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Any tips on saving money with Mailers?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JimLewis, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    Since my wife works part time out of the home for an real estate appraiser, I recently found I can print labels of homeowners using any variety of parameters (zip code, house value, map grid, vicinity, etc.) from her computer program.

    So using these labels, I have begun to make some mailers that I am going to send out. I figured post cards would be the best, since you can get 4 per sheet and the postage is less. I made a kick butt post-card (check it out ). But I am finding out that this is WAY more expensive than flyers are. So I am looking for ways to cut costs.

    Below are are the costs I am paying now. If there is any way to save on these, please let me know.

    Avery Post Cards: .10
    Photocopying 2 sides: .15
    Postage Stamps: .21
    Label, ink, etc.: .01
    Total cost per post card: .47
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    08387 - Ink Jet Postcards
    Ink Jet, 5-1/2" x 4-1/4", 4 cards per sheet
    The Avery site lists them at $22.45. Is this what you are using?

    Have you ever considered buying Hammermill heavy paper stock (110 lb) at Staples? You can get a pack of 250 sheets for $9.99 and you wouldn't be limited in choice of colors. Wide variety of colors from white to all pastel colors. You would get 1000 postcards from this. You would need a paper cutter though to do this. This is the route we chose, and it has worked out well.

    BTW, I can't view your postcard. I am coming up with red X's.
  3. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 121

    One thing you should check out is thepostage rate for bulk mail in your area. For me, I can send out a piece of mail for just over 17 cents if at least 150 of these pieces are going to the same zip code and are labeled to the specs of the post office. I also have to pay a $125 permit fee and another $125 annual fee. If you send out enough the overall cost will be cheaper than the 21 cents per piece.

    I would also think that you can get the cost of the post card w' printing down.

    Since you have done the layout work, why don't you take your layout to a printing co. and ask how much they would charge to print your post cards. Also ask what they would charge to ink jet the addresses on to the card. I ahve found that ink jetting the address on to a card is much cheaper than to print a label and spend the time applying the label to the card.
  4. GreenStar

    GreenStar Banned
    Posts: 114

    jim in michigan the permit is $150. but it pay's for it's self. postcards run $.19 to mail. there is a local place here called paper plus. i'll put the address and phone number at the bottom. they are a warehouse that sells to the public. i posted a few day's ago about hooking up with a print shop. i did a deal like this before, they advertise on one side and i had the other. the problem's i have found from printing your own are the type and weight of the card stock. it just seem's to soak up the color and leaves a dull finish. my local printer uses a roll on type ink, almost looks like paint. the color's really stand out.

    paper plus:
    35655 beattie dr.
    sterling heights, mi. 48314
  5. I have my printer make me blank postcards. I get 2500 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 with my return address printed for 61.00 (as of 1/15/02). I print my ad copy inn 4 color on my epson printer then flip it over and address them in black ink. The mail list program cost about $30 at office max. No need to use label.
    1. Postcard .024
    2. Ink .06
    3. Postage .20

    I used postcards before on a limited basis to prvious customers and had good results so I tried a small mass end of May 2000. I sent 500 cards and got 12 calls, 10 of which turned into work. It was well worth the cost, especially when you consider the repeat business you will gain.
  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,840

    Oops! I fixed that. You should be able to view it now.

    Guys, I thought about getting the bulk mailing license but I decided not to for several reasons. First, I don't plan on sending out enough to make it pay for itself. In fact, we weren't going to do any advertising at all this year because we were so swamped last year from just referrals, trucks, and the few flyers we put out. Two, I don't know that I'd be sending out enough, per zip code, to be worth it.

    I like the idea of using heavy card stock. Yes, I was using those Avery Cards (above). I think using the heavy paper stock might be a good way to go. It adds another level to the labor involved. But it may be worth it.

    Thanks for all the great suggestions. Keep em coming.
  7. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491


    This year I made my own postcards instead of buying pre-printed Xmas cards. I used the Stamps.com postage program that prints the address and the postage all at once to the sheets of postcards that I made from plain cardstock. I bought the cardstock from Wal-Mart (150 sheets) for around $3.00 I believe. All you need is a decent paper-cutter, which is nice to have if you do any photo printing anyway. The Avery cards are WAY TOO MUCH!
  8. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 509

    This thread may lend some assistance.


    Also look to a local printer for quantities under 5K. They can typcially produce at very affordable rates. Also, consider dropping soon, I am hearing that the postage rates maybe going up $.03 which will bump the postcard rates as well.

    I would definately recommend looking to a door hanging service as opposed to DM. They can deliver, typically, for $.10-$.15 (including design and production) per home.


    Here we go Steelers, Here we go... one step closer to one for the thumb
  9. bruces

    bruces LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 648

    I don't know if this was a pricing error or not, but I just purchased a package of 400 Avery inkjet postcards for $5.78 at Sam's. This is itme # 8577, 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 cards, 4 per sheet.
  10. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207


    I just finished mailing 800 postcards out on bright green post card stock. I've got another 400 that will be delivered early on a Sunday by driving around. I took my copy to printer who photocopied and cut cards for me, and supplied the paper. Cost .o6 per card. This is way cheaper than printing yourself. I have paper so I can print a few if needed and paper cutter for nice straight cuts. I use a local franchise of American Speedy Printing Centers. Postcards are GREAT way to advertise.

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