Direct Mail Campaign Costs

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  1. Direct Mail Marketing Costs
  2. Local Direct Mail Services
  3. Direct Mail Campaign Costs 2020
  4. Direct Mail Campaign Costs Definition
  5. Direct Mail Companies
  6. Direct Mail Campaign Costs Comparison

Learn how to break down the individual costs of getting the perfect direct mail marketing item out the door, so you can harness the power of direct mail on-budget. While direct mail campaigns usually only cost between 10 cents and 10 dollars per customer? Email marketing can easily cost you as much as $1,000 and up per month. Direct Mail Marketing Tips Now that you know more about the benefits of direct mail marketing, let’s move onto how you can optimize your direct mail campaigns. Direct mail marketing response rates are 37% higher than email marketing response (Direct Marketing Association, 2015) ROI is 1,255% with US marketers selling $2,095 in goods for every $167 spent on direct mail Check out the whole list of 31 essential direct mail marketing automation stats a marketer should know. The cost will mainly depend on the goal of your campaign and what resources you have available. On average, direct mail per piece costs can range anywhere from 30 cents to more than $20 per recipient. As a business owner or decision-maker, you have a few options when it comes to strategizing the cost of your next direct mail campaign.

Direct mail costs vary greatly from one campaign to another.

Your budget will be determined by mailer format, list selection, print/mail quantity, level of personalization and postage rate. It was will also depend on the agency, freelancer, consultant or other service provider you hire.

Your direct mail format drives your costs

Aside from the obvious quantity differences, what most impacts costs is the format you choose.

At the low end is the postcard which can be printed for just pennies apiece.

At the high end is the multi-insert letter package that includes a multi-page letter, brochure, additional inserts, a reply form and a reply envelope all enclosed in an outer envelope.

You may need something in between.

Which format you choose should be determined not by your budget, but by your objective. Low-cost formats work well when your offer is free and easy to understand. High-cost formats are needed when your message is complex and your offer requires a high financial commitment.

Fixed costs and variable costs

Direct Mail Marketing Costs

Whichever format you choose, your budget will be broken down into two categories – fixed costs and variable costs.

Fixed costs are those costs that remain the same regardless of the quantity being mailed. They typically include your creative costs, project management costs and account service costs – in other words, your agency costs.

Variable costs cover your mailing list rental, printing, mailing and postage. These costs change with quantity. Larger mailings provide a reduction in unit costs largely because of printing which offer significant economies of scale.

Actual costs

Actual costs for creative services can range from less than $1000 up to $10,000 and more depending on the complexity of the project and the service provider. As with most industries, large agencies tend to charge more than small agencies. And small agencies will charge more than freelancers.

Actual costs for production (lists, printing, mailing, postage) can range from 50 cents to $2-$3 per package. Again this depends on the package specifications and the quantity.

The good news is that many direct marketing applications work very well with simple direct mail packages.

Direct Mail Campaign Costs

If you’d like to discuss an upcoming campaign – or if you’re looking for ways to improve an existing mailing program – call us and let’s schedule an introductory call.

Many marketerswould love to send their print ads, event invites, and holiday greetings directly to customers and leads in their database, but don’t think they can afford the cost. Guess what, direct mail marketing campaigns are totally affordable to small and medium companies, too. Here’s how to plan your marketing budget for this.

Why Use Direct Mail Campaigns?

A direct mail marketing campaign gets your message directly to potential customers’ doorstep. There is always a possibility that somebody will just throw away the leaflet without a single look. On the other hand, a number of people would be ready to buy every time you send them a new marketing postcard.

The most attractive features of direct mail marketing campaigns are high ROI and response rates:

  • 80% of households read or browse their advertising mail (United States Postal Service, 2010)
  • Direct mail marketing response rates are 37% higher than email marketing response (Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
  • ROI is 1,255% with US marketers selling $2,095 in goods for every $167 spent on direct mail

Check out the whole list of 31 essential direct mail marketing automation stats a marketer should know. With the results so amazing, who wouldn’t want to invest? So next, let’s calculate how much of an investment is actually needed.

How Much Does a Direct Mail Cost?

