the prospecting circ. from Coop Databases is relatively low, and there is no circulation coming from Vertical lists.  All mailed circulation is expected to perform above break even, and therefore the mailing is profitable.

Circ Depth 2 is more aggressive.  Here, the goal is growth, and to mail above break even overall.  To get to this level, the prospecting circ. from Coop Databases is higher, and there is circulation coming from Vertical lists.  The Coop database and Vertical lists are expected to perform a little below break-even, however the buyer results are strong enough to make the overall result fall above break-even.

*examples are based on a 32 page Slim-Jim format.

Direct Mail can be an effective addition to your existing marketing strategy.  It is important to ensure that the Direct Mail piece complements your marketing message and is integrated into your overall plan. With print marketing leveraging your buyer file and finding the right level of prospecting circulation, is the key to success.   We work with our clients to navigate this process and come up with the best plan to maximize results, increase sales and reach goals.