Direct Mail Marketing Price Guide
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Due to the fact a direct mail campaign is made up of various distinct stages, each of which can be fulfilled by one or more companies, it can be very difficult for the first time direct mail marketer to pin down a budget.
Direct mail campaigns can vary in terms of size, what’s being sent out and to whom, all of which greatly affect the cost of the campaign. We’re therefore unable to give concrete figures in this Direct Mail Marketing Price Guide. What we can do though, is provide you with enough information to be able to confidently assess your needs, get quotes and compare different suppliers.
For these purposes we’ll break a direct mail campaign down into 3 stages: obtaining the data; assembling the material and sending the material out. Some suppliers will be able to quote you for all three elements while others will only cover single stages. We’ll treat each separately so you can decide which path to follow.
Stage 1: Direct Mail Marketing Data
If you already have a marketing database which you’ll be using for your campaign then you can skip ahead to Stage 2. For everyone else, renting a direct mail data list can be a quick way to reach thousands of targeted potential customers. Data is available from a variety of suppliers and generally falls into three categories: business data, consumer data and public sector data.
- B2B data can be selected by sector type, job title of contact, number of employees, location etc. You’ll normally have the option to rent the data for a one-off use, for multiple uses over the course of a year, or for unlimited use. Prices range from 10p per contact for one-off rental without phone number to 40p per contact for unlimited use with phone number.
- B2C data can be selected by geographical area, income, age, sex, number of children etc. Consumer data can generally only be used on a one-off basis to ensure compliance with Data Protection laws and industry best practice. Prices range from 12p per contact to 25p per contact (with telephone number).
- Public sector data is available for civil servants and other employees of publicly funded bodies. Prices can get as high as £1 per contact.
Data is commonly priced per 1,000 contacts and most companies stipulate a minimum spend of £300 - £500.
When comparing data providers it’s important to consider what assurances are offered about the quality of the data. To be successful your campaign will need the most up to date, accurate and targeted data possible. Ask how the data you’re being offered was gathered, how long ago it was collected and how often it is verified for accuracy.
If you’re looking for data to supplement your own marketing list you’ll need to de-dupe the data to avoid sending out multiple items to the same recipients. Some data providers offer to do this for you for as little as £20 per 1,000 contacts.
Stage 2: Direct Mail Marketing Material
If you have your own in-house marketing team then you’ll probably already be on top of assembling material for inclusion in the send out. If not, there are many companies that can help you do this. Because coming up with eye catching designs is essential for catching your audience’s attention and sizzling copy essential for holding it, finding good creative input is key. Marketing firms can help design and write sales letters or marketing brochures for as little as a few hundred pounds. Be sure to choose a company that fits with your brand image and ethos to ensure your marketing campaign stays on message and reinforces your other marketing activities.
Next you’ll need to print your marketing material. It’s recommended that you address recipients personally so you’ll need to do a mail merge using your own marketing list or the one you’ve rented. If the number of recipients is low enough it’s probably easier to do this in-house and just outsource the printing of flyers, brochures etc. Printing prices can be found in our Guide to Printing Costs. Otherwise, a direct mail fulfilment company can print all your material, stuff envelopes and perform the send out, but that’s Stage 3…
Stage 3: Direct Mail Marketing Fulfilment
If you’ve assembled your material in-house you can send it through the Royal Mail in the normal way. Look at the Royal Mail website for more information on direct mail accounts that offer special price deals for companies performing regular campaigns.
If you’re looking to combine elements of Stages 2 and 3 you can hire companies which offer to print, assemble, send and track direct mail campaigns for you. They can even help you manage your direct mail marketing lists and set up future campaigns via a web based interface. These kinds of services are more economical for the heavy users of direct mail marketing who can negotiate deals for repeat custom.
Prices for fulfilment start from £500 per campaign, rising with number of recipients, international mail requirements, tracking services provided etc.
Now that you’re familiar with the three stages of direct mail marketing as outlined above you’re ready to start gathering quotes for the elements you require, pin down a precise budget and compare different suppliers.