Direct Mail Rates

Hey guys, I’m thinking about trying to do some direct mail. Have any of you guys done much direct mail and if so what sort of hit rates did you get? When I worked in the banking industry it was anywhere from .25-1%. Does that hold true with window cleaning or is it quite a bit different?

Totally depends on the offer, time of year, etc. My last round was 5000ish pieces with a response rate of somewhere around .5 to .6% in 4 months time, and also generated referrals from those leads

Looking back, it had a crappy offer and I didn’t like the design.

Biggest piece of advice I can give you is to have your pieces professionally designed; you’re spending pretty good money to mail out in any decent quantities, it’s worth the extra $100 to have a pro make it look nice.

Good luck

Edit: Most of the response comes pretty quick, but you’ll probably be surprised how long a few people will hold onto the cards, even after the offer is long expired

Thanks for the information. I have a family friend that is a professional designer for mail pieces and is EXCELLENT at it so I will be consulting with him for design help.

Do you know roughly how much it was per piece for your mailings?

Came out to right around .25/each for postage, plus something like .025 each to label them (I had the print company do it)

5000 full color postcards from are only $115… I used another company for mine last year though.

Lastly, you need a mailing list which was $50/1000 with 3 search parameters… (age, home value, income)

So that’s roughly $.35/each total… sounds about right. Didn’t factor in design with this. Doing many, many more soon.

There’s some others on here who have done waaay bigger quantities, more times. I’m sure they’ll chime in to add to that

Thanks for the info! HUGE help to budgeting for this stuff.

Not a problem. Those figures are for the 4x6 card.

i think there are a lot of things that play into the call rates you get like…
how you set your demographic
how many you send out
what kind of offer you give (if any, i have had great response without an offer)
when you send it out

i have 40k going out once the weather breaks with an amazing offer which should make my phone ring like crazy.

also, ill tell you what i tell everyone i give advice to on direct mail… direct mail is a one hit wonder (hopefully you get some shelf life or the procrastinators wait and call up to a couple months after it hits) so do something that will keep you in front of people constantly for an affordable price like the local paper and hustle hustle hustle.

and last but not least… keep mailing! every 6-8 weeks even if youre busy. ive put together my marketing plan and budget for a mailing of 10k every 6 weeks.

Yeah, I know about the staying in front of people. I use to work for a company that did direct mail for banks and we’d mail every 6 weeks. The banks stayed hooked because the phone stopped ringing as soon as we stopped mailing.

yeah so you know direct mail then… a lot of direct mail with window cleaning is timing, demographic and how many you send out… which is what you have to figure out a budget for with the cost of the list… where i get my list you can build a demographic for less than $500 for a list of 10,000. completely worth it…

Can you use the direct mail method to just target certain new housing developments instead of the demographics. There are some new neighborhoods i want to get into and thought about direct mail to these alotments. Is that possible?

You can select “new homeowners” and “new movers” as options but it’d be a little difficult to get the exact neighborhood… it’s usually broken down by zip code

Of course, for a small mailing you could always collect the addresses yourself… maybe a little time consuming, but it’d be specific. Or you could go the doorhanger route.

Some of the companies that do the entire direct mail process start to finish are able to narrow it down to mail carrier routes so you can be SUPER specific. You’ll have to pay for this service of course…

That’s what we did for the banks because we had to make sure we were VERY accurate on the delivery of mail pieces so we weren’t wasting money on people that would never be customers.

Are you at liberty to say where you get your list? I hear is the best place for that. Getting ready to do a small test run on the direct mailing. It will be the first time. We clean gutters in the off season and it rains in Portland so I think we’ll come out on top if we send it now.

Is there a cheaper way to do your mailing? Like maybe do most of the labeling your self? I have 2 sisters in laws (14yrs and 22 yrs) that would love to make some money. I was thinking of letting them do the labeling and what ever else needs to be done. How can I do this and where do I go? I had a postcard designed already. The back of the postcard is ready for mailing… I think. Check it out and let me know what’s up. Thank you all.

I like it Dejay. You might be able to run the postcards thru your printer to do the addressing.

I think if you do the math on labels, ink, time messing with the list, etc. you’ll find it’s about the same price to just have them inkjet labeled by the printing company. Plus, it goes WAY quicker than doing it by hand and you avoid getting fingerprints on each card and bending them. Looks a tad bit more professional too. If you were going to pay someone to label them, you also offset that cost of course.

Secondly, the best feature of the print company doing the labeling is that they will mark your piece to get the best mail rates with the proper barcodes and such. They also usually check for duplicate addresses and make sure your list contains all the necessary info…their programs do this in seconds.

But it all depends on quantity. If you’re doing a test run of 200, then I’d just label them yourself. If you’re doing over 1000 though, I’d have the print company do it for sure. If you already have them printed you might just have to label them yourself anyway now, but keep labeling in mind for the next round.

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