How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost?
How Much Does Direct Mail Marketing Cost?

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May 4, 2023

One of the main questions we get every week is, “How much does direct mail cost?” There is not a definitive answer to this question so we are going to give you a broad answer that serves as an answer to, “How much are direct mail marketing costs?”

We will give you some perspective on the cost of direct mail marketing. We’ll also share some details about factors that impact the cost which will help you determine the actual cost of your direct mail campaign.

In general, direct mail campaigns have an average cost that is between $600 to $4500 to run. Keep in mind these numbers are skewed to a national average and the final price depends on a number of elements including the number of direct mail pieces you send out. Once we have outlined all of these factors, you will have a much better idea of how much your direct mail marketing campaign will cost.

What Factors Affect Direct Mail Costs?

There are multiple factors that can affect the cost and we want to share the most common factors that can have the biggest impact on your direct mail.

  • Quantity & Size

Depending on the volume of your direct mail, the cost of postage might be the most expensive part of your direct mail marketing cost. The final price of postage depends on the volume of the mailing. You might be eligible for a discount as bulk mail attracts bulk discounts.

The total postage pricing also depends on the size and weight of your mail piece. It is less expensive to add postage to smaller and lighter mail pieces. If the direct mail is heavier and a bigger size, the postage cost will be more expensive.

As a pricing example, printing 200 5.5×8.5 catalogs would be about $2 per catalog. However, increasing the printed quantity to 500 drops the price per catalog to around $0.60 because you are printing in volume.

  • Size of Direct Mail

The size of the paper that you choose for your direct mail piece can greatly alter the cost. You definitely need to keep the price of paper in mind when looking to design and create direct mail pieces for your campaign. Typical printing costs range anywhere from $0.05 to $2.00 per piece.

Here is a piece of advice to remember about the size of your mail piece. The smaller the mail piece, the less expensive it is for the printer to design it. On the other hand, the bigger the mail piece, the higher the price charged by the printer. Some common examples of smaller printed materials include postcards and self-mailers.

  • Finishing

There are many finishing options to choose from for your direct mail piece. Even though a certain finishing option might add that “special something” to the look of the piece, that choice can also impact the cost of your direct mail in a significant manner.  Also, a heavier coating combined with a heavy paper stock can result in a higher postage price. It’s simple to remember…the heavier the direct mail piece, the more you will have to pay for postage.

  • Design Services

Popular options for designing your direct mail is to hire a professional, use a template, or have your in-house team design the piece. Each of these options has a different price point. The least inexpensive choice is to design it in-house with someone you do not have to pay extra to perform the task. But, if you do not have enough confidence in your designer to handle the job, you may want to consider using a template or hiring a professional. The cost of templates range from $5-$10 which makes them more affordable. Professionals can deliver exceptional work but the results often come with a large price tag. The design cost needs to be calculated as part of the total project cost, but don’t forget it plays an important part in the overall success of your direct mail.

  • Integration & Tracking

If you want to integrate your direct mail with a CRM, this is another task that needs to be included in your budget. The designated amount can cover a CRM and other tools you might need while designing your campaign. In addition, integration lets you automatically send direct mail to customers in your system when you put a “trigger” in place. Once your direct mail has been sent to your mailing list, you will want to track the effectiveness of the campaign (which is an additional cost). Be prepared to include the cost of a web analytics provider to determine the effectiveness of the campaign.

Now that you know the answer to “How much does direct mail cost?” does not have a simple answer, use the pricing factors listed above when designing your mail piece. Need help? Call us.

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