How Much Does Direct Mail Advertising Cost?

Last updated: January 19, 2023 | By Jed Dreben

Reading time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds

Type “direct mail marketing” in your search bar and the top search results will mostly relate to how much a direct mail campaign costs. It’s doubtful; however, that you’ll get definitive direct mail pricing with a simple online search.

Let’s talk about that.

Why Is It Difficult to Provide the Cost of Direct Mail Campaigns?

Because each direct mail campaign is unique. Several variables affect CPM (cost per thousand):

10 Direct Mailer Unit Cost Variables

  1. Targeting Demographics
  2. Content / Copywriting Services
  3. In-House or Freelancer Graphic Design
  4. Paper Stock & Printing Costs
  5. Production/Mail Preparation
  6. Direct Mail Format
  7. Mailing List Costs
  8. Mailing Class (First Class Mail, etc.)
  9. USPS Postage Rates
  10. Your Direct Mail Service Provider

Although this list may make direct mail seem complicated, with the help of direct mail professionals like Valpak, it really isn’t. For reasons why direct mail is worth it, keep reading.

7 Reasons Why Direct Mail Costs Are Worth the Effort

1. People are suffering from email and digital ad overload.

Consumers are exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads and 200 emails per day. This ad and email overexposure only diminishes returns on digital campaigns (although, surprisingly, the cost of online advertising is rising – in some cases as much as 40%). Negative feedback from digital ad fatigue is also hurting advertisers. If a consumer hides or blocks an ad too many times on Facebook, the platform records this as negative feedback, which can make it difficult for the advertiser to get ads accepted moving forward.

2. People still love checking for and receiving mail.

69% of millennials look through and read the ads they get in the mail and 18% usually make buying decisions based on which coupons they have / receive (source: AudienceSCAN®). We’re talking millennials here, who, according to one source, hold about $2.5 trillion in purchasing power. And it’s not just millennials who love mail. Valpak’s Readership Study found 9 out of 10 consumers who receive The Blue Envelope open it and 83% look at every ad inside.

3. Printed mail delivers an emotionally positive experience.

According to the Office of the Inspector General, consumers spend more time examining physical ads than digital ads and experience a stronger positive emotional response and recall for them. You can view our infographic based on the OIG’s report here.

4. Direct mail strengthens branding.

Direct mail is an excellent method for strengthening your brand and top-of-mind awareness. Sending direct mail every month keeps your business in front of potential customers when they need a new product or service. Our readership study also found that 7 out of 10 people set aside 1-4 coupons they intend to share or use in the future.

5. Direct mail evokes response and engagement.

Print advertising and direct mail encourage consumers to respond and engage. The response rate for direct mail is 4.4%, higher than digital marketing such as email, paid search, online display, and social media. 30.5% of homeowners have also responded to a direct mail ad in the past 30 days. This response and engagement drive consumer purchase behavior. An SBA blog reported direct mail campaigns generate purchases 5x larger than email marketing campaigns.

6. Direct mail boosts digital performance.

Direct mail in combination with digital marketing boosts response performance across both channels. A recent study found 80% of respondents reported good or very good ROI when direct mail marketing is integrated into a multichannel campaign – versus 51% without direct mail. Salesforce Research reports 71% of consumers use multiple channels to complete a single transaction. More and more advertisers are using digital marketing combined with direct mail marketing campaigns to target their audiences because it gets results.

7. Direct mail marketing drives consumer purchase behavior.

According to Forbes, each $167 invested in direct mail marketing generates $2,095 in sales. Other consumer responses include:

  • Visiting the brand website
  • Calling a business phone number
  • Making a purchase
  • Searching online for more information

One reason direct mail pieces drive purchase behavior is trust. 46% of consumers in a marketing survey responded that they trust print ads more than any other advertising medium when making purchasing decisions.

Find the Best Direct Mail Advertising Costs for Your Marketing Budget

How much does direct mail cost? Typically, for small businesses, direct mail costs start at pennies per household. Although, acquiring an accurate cost estimate (postage costs, design costs, total cost, etc.) for your unique direct mail campaign requires you to dial the phone number of a professional (hint: Valpak) and discover your target audience. However, it will be worth your time and effort in overall cost. Taking the time to explore the best options for your direct mail marketing campaign will ensure it produces the same great return on investment it has delivered for so many other satisfied businesses.

And won’t you wonder what the direct mail marketing cost might be if you don’t try it?

For decades, Valpak has been the national leader in direct mail marketing with local offices nationwide. If you need help establishing an eye-catching campaign and cost-effective direct mail marketing for your business, contact your local Valpak representative today.