Before launching a direct mail marketing campaign – or any at all, really – it’s very important to set measurable objectives for it. Depending on whether you want to promote new products you just launched or increase your brand awareness, your direct mail piece would vary, and so would your budget for it.

Usually, the cost of a direct mail marketing campaign depends on a number of factors:

  • Marketing copywriting costs
  • Mailing list selection
  • Design costs
  • Design print
  • Postage rate
  • Mail service.

Local Direct Mail Services

Quite a lot of elements to consider, which inevitably would result in higher costs if compared to email, social media or other digital channels. But the tangible results of doing direct mail right make it really cost-effective, which is much better than just cheap. Don’t you agree?

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Now, let’s focus on the typical expenses associated with a direct mail marketing campaign.

1. Marketing Copywriting Costs

The message you want to deliver to your clients or leads plays a crucial role in your mail piece. If you are creative and good at catchy phrases, you can write the message yourself. Otherwise, you’ll need to find a professional copywriter. The cost will depend on the copywriter’s level of experience, as well as the length of the copy you need.

2. Mailing List

The response rate of your direct mail marketing campaign will largely depend on the mailing list that you use. Mailing lists could be free of charge, and it is especially effective if you make lists based on your existing database. By integrating your CRM with a direct mail automation tool, you’ll be able to quickly reach your long-standing customers. However, depending on the objectives of your campaign (i.e. attracting new clients rather than introducing a new product to the existing ones), your existing lists might not be the best solution.


That’s why many companies buy or rent lists for distribution. Prices vary from broker to broker, and could be anywhere between $0.03 and $1 per record, depending on the number of contacts, quality of these contacts, and how many times you are going to use them.

3. Design

The cost of designing your direct mail will also depend on whether you have a designer in your company or if you need to hire a professional designer or agency. If you have decided to commission a design for mail advertising from a professional designer, the range of your expenses will vary between $150 and $2000, depending on the software used, the time a designer needs to complete the task, and how many times you will ask for edits. The more complicated the task, the higher the price will be.

Doing design in-house will save you some money, and there are many websites that offer free or paid templates for creating postcards or leaflets. The average price per template is around $10.

Another option is to use a custom template builder. For example, at Inkit we have a Custom Postcard Builder with features for fonts, colors, and image uploads.

4. Design Print

After you’ve designed your direct mail marketing piece, you need to print it professionally. The design print cost will depend on many factors, including paper size, paper type, paper quality, color vs. black and white, ink, 1 sided vs. 2 sided, number of pages, and quantity.

Your message might be short and simple, requiring smaller format – or a more complex one, requiring larger formats and a larger investment. Still, it’s better to choose the format based on the message you want to deliver, rather than focusing on the format cost only. As a direct mail automation platform, Inkit has a big network of printers nationwide enabling you to send 5 or 5,000 postcards at a time. With its automatic printing and shipping feature, you’ll be a single owner of the whole process and won’t need to conduct long negotiations with printing companies ever again.

5. Mailing Postage

The last, but not least (and not the cheapest one) part of direct mail marketing is the postage rate. If you want to send a postcard using U.S. Postal Service it will cost 35 cents each. The overall cost of the postage will depend on the postage rate, the size and the weight of each piece, the quantity, and destination. Respectively, the bigger, the heavier, the longer the distance, the more it will cost. Many companies use USPS mailing licenses, which are not only hard to get, but they’re expensive as well. Inkit makes this process easier: we can print your postcards and letters, and then even mail them for you.

Direct Mail Marketing Costs: Calculations

To better understand how much a direct mail marketing campaign will cost, let’s make some simple calculations. Here is an approximate list of expenses on direct mail marketing if you decide to manage everything using your own time and effort:

Direct Mail Campaign Costs 2020

Direct Mail Campaign Costs Definition

As you can see, you will spend at least $1,150 to send a simple postcard (4*6 size) to 1,000 recipients. And it’s not even mentioning the time and effort spent, as well as the cost of possible mistakes caused by human factor.

On the other hand, Inkit will save you money and headache by integrating with your CRM and automating printing and shipping processes. To learn more about how Inkit can help you with direct mail campaigns, demo Inkit direct mail software now.

Ready to captivate your customers?

Direct Mail Companies

Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.

Direct Mail Campaign Costs Comparison