Reduce Direct Mail Production Costs Without Sacrificing Effectiveness
Everyone in business is looking for ways to reduce costs these days. But reducing direct marketing efforts doesn’t have to be the answer. The good news is that you can reduce direct mail production costs and still develop relevant, attention-getting direct mail by paying attention to four areas in the process: your materials, your production choices, the use of data, and a true understanding of current postal rules and regulations.
1. The use of materials. Aside from the “green” considerations that are of vital importance today, you can actually spend less if you move to a lighter-weight paper for your piece; e.g., a 20-lb BRE will cost less than a 24-lb BRE. Additionally, it is often less expensive to choose an alternative to the traditional, tightly specified, branded papers. For example, using your printer’s in-house paper can save money because it is already part of the printer’s inventory.
2. Getting a handle on production costs. When you are assembling the specs for your direct mail piece, there are creative ways to achieve the same impact for less. For one, you might try changing from an envelope package to a self-mailer. Or consider reducing the number of preprint or lettershop versions by creative use of variable laser text on the main document. So much is being said about the value of personalization and color when it comes to business communications. And I believe it to be true. However, many marketers have been sold on personalized, digital-color applications without considering the costs versus the ROI. Often a preprinted, four-color form using black laser text can garner the same response for dramatically less money.
3. Good use of the all-important data. Work at mailing fewer but more targeted pieces based on better data. Mail smarter by taking the time to look closely at your list, cutting out the lowest-performing part. By eliminating the lower tier (those predicted less likely to buy or take action), you save both time and money while gaining the latitude needed to focus on those customers that truly deserve your time and attention.