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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I was thinking of doing some massive direct mailing to my local community. I am thinking sending out around the ballpark of 5,000~10,000 postcards. Is that a good idea?
Also, how exactly do I go by doing this? I brieftly googled "direct mail" and it appears that I need to "buy" a list first then do I just slap on a postage and send it to the customer?

Anybody have any previous experiences?

Ben.
 

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Instead of trying this yourself at first, I would suggest you place a postcard ad, or a small to medium sized print ad with a local company that already sends out direct mailings to your local community. You know, like those local coupon books you get, or those little packets of postcards that have local ads. This way, you don't have to worry about the printing, distribution, postage, lists etc.
Some of those coupon/community books actually have a following of readers.
It think that would be a good way to test the direct mailing strategy.
 

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The little packets of postcards might be a good start, however, I don't think very many people who recieve those actually look through all of them. (I know I never do) I think direct mail would do more for you business, a good advertisment will do wonders for you.Getting people to know your business even exists is important.

Perhaps try a smaller run in the beginning and then go from there. Just a thought...
 

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Unless you’re mailing to a list of known tee shirt buyers, I would save your money.

A good return on direct mail is .5 to 3%. This is assuming you’re mailing to known tee shirt buyers. Mailing to a known tee shirt buying market, you’ll probably do +/- 1.5%. A 5% undeliverable rate is acceptable, but you’ll never hit that! Figure at least 10%.

Let’s say you have $10 profit per shirt. You do a mailing of 10,000 post cards (worst type of direct mail) and let’s say you do manage to get a 1.5% return.

You’re going to pay around $1000 for a 10,000 mailing.

9000 X 1.5% = 135 sales @ $10 = $1350. Doesn’t look so good, you just made $350! If you don’t hit 1.5%, which most do not, you’re dead!

If you could get your hand on another site’s list, it might pay off, but more by attracting other loyal customers to your site, probably not by initial sales through the mailing. Do you know what your average customer is worth? Without that number, you’re just throwing darts at the wall. If your average customer buys 3 shirts a year, you can play with the numbers and figure in some long term growth. If you’re average customer is worth one sale forever, you’re just spinning your wheels.

A few years back I ran a business doing direct mail for 15 years. The profit just isn’t there for small ticket items. Businesses who pocket thousands per sale still struggle w/ finding profitability with direct mail.

With that said, if you figure it out and do a successful mailing… let me know! You might think about a “Money Mailer” type of thing where you’re grouped in w/ other advertisers. The reach is far greater for far less. Haven’t been around that industry for a while, so I’m not sure of the numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would it be a better idea for me to send out something more meaningful, like a little mousepad or something?
 

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das_king said:
Would it be a better idea for me to send out something more meaningful, like a little mousepad or something?
Sounds like that would be more expensive, and still give you the low direct mail return rates. From what CoolHandLuke posted (and what I've read about directmail response rates), it doesn't sound like it would be an effective way to spend your advertising dollars.
 

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Ditto to CHL and Rodney, when we first started out, we did mail outs and pretty much hit the numbers that CHL described and we all know numbers don't lie.
We just hit the pavement, went out and met people. Carried a few company t-shirts and only left one to potential customers we pre-qualified as potential buyers. If they didn't buy anything, you know they or someone wore the t-shirt we left behind and other saw the company name.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am only doing some custom orders locally right now. I am working on a website though that will allow me to sell pre-designed shirts and handle custom orders.

I just want to make sure that the name of my website is known. I have decided on flyers since I live in a nice college town.

Ben.
 
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