Direct Mail Advertising Pros and Cons

Updated: Mar 5

Have you heard of direct mail advertising before? If you have and never used it before, I bet you’d like to know how effective direct mail is. Let me explain, direct mail advertising pros and cons consist of the cost to run your campaign.

Advertising through direct mail costs more. You have to pay for the materials. Mailing out thousands of pieces of mail will add up. You must have some money ready to invest when considering direct mail advertising.

Pros of Direct Mail:

  • Direct mail still works

  • Direct mail can be targeted marketing

  • Older folks prefer direct mail

  • Direct mail could be fun getting checks in the mail

  • The bigger the direct mail list the bigger the outreach

Cons of Direct Mail:

  • Direct mail is more expensive than online advertising

  • You would need an address list of people you know for a fact buy from your product/service industry

  • Your direct mail can get thrown in the trash if its packaging and headline is frail

Key takeaways: Direct mail still works and older folks love it. Direct mail advertising should go targeted towards the right prospects. Direct mail advertising costs a suave chunk of cash. Your direct mail could go right in the trash if your envelope and headline is not compelling.

Is Direct Mail Advertising Effective?

About a week ago I was on the phone with my mentor and we discussed whether direct mail is legit or not. I was like “Gary, is direct mail advertising effective?”

My mentor responded with, “Josh, direct mail is king!” My mentor grew up in the era where direct mail was king! What’s more surprising is that direct mail is neglected. If you know how to do direct mail, don’t neglect it. My mentor discussed with me that the older generation trusts direct mail more than online advertising.

That’s just the way it is. Older folks don’t want to put their credit or debit cards to test on the web - - they (some) don’t trust the internet.

Direct mail advertising is effective if you have a list of prospects you know have purchased advertising in the past. Once you have a list of 1000 prospect you know have used advertising in the past, you send out your 1000 pieces of direct mail.

Let’s say out of the 1000 pieces of direct mail you have sent out… a small 10 people want to work with you. 10 new clients is very good! Imagine if out of the thousand people on the list you close 30 clients… do you see the potential of direct mail advertising?

In short, direct mail is effective! If you know what you are doing, direct mail can get you that market which doesn’t use the internet except the ol’ fashion payment with check through the mail.

Have you ever received a fancy looking credit card upgrade offer through the mail? That right there is a credit card company attempting to sign you up for the “upgrade” - - through direct mail.

Key takeaways: Direct mail is still competent up to this day. A targeted list could land you a prodigious amount of new clients. Observe offers you get in the mail and discover that direct mail is alive and well. The older crowd of homeowners still use direct mail and prefer writing checks.

Direct Mail Advertising Costs

Many factors can get your head spinning in heed to direct mail advertising cost. Let me make it simple for you, if you don’t have the money to do direct mail there’s no point for you to read further. Let’s say you have a list of 500 prospect for direct mail advertising - - It will cost you $0.50 cents per sales letter. Ok lets do the math 500 x $0.50 = $250. And that’s in letters alone.

Time to get in the cost of your direct mail design cost. It’ll cost you $0.45 cents per piece to have your mail customized. Math time again - - 500 x $0.45 = $225. Your campaign subtotal will come out to $475 for 500 pieces of targeted direct mail advertising.

Not bad eh? It’s cheaper than I would have thought it was. But look- remember the direct mail dollar secret. You know, where you make a crispy one dollar bill visible through the envelop window? Now if you risk this technique and go all in - - your subtotal comes out to $975.

Not the cheapest but it’s so important that your mail goes opened! Your going mail opened is the most important factor of direct mail!

Remember, the next time your mail comes in with promotional offers - - companies paid a great fee to send out thousands of pieces of direct mail.

Key takeaways: Direct mail costs an average of $475 for 500 pieces. Make sure your direct mail list is targeted towards qualified prospects. The one dollar per envelope trick works but it’s expensive. I learned the one-dollar trick from Ca$hvertising book and it’s one of the most valuable direct mail advertising secrets in the book.

Direct Mail Advertising Examples

I’ll share with you at least two direct mail advertising examples to get you familiar with the business.

Have you received a sales letter that looks like the image above? Guess what, the company that sent it over to your home sent that same letter to thousands of other targeted prospects. The other day I had an auto salesman send me a letter like the example above. The salesman was attempting to me to trade in my pick-up for a newer one.

The tactic which was used on me was meant to keep me a customer if I came through with a trade. The dealership would then have me leasing a new truck for another 2 years or so. Luckily, I knew what the dealerships sales letter was meant to do.

Your direct mail envelope should look like the image above. Of course, you can customize your envelope to look much better. But remember you should make sure your envelopes have a window to give your prospect a powerful sneak peak into your message.

Create curiosity for your prospect to open your mail and you should be well on your way to spawning some new clients. Do your best on composing your sales letter and make sure that your headline is triumphant and captivating.

Key takeaways: Take a look at some of your mail. It could be insurance offers or credit card offer that arrived in your mail. You’ll quickly notice, there’s a sales letter inside these grand looking pieces of mail. Now, you will notice from now on these mailing pieces are promotional offers meant to rake in more cash for their companies. Last central point - - make sure your envelopes have a sneak peak window to secure your mail getting opened.

Direct Mail Advertising Tips

If I could give you a direct mail advertising tip it would be to get alluring envelopes. You have to get your mail opened!

There is no getting around the fact that you have to get you mail opened. Have you heard that the headline is the most important part of your copy? In direct mail getting your mail opened is the first and foremost important action you can get… and then the headline comes next.

Reading one of my favorite advertising books Ca$hvertising, I learned a great tip! It’s an expensive tip but I’ll share it with you. Get a envelope designs where you can see what’s in the envelope. Second, get a bunch of one dollar bills and have it displaying in the envelope window. Who will throw away the mail!?

The only downside to this technique is the spending. For instance, let’s say you mail out 1000 pieces of direct mail advertising - - that’s $1000 extra dollars. $1000 extra dollars for the dollar bill techniques to get your mail opened.

Key takeaways: Make sure your envelopes have a transparent window. Try the one dollar trick at own risk. I highly recommend the book Ca$hvertising for exploring advertising techniques.

Run Campaigns Get More Clients

Hopefully some of the date I’ve shared with you helps guide you in the right direction. I’m sure you get plenty of mail through-out the week, and if direct mail didn’t work you probably wouldn’t see large amounts of mail from successful companies. Direct mail advertising works and the older crowd still has a passion for direct mail.

Direct mail advertising can cost $475 with USPS for mailing 500 pieces. Never forget to make your envelope inexorable thus convincing your prospect the he/she must open your envelope.

The one-dollar trick works but don’t take my word for it, I got the tip from Dr. Drew E. Whitman and his book Ca$vertising. If you’re an esteemed advertiser, put your skills to the test and run a campaign. I think you’d be surprised with the outcome of your first campaign.

You have been acquainted with direct mail for years. Just remember all of the pieces of promotional mail you have gotten throughout your life.

I thank you for reading this far. What is your experience with direct mail? Has it worked for you in the past? I would love to hear about your experience with direct mail in the comments. Also, if you have some feedback comment below I’d be glad to hear it. Best wishes!

P.S. Success stories and bad experiences with direct mail are welcome in the comment section. Comment now.


Josh T.

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