This week we’re going to have a little fun and take an elementary school approach to a classic direct mail battle. The postcard versus the envelope. But behind the riddle is a very important direct mail point. See if you can figure it out.
TEST: Harry and Joe both publish a travel newsletter for budget-minded travelers. They both decide to send out a 50,000-piece direct mail campaign to attract new subscribers.
Harry decides he’s going to send out his direct mail campaign on a postcard. After printing and postage, Harry paid $0.47 per postcard and he received 200 leads for a 0.4% response rate.
Joe decided to take a different approach in his direct mail campaign. Joe created a direct mail campaign using a traditional direct mail envelope package. He generated 950 leads for a response rate of 1.9%, but each of his pieces cost him 11 cents more, at $0.58 a piece.
Who made the smarter investment?
RESULT: Relax, I’ll save you the math.
The postcard mailing was in fact cheaper, but when the figures were in, it cost $117.50 per lead. Although the envelope mailing was more expensive upfront, the cost per lead was $30.53. The postcard mailing in the end was much, much more expensive if you factor in the response rate.
We had a little fun with this test, but behind it is a very important direct mail point. In many instances, a traditional direct mail package will give you a much better return on investment than a postcard.
One of the exceptions to this rule is if you are mailing to your own database. In that case, a postcard can sometimes be a smart choice.
A fundamental rule: Always know your cost per lead/cost per sale to make a decision.
If you would like to talk to me about how to use a direct mail campaign to supercharge your marketing, call me at (310) 212-5727, or email Caleb at
Here are the rest of this week’s articles:
Video and Landing Pages: A Powerful Strategy to Maximize Return
Facebook Under Attack…What’s Next?
Copy Tip: Don’t Wait to Make Your Point