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Direct Mail Tool

This Direct Mail Tool is designed specifically with our small business customers in mind.
With the help of this easy worksheet you can:

  • Determine the response rate you'll need to recover the cost of investing in a direct mail program.

  • Learn useful tips and techniques for creating a professional, polished, catchy mail piece that won't break the bank.

  • Generate a summary profit/loss statement to help you determine the impact that your direct mail campaign would potentially have on your "bottom line".
Let's get Started!

Please fill out the short worksheet below. For explanations of terms and help calculating each section, please click on the included links.


1. How many contacts would you like to make with your direct mail piece?

What will you be mailing? Choose from the list below. Click on your choice of format and decide how many pieces you wish to send. Enter the corresponding cost-per-piece in the box below.

2. Cost per piece:
3. Additional costs (Creative / Other):
4. Profit Per Sale:
5. Expected Response Rate Percentage, i.e. 8.5% should be entered as .085 :
6. Average sales value:



Direct Mail Terms

Contacts:

Each mail piece sent to a customer or prospect is a unique contact with that customers or prospect. If you plan to mail more than once to the same customers or prospect, you should count each mailing as a separate contact.

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Cost per piece:

This is the cost of each piece of mail including all materials, printing, postage, addressing, list rental and any other costs that are variable and determined by the volume of mail to be sent.

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Post Card:

This is a 5 x 7" postcard printed on both sides. The price estimates below assume 2-color printing and bulk mail postage rates. Please adjust your costs if you plan to mail first class, or print in more than 2-colors.

Number
of Postcards
500 1000 5000 10,000 25,000 50,000
Cost Per Piece     $2.50 $1.44 $.59 $.45 $.39 $.36

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Letter:

This is an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper printed on both sides and inserted into a standard #10 size envelope. The price estimates below assume 2-color printing and bulk mail postage rates. Please adjust your costs if you plan to mail first class, or print in more than 2- colors.

Number
of Letters
500 1000 5000 10,000 25,000 50,000
Cost Per Piece     $3.58 $2.00 $.68 $.50 $.41 $.38

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Letter/Brochure/Order Form:

This includes an 8 1/2 x 11" letter printed on both sides, a fold out brochure, an order form and a reply envelope. This format is appropriate for product mailings or for services that require a significant amount of information. The price estimates below assume 2-color printing and bulk mail postage rates. Please adjust your costs if you plan to mail first class, or print in more than 2-colors.

Number of Pieces     500 1000 5000 10,000 25,000 50,000
Cost Per Piece $6.64 $3.58 $1.05 $.74 $.53 $.46

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Newsletter:

This is an 11 x 17" page folded to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2". The price estimates below assume 2-color printing and bulk mail postage rates. Please adjust your costs if you plan to mail first class, or print in more than 2-colors.

Number of Newsletters     500 1000 5000 10,000 25,000 50,000
Cost Per Piece $3.08 $1.78 $.71 $.54 $.45 $.41

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Shared Mail Piece (also called Co-op Buck Slip):

You can hire a business to combine, print and mail marketing pieces for 10 to 30 companies at a time. Typically, these are 3 x 8" sheets of paper printed on both sides. While this is a low-cost way to deliver your message, you share reader attention with other business messages. To stand out, you might want to make your message a coupon. The price estimates below assume 2-color printing and bulk mail postage rates.

Number of Pieces     500 1000 5000 10,000 25,000 50,000
Cost Per Piece $.98 $.53 $.12 $.055 $.027 $.019

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Creative:

This is the cost of writing the mail piece, and any artwork that you wish to include. If you hire a writer and/or a graphic artist, you will need to factor in those costs. If you create your mail piece yourself, you can assume virtually no cost. Here are a few content tips to get you started:

  • Keep your message short and to the point. Count on the reader having a limited attention span.

  • Use correct grammar and spelling. A misspelled word, or an incorrect use of grammar can cost you the reader's respect and business.

  • Don't clutter the piece with too many words or extra graphics. Design your mailing so that your reader's eye is drawn directly to your message.

  • Include an obvious incentive for your reader to use your business. A special discount is always effective. Put an expiration date on the offer to encourage timely responses.

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Other Costs:

Factor in any other costs associated with your mailing. For example, if you added a phone line for mailing-related call-in orders, include that cost.

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Profit Per Sale:

To calculate this, deduct the cost of producing your product/service from the selling price of your product/service.

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Response Rate:

This is the percentage of the contacts you make that will actually purchase your product/service. Direct mail response rates vary, but are typically around 1% when mailing to prospects, and a little higher when mailing to existing customers.

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Average Sales Value:

The price of your product/service plus any shipping and handling you charge.

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