How you can prevent MailFail!™

Whether you are publicizing an event, advertising your products, sending out an invitation or soliciting a donation, direct mail has continually proven to be an effective advertising medium. Of course, it’s not enough to mail just anything – there are lots of tricks and small “tweaks” that can drastically change the outcome for your direct mail campaign.

Recently, a client called wanting a quote on sending out a 4×6 postcard to advertise a 5,000 sq foot retail space. When asked why they were specifically asking for a 4 x 6 postcard, the answer was “Its cheaper!”

So, I asked a few questions. How much is the rent? “$5,000 a month.” And how long is the lease? “3 years.” Doing some quick math, I pointed out to him that he had a product bringing in $5,000 per month, $60,000 a year, or $180,000 over the three years of the lease. A larger advertising piece may cost a bit more, but the incremental cost is overshadowed by the greater impact of a larger, more noticeable mailer. He thought about it and agreed, switching to an oversize mailer.

RESULT: He rented the space in 30 days

Size matters! Think about the pile of mail that arrives in a typical mailbox. The size of your piece will help it stand out. It’s important to keep in mind that a larger size does not necessarily mean a large increase in price. Many times the size can be adjusted to create a bigger visual impact without a noticeable difference in cost.

Working with someone who has an understanding of postal regulations will open up possibilities of ways to alter the size of your mail piece in a manner that does not increase the project cost, maintaining your return on investment.

As soon as my customer with the rental space saw his newly designed mailer next to the original 4×6 postcard, there was no question it was the way to go. Direct mail can be very effective – as long as it’s done right. We have had clients who have doubled their returns over the prior year by making small adjustments to their mailing project!

Gerry Engelhart is the owner of Porath Business Services, a Cleveland based print and direct mailhouse specializing in Direct Mail and helping Not for profit organizations increase their fundraising results.

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