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If You Think Direct Mail Marketing Is too Expensive, You’ll Want to Read This

Direct mail marketing is too expensive.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that, I’d have enough money to do an entire direct mail marketing campaign, hit ROI AND give everyone who said it TWO dollars back…just to shut them up.

 Anyone who thinks of ANY kind of marketing as an expense isn’t thinking like a marketer. They’re thinking like the accountant who needs a 77,348 page spreadsheet just to decide that the marketing budget needs to be cut by 20% because of the economy.


Marketing is the LAST thing you should cut, and if you think of direct mail marketing as an expense, it’s probably because you either:

1.       Tried it, but did it the wrong way and lost money.

2.       Are too scared to try it because you’re thinking of it as an expense instead of an investment.

The Only Two “Costs” of Direct Mail Marketing

There are only two costs when it comes to direct mail marketing. There’s the money people lose when they do it wrong, then there’s the opportunity people miss by never using direct mail marketing because they think it’s too expensive.

Direct mail marketing has always worked for the people who know how to:

1.       Target a small and narrow demographic instead of sending out a bulk blast to a generic list.

2.       Use first class mail so their pieces will actually get delivered and read.

3.       Use a multi-step campaign instead of just sending one mailing, crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.

4.       Make a solid limited time offer.

5.       Hire a good copywriter instead of trying to write the copy themselves.

That’s the checklist for your next (or first) direct mail campaign. If you do that, direct mail marketing will bring you back MORE money than you invested in the first place. Where is the expense in that? Of course, you could just stick with SEO, email marketing and PPC. But that raises an interesting question about the cost of online marketing as opposed to the cost of direct mail marketing.

Is Online Marketing Really Less Expensive Than Direct Mail?

If you really think social media marketing, email marketing and search engine optimization are cheaper than direct mail marketing, you’re still not thinking like a marketer. You’re thinking like the accountant again. The “cost” of marketing should never be the issue of discussion. The issue should be the ROI.

A few years back, I read a book called “Rich Like Them.” It was written by a man who had spent nearly two years knocking on doors of wealthy looking houses and asking to interview the residents. His job was to find out how they’d gotten rich. You’d be amazed at the counterintuitive insights in that book, but one that stood out for me was this:

Poor people ask “how much does it cost?” while rich people ask “how much will it make me?”

I challenge you, in all your marketing, to start asking this question and seeing where it leads you. Online marketing is great, but will it make you a return? Yes, direct mail requires a bigger investment for printing, buying the list and sending to the list…but how much MORE will it make you because of its higher conversion rate?

One thing is for sure, you’ll have a lot less competition using direct mail because most of your competitors are still stuck in the “how much does it cost?” mindset and trying to read their prospects through the noise of the information superhighway.

Take a hint from the people who have money. If you want to be rich like them, stop thinking about cost and start thinking about how to reach ROI.

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