Direct Mail vs. Insert

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GreenMonster, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    My postcards are about done and I'm having second thoughts on sending them direct mail through the purchase of a mailing list.

    Basically, I was looking at sending about 2000 postcards direct with a purchased mailing list. The disadvantage to this option is high cost per postcard for postage (.23 bulk), cost of the mailing list, and limited design options for the back of the card.

    Alternatively, I could put the flyers in the local paper for .05 per postcad. so, the advantage is cheaper per postcard price, so I can send out several more (I'll do 4800), no mailing list to purchase, and my design options on the back are limitless.

    FWIW, the newspaper I will send them in typically only has two inserts per week. One is an appliance store, the other is a car dealership.

    Whadda y'all think?
  2. CNYScapes

    CNYScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 916

    I like the insert idea, Ive been doing them for years. The cost of direct mail is just too high per piece for me. Good Luck.
  3. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    I do a paper insert also ours costs $34 per thousand inserted with a minimum of 5 thousand.This is the second year that I will be doing it,last year was not that great bad we had very bad weather the day that the paper went out and the flier I used last year was just a basic b/w on green paper.i think you would see good results with an insert because of your layout and the colors you have...It will definitely get someone's attention whether mailed to them or an insert.
    Good luck with you decision.
  4. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,397

    $.23 for postage sounds really high. I am doing some direct mail and it is costing about $.27 for everything - postage, postcard, mail list, etc. I am hiring another company to do the distribution - I just give them the postcards.

    The postage for standard mail is $.12

    Check your yellow pages under mailing services.
  5. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    Mark, the only disadvantage to inserts is you don't have the ability to taget your mailing. With the mailing list you can send the postcart to certain neighborhoods you want to do business with. Inserts, you may end up on a route that has a lot of appartments.

    I have done both and targeted direct mail worked much better.

    As for bulk mail, look towards Kinkos or the UPS store. I believe they offer bulk mailing services for a fee.

  6. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,676

    We go one better we not only target certain neighborhoods but we hit the homeowners. Not the kids or the renters the cost for direct mail is much higher but I am doing around 4,250 letters this year if I wanted the same result through flyers or inserts I would need to send 40,000-50,000 for the same results. When I work out the numbers the price comes in about the same but it saves allot of aggravation. A negative to paper inserts is unless its a free paper many people will not get it. From what I have seen work for us I know that if I wanted to spend the cash I could add 300 plus accounts in a season the trouble is building foremen that can be relied on fast enough. That I have not figured out yet but when I do the grow will be there for us.
  7. lawn_jockey

    lawn_jockey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 225

    If you have already paid for the printing and have the product ready to go. Go get them and put them in door jams. Don't even bother with the dye cutting. I had 3 guys put out 1200 in about 5 hours. I received about 15 to 16 new weekly customers from them and it is only day three after the flyers went out. Labor was $120 and everyone knows that you get a bigger return off door hangers than from direct mail.
  8. lawn_jockey

    lawn_jockey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 225

    I used money mailer to send out 10,000 pieces of direct mail. I got 3 phone calls and 2 sign ups. Now I just use them for the full color printing of flyers cause no matter where you look you probably can't beat the prices of printing. They designed my flyer too for the bulk mailer.
  9. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Kelly, the mailing list I would purchase would be just homeowners. It's prolly similar to what you are doing -- it's based on income, age, years in home, zip code (not drilled down to "neighborhoods"). Like Sodking says, it's a targeted mailing.

    I'll have to get a little more info on bulk mail I guess. I thought it was around .23 each.....

    I figured if my hit rate was not as great with the insert I might still be ok, as I'd be sending out 2.5x as many for less $$$$. But if the rate is as Kelly describes, it doesn't sound effective.
  10. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,676

    I did something like that our first year and it worked quite well it had flaw though the list was all over the place say we picked 350K homes then all the 349k homes on the street were missed. The second year we built our own list through some sort of reverse directory youÂ’d have to ask my partner I don't know how he did it. That worked even better but the flaw there was if they had an unlisted number we could not bring up their info. This year we bought our lists from the towns them selves every single property in the town is on the list we just had to pick our streets and away we went so instead of years gone past were I might get 40-60 names on Pond Point Ave this time I got all 106 it has it's advantages if you want to really thicken up your list.

    The cool part was the towns built the list according to our requests in the format we asked for so we got addresses name and mailing addresses so we can target businesses as nearly every one here is a rental property.

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