Direct Mail Marketing Beginner’s Guide, Part 3: Establishing a Marketing Budget

By: Andrew Glover
March 2, 2020

Building a successful organization always involves successfully marketing your product, your service, and your brand. In the past, many organizations guessed their way through their marketing budgets. This trial and error approach is both expensive and ineffective. 

Now, organizations are learning how to use a variety of digital tools to deliver a more accurate estimate of how much money to devote to marketing. But the number of resources and examples available can make things confusing. Here’s a simplified look at how your organization can establish a marketing budget for its next direct mail campaign.

Where Does Marketing Money Go?

The budget goes toward every aspect of your marketing campaign, including material design, written content, graphics, ad spending, data analysis, and direct mail. You need to establish who and what needs to be included in your marketing budget as you create your estimates.

With direct mail marketing budgets, in particular, your costs can include the number of mailpieces you’re sending, what type of direct mail you’re designing (such as brochures, postcards, letters, or reports), and whether you’re employing other strategies, like geo-targeting and QR codes.

Here are two factors that play a role in direct mail campaign costs:

Fixed Costs: Fixed costs are costs that stay the same no matter how many mail pieces you send. Examples of this include graphic design or copywriting. 

Variable Costs: Variable costs are costs that change with the quantity. Variable costs can include the postage, printing, mailing lists, and the mailing itself.  

Budgeting is a complicated process, and many organizations rely on their previous year’s budget as a base in estimating their current year’s budget. Some marketers also use their return on investment (ROI) when preparing the appropriate budget.

Many organizations underspend on their member-facing efforts. One of the most dependable ways to make sure you spend your marketing money well is to develop a thorough marketing strategy and come up with a solid marketing plan. Following a well-defined strategy helps ensure you spend marketing funds wisely and appropriately.

How Much Does It Cost To Send Direct Mail?

Direct mail is very versatile, which leads to the price fluctuating a bit with each campaign. No two projects are identical. Several factors go into sending out a direct mail campaign that could cause variances in direct mail price points. The primary factors that provide pricing details are how many people you are mailing to and what you want to send. The total cost depends on the type of mail piece you choose, how intricate the piece is, and the size or quantity of your mail piece.

The more labor involved in a piece, the more expensive it will be. For that reason, a simple postcard will always be a cheaper alternative to a classic package because a classic package has more components, like an envelope, letter, response form, and sometimes a brochure. Based on your ideal budget, determine how many pieces will work best to get your message apart. Some campaigns are best with a postcard, whereas others may require a letter or more.

What Kind Of ROI Can I Expect From Direct Mail?

The ROI for a direct mail campaign is higher than any other marketing channel. Direct mail often receives response rates above 4%, making it superior to almost every digital marketing advertising method. By comparison, email marketing tends to reap around a tenth of a percent. 

Let Valtim Help With Your Marketing Budget And Plan

A marketing plan includes everything from understanding your target market and your competitive position in the market. Your project also includes how you intend to reach that market and differentiate yourself from your competition. Factoring in your marketing budget allows you the ability to grasp where your plan starts and ends for your campaign. Valtim can help your organization establish a marketing plan around your budget. 

Direct mail campaigns range from only a few cents per piece to a few dollars per piece. Many factors determine the price, such as type, postage, and quantity. By working with a direct mail supplier like Valtim, you can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your direct mail campaign costs. Contact Valtim to have your mail pieces designed, customized, and supplied. 

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