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Direct Mail Marketing: Using the Mailbox for Marketing

While you may want to focus the majority of your marketing efforts on digital, postal mail marketing is a great option for areas that have a higher concentration of senior citizens who prefer traditional mail. Yes, the volume of physical mail being sent out has gone down in recent years. However, this gives you a higher chance of standing out in your target market’s mailbox. The average person receives approximately 605 emails per week, but only 16 pieces of mail per week, and when surveyed, 73% of people said that they prefer direct mail as an advertising method.

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Physical mail also has a much higher response rate than digital marketing, and also comes with a higher ROI. If you’re interested in calculating your own ROI on this marketing method, try using this calculator. You can find a full price list here. You can track the effectiveness of your postal marketing using a unique phone number, url, or discount code. Also, if you’ve decided to mail your flyers, pay close attention to the sizing as EDDM (every door direct mailing) has specific size requirements.

 

There are three types of postal mail you can send to clients:

EDDM

First off, we should explain that EDDM is an acronym for “Every Door Direct Mailing”. Using EDDM, you’ll be able to cheaply send postcards and flyers to specific geographic areas via mail targeting. You’ll even be able to filter which houses receive your mail using US Census data like age, household size, and income. EDDM is great for sending out promotional discounts, introducing yourself to your neighborhood, and more. 

How it Works

Using the EDDM Online Tool you can pick neighborhoods or zip codes, and filter them by residential vs commercial properties, age, income, and even household size using Census data. You’ll want to pick the retail option, which allows you to send 200-5,000 pieces of mail per day per ZIP Code and doesn’t require a special permit or require you to drop mail off at a large USPS mail processing center. Postage for each piece is approximately $0.192. For a great guide on EDDM, check out this resource.

Requirements

It’s important to pay attention to sizing; a standard postcard is 4 x 6 which is not EDDM compliant. There is also a per-piece weight limit of 3.3 oz, and you must provide enough mailpieces to cover everyone on the delivery route (up to a maximum of 5,000 pieces per mailing). Your mail must also be bundled in stacks of 100 (you can use rubber bands) – but you can have a quantity less than 100 if your first batch goes over that limit. For example, if you needed 382 mail pieces for a route, you could bundle them as: 3 bundles of 100 and one bundle of 82. Remember to add facing slips that include the zip code, route number, and delivery type to each bundle.
EDDM Sizing Requirements

Purchasing

Here are some of the most affordable options for postcards:

 

  • VistaPrint: 1,000 4”x6” postcards for $68.75, 6”x9” for $105.46
  • Overnight Prints: 1,000 4”x6” postcards for $65.78, 6”x9” for $172.46
  • PrintPlace: 1,000 4”x6” postcards for $52.50, 6”x11” for $173.50
  • PrintDirtCheap: 1000 4”x6” postcards for $54.00, 8.5”x5.5” for $120.96
  • 55printing: for $105.79
  • PsPrint: 1000 6.5″ x 9″ for $164.29, 5.5”x8.5” for $120.42

Direct Mailing

Unlike EDDM, direct mailing targets a list of addresses (usually these lists are purchased) instead of a geographic area, and requires a permit and annual mailing fee. A permit is usually a one-time fee of $245, with an additional annual mailing fee of $245. However, you can use standard postcards and traditional enveloped letters to help minimize the cost.

 

This will also help you target buyers by making it easier to get sales from people who have used a service like yours before. It’s better to try and get someone who already gets their lawn cut than to try and convince people to let you cut their lawn! These buyers are also more likely to talk about it competitively with their social groups which increases the likelihood of referral marketing. This is a great way to keep in touch with current customers, particularly seniors who might not be tech-savvy.

 

Here’s a few ideas:

  • Newsletters- Create a modest one-page newsletter and mail it out six times a year with useful advice and how tos, if it’s informative enough, customers might keep it instead of throwing it away for future reference
  • Holidays- Send greeting cards on holidays or postcards

Mailing Lists

It’s easy to buy a mailing list, but if you’d rather build your own, check out this great guide. A good way to find mailing lists is property appraisers. Enter into Google: (your county) property appraisal website and it should take you to your searched county’s tax appraisal website, or even zoning websites. Once there, type in a subdivision name (or whatever it sorts by) and hit “enter” to get your list.

Flat Rate Mailing

This would be considered “normal” mail, which can be sent without a stamp. Flat rate mailing can be used for mailing a bill or other types of staggered mail that wouldn’t be sent out all at once. It’s a good way to begin building a relationship, like sending customers a birthday card or requesting feedback/reviews after a job. If you choose to send this out in bulk, you may qualify for a discount but like direct mail, you’ll need a permit or can work with a mailing house or your local printer to mitigate costs.

Discounts

If your letters and cards are compatible with USPS’ automated processing equipment among other criteria, you can qualify for automation prices. You can learn more here. Note: You’ll need to be sending a minimum of 200 pieces for EDDM and 500 pieces for First-Class Mail to qualify.

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