Direct mail is one of the most powerful marketing campaigns in use by business owners in almost every industry today.
Not only is it a cost-efficient marketing campaign but it has also been proven to be highly effective.
Direct mail offers a great return on investment (ROI). While it is part of effective marketing and advertising strategy, it’s important to know all your business costs and direct mail is one of them.
Well, how much you end up spending on a direct mail campaign will depend on many things. Some providers will offer you information about direct mail cost per 1000 units, while others will itemize their charges.
Either way, the overall cost will mainly depend on printing and material costs, labor and fulfillment as well as postage and timing costs.
Throughout this guide, you will learn the various factors that will influence your direct mail campaign pricing.
Average Cost of Direct Mail Advertising Campaigns
Now that you understand that direct mail is a good option for our business, how much does it cost? The cost will mainly depend on the goal of your campaign and what resources you have available.
On average, direct mail per piece costs can range anywhere from 30 cents to more than $20 per recipient.
As a business owner or decision-maker, you have a few options when it comes to strategizing the cost of your next direct mail campaign.
While trying to estimate the cost, you need to consider such aspects as the postcard design, mail list, printing and postage costs, as discussed below.
You may not need to pay for all of these, but at minimum, you will have to pay for printing and postage of the mail pieces going out.
In this guide, we will go over each cost factor and break down what you need to know before your next mailing campaign.
Marketing Copy Costs ($0 to $100)
Copywriters are professionals who write content that grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to buy your products and services.
Marketing copy is the carefully written persuasive content that is speaking to your audience on your direct mail piece. You can write this yourself or hire a copywriter to do it for you.
Depending on the campaign you will be advertising, it is advisable to ask your designer about adding copywriting to the project. Adding a copywriter to the project will cost you about $100.
Some of the leading providers offer design and copywriting as a bundled product for enhanced affordability.
Mail Design Costs ($0 to $100)
You have a couple of different options when it comes to creating and designing your direct mail piece. In this regard, here are some of the main mail designing options you should consider and how they will affect the cost.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
When dealing with a relatively easy project such as a repeat customer mailing, it will be more affordable to do it yourself.
In this regard, you should be able to write something up in Microsoft Word or design something for free on Google docs or Canva design tools.
Using a Template
You can easily find good templates is on Graphic River. These templates are priced between $10 and $50 each on average. In most cases, the pricing of such templates will be broken down by industry so that you can easily find what you need.
Hiring a Professional
If you need some assistance coming up with a creative design too, hiring a professional is probably the best option.
As you can imagine, hiring a professional to design your mail copy will increase the overall cost. That said, a referral will always be one of the best sources for designers.
As with anyone you hire for a project, make sure you do your due diligence before making a decision on hiring a designer. The design cost will vary from one professional to another based on their expertise, work hours and experience.
Mailing Lists Cost ($0 to $0.30 per record)
You can get free mailing lists by either using the customer information that you already collected in the business. If you do not have such data, you may need to get a targeted list from a third-party provider, which often comes at a cost.
Some direct mail providers will allow you to filter the data in a number of ways to suit your intended use. For a direct mailing list, you should expect to spend between $.09 and $.50 per record.
How much you end up paying will mainly depend on the amount if the filters you use and how specific the data is.
The amount you will spend having your mails printed will vary from one campaign to another. On average, it will cost you between $.03 and $2.00 to print a single mail.
The rate will essentially depend on such aspects as paper quality, whether it is colored or a black and white copy, paper size print quality and a number of pages.
For instance, printing 1,000 double-sided full-color postcards will cost you around .20
to .60 cents per postcard.
Postage Costs ($0.25 to $2.00 each)
The final and most expensive part direct mail cost consideration is postage costs.
This price fluctuates, depending on the current rate of postage, the amount of mail you send, and how much your mail weighs. This is where Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) becomes an option.
If you are sending postcards, the cost will be between .25¢ and .34¢. for each postcard. For brochures and letters weighing below 3.5 Oz, you will be charged about 38¢ to .44¢.
If you are sending a physical item, the price will be dependent on the weight of the item.
The cost to ship a Gift basket or Folder with your company info included could range in cost from $1.50 to $10.00. Weight and size are the largest factors for local mailing.
Currently, the rate for presorted first-class San Diego Direct Mail postage is between $0.383 and $0.428 each.
For presorted standard postage, the cost is between $0.262 and $0.291 each. This rate is often based on your list. Nonprofits have the best postage rates between $0.110 – $0.173 each.
Type of Mail
As you may be aware, there are different types of mails that may be used in a direct mail marketing campaign. The type you decide to use will also impact on your overall direct mail cost.
In this regard, here are some of the main types and how each will impact on mail pricing:
These have the benefits of visibility similar to the postcards option discussed below but cost a little more. The prices for this group really vary a lot since there are many sizes, folding options, tabbing or even fugitive glue.
Just keep in mind that the larger the mailer the more it will cost. The more folds needed as well as fugitive glue also increase the costs.
The cost for services not including postage or design is basically between $0.30 and $2.55 each. Keep in mind that specialty finishing like textures, embossing and so on will increase the prices.
The quality will also be a factor since the more you do the cheaper the price per piece.
I f you would rather use the cheaper option, postcards will be the best-suited option. The pricing of postcards will mainly depend on your preferred size, ranging from 4 x 6 to 6 x 11 in the letter rate postage category.
On average, you should expect to spend between $0.25 – $1.75 each without postage or design costs.
There are many options in letters beyond just personalized versus generic. You can have multiple inserts, window envelopes or regular envelopes. Generally, letters are the most expensive category. The cost of envelopes and inserting add up.
The cost for services not including postage or design is generally between $0.35-$3.10 each.
Keep in mind that each insert will increase your cost and matching personalization will also add to your total. The quality will also be a factor since the more you do the cheaper the price per piece.
Ready to Send Direct Mail to Your Customers?
The cost of sending direct mail marketing campaigns varies from one campaign to another. In order to estimate the cost more precisely, you need to factor in all the related costs you will incur throughout the process.
For instance, you need to budget for the design, printing and sending costs, all of which depend on several other factors. All in all, you will end up spending between $.50 and $3.00 per piece on a direct mail campaign.