Though we’re primarily a digital marketing company, we love doing direct mail campaigns. As a company with a local focus and one with mostly a business-to-business model, we have found that reaching out directly to businesses in the mail has very high returns on investment.
There are three ways to do direct mail: 1) use your list, 2) buy a targeted list, and 3) use Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).
Use Your Mailing List
The Kona Impact mailing list is one that we’ve developed carefully over the years. It is one of the company’s most valuable assets because, in a short time, we can reach out to all very active (recent) to less active (less recent purchases).
We keep our mailing list in a Google Sheets spreadsheet and connect it to our label printing machine. The downside is that we have to apply address labels and stamps manually. We also pay full postage rates on each postcard. This is our most targeted way to reach customers.
Rent or Buy a Mailing List
We’ve had a hit-and-miss experience with buying mailing lists. Most are not as accurate as we’d like, with many having a 20% error rate. Perhaps they are better these days; we haven’t used them in about ten years.
If you google “buy a mailing list,” you’ll find many companies offering to rent–you usually get one-time use–a targeted list. You might target by zip code, household income, business size, or other variables.
You can do the mailing yourself or go through a commercial printer to print, address and stamp the postcards. Or, you can download the list, print labels, and label and stamp your postcards. You will save a little on postage using a commercial provider, as they’ll get bulk rates on the postage.
Every Door Direct Mail – EDDM
This is one of our favorite ways to get our message out to many businesses in a targeted area. It has to be done through a commercial printer with EDDM capabilities.
You will choose one or several postal routes, and your printer will send enough postcards directly to the Post Office, which will then give to the route carrier and put one in each box on their routes.
The most significant benefit to EDDM is that it is mostly hassle- and time-free. In a matter of minutes, you can have your postcard delivered (in a few weeks) to hundreds or thousands of addresses. You will also save on postage.
At Kona Impact, we use a mixture of our mailing list and EDDM throughout the year. One of our secrets is how we can discover and target new businesses, but alas, that’s beyond the scope of this post and one we will probably never make!