Many digital-first marketers shy away from direct mail even though they know it works. If you already know postcard automation performs better than email and social media, there’s probably just one thing stopping you: cost.
The very thing that makes postcard marketing so effective also makes it expensive to get into. Postcards are tangible. Someone’s got to design them, print them, stamp them and deliver them to your destination. This costs a little more money, and has a lot more impact, than simply sending an email.
However, if direct mail is breaking your marketing budget, you’re probably doing it wrong. There are a number of ways you can save money on direct mail marketing and increase your ROI.
1. Automate Direct Mail
The first thing you should do to create a cost-effective direct mail marketing program is automate it. Use direct mail software like Inkit alongside your CRM to put postcard marketing on autopilot just like email. Postcard automation will bring in significant cost savings and performance improvements. (Click here to learn how direct mail automation works.)
You can automate direct mail when you sync Inkit with any of our CRM partners, such as Iterable shown in the screenshot above.
2. Don’t Mail People Who Don’t Need Your Product
Postage is probably a major portion of your direct mail budget. One of the easiest ways to reduce your investment cost in direct mail is simply to make sure you’re not mailing dead leads. When you automate your direct mail program as suggested above, you can make sure you’re working off the latest and greatest data in your CRM. Don’t purchase or mail a general list. Use all of the digital tools at your disposal to ensure you’re targeting an audience that is interested and able to act on your offer. When you use Inkit, there are no minimum batch sizes to meet, so you can create hyper-targeted, highly relevant direct mail for each list/segment.
3. Secure Volume Discounts for Automated Postcards
While Inkit does not require you to meet minimum batch sizes to run a postcard, we do offer volume discounts. You’ll receive lower rates per postcard the more you send. Volume is determined on a monthly basis rather than campaign batch size, so you can send multiple small campaigns and still qualify for discounted rates.
4. Refine Direct Mail Audiences and Tweak Messaging via Email
When you’re in the testing phase of a marketing campaign, we highly recommend leaning heavily on email. You can certainly run split tests via direct mail (more on that later), but you can save money by using email first to prune and segment your list and learn which messaging is strongest with your audience.
5. Run Direct Mail A/B Tests
Yes, we just told you to do your testing in email, but there are times when you should run direct mail a/b tests. Send email to find out which offers work and which leads are warm, and use direct mail to test presentations of the same offer. You can also run a channel test for different communications, email vs. direct mail, as a means of trimming your direct mail budget.
A postcard A/B test created by Ron Rowland
6. Repurpose Email and Social ads for Direct Mail
Don’t reinvent the wheel for your direct mail campaigns. Save money on the creative process by taking what works in email or social media and repurposing it for direct mail. If an offer works well in email or social, chances are it will perform even better coupled with the high open rates of direct mail. Repurposing an email promotion as a postcard is also a great way to overcome waning online engagement. Know that you’ll likely have to do some editing because direct mail should be short and to the point. (Think like social, not email, when designing a postcard).
7. Send Direct Mail to Existing Customers
If you’re automating direct mail (see Tip #1), hopefully, you’re not relying on list brokers and area mail. Rather, you’re creating sophisticated lists using data within your CRM. Don’t forget to consider your existing customers as a segment for direct mail campaigns! As a marketer, you know it is cheaper to retain a customer than prospect for a new one and existing customers are very likely to open mail from you. Send direct mail to retain, reactivate and re-engage your customers, and ultimately establish customer loyalty.
Are you ready to save money on direct mail marketing?