September marketing study, save your junk mail.

by gjabiz
8 replies
Participate if you want, I'll share my Sept. "junk mail" with you if you do the same. Here are my summer of 2015 results (June, July and August).

I kept all my mail for 14 weeks over the summer. First the results, then the reasons and lessons.

During this time I received 2 editions of the Cuyahoga Falls Town Money Saver, each had 10 pages of ads, or about 40 ads each. A mix of full page and 1/4 page ads.

There were 14 editions of ad carriers, the Red Plum on Tuesdays, Midweek Savings (Akron Beacon Journal) on Wed. Combined these delivered all the grocery store and pharmacy ads and several flyers.
Every week included a Dish or Direct TV ad. Separate mail twice a month from Time Warner and AT&T, mostly envelopes with special bundle offers.

15 different pizza shops ran a combined 58 ads, most with discount offers.

I have it broken down by types too, but I'll spare you the boring details.

Only 11 EDDM during this time, NO 9x12 coop, one 9x12 postcard (for a new gym, LA Fitness), most postcards 5x7...several 9x12 flyers in the Red Plum and Midweek Savers.

OK, why and what.

One of my businesses is to sell advertising to local merchants, so, I want to KNOW, not guess what the competition is charging, who is advertising, how, when and where. Basic research.

I know the cost and terms of the local coffee news. I have 4 different restaurant placemats, representing 4 different publishers and know their rates.

I want to be able to walk into a business armed with a cost comparison, for example, I can say a door to door delivery of flyers can be done for 10 cents each where an EDDM postcard is going to cost (depending on size) from 27 to 33 cents each. See?

If a biz is in the latest ValPak, I know its cost, and if he has competitors riding along, so if I offer an exclusive, he'll know he will be the only one in the package.

During this summer we worked with close to 50 people who expressed interest in doing our 9x6 FREE postcard with 4, 5 or 6 "ads" on the back. We have about 6 who are active, around the country, and of those, 3 who are killing it.

We mailed out 1000 postcards for a referral program with limited results.
We sent out over 1000 emails with hardly any response.

All for research and fine tuning purposes. IF you are selling advertising to businesses, it pays to know the facts and details. We've proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that flyers out pull EDDM, IF in a heavily dense population. A simple menu in a clear plastic bag, worked best for a local restaurant who also used EDDM, register tape ads, and ran coupons in the local Gold Clipper. It is now his only advertising vehicle. Menus directly to the doors.
EDIT for clarification: I should have given certain circumstnaces here, IF it is a family run operation, where family members are doing the delivery, then, flyers work better...but, as for the "proof". it is anecdotal and may not apply across the board.
We profit from knowing and understanding our businesses, not guessing or buying into some guy's hype about making 7, 000 bux in a week or whatever with his advertising plan.

We've talked to 11 people who tried 9 x 12 EDDM, including one guy who quit his job to do it. NONE of them made 5 grand, and in fact, none made 4 grand. Most did reach 2 to 2500, and they all said it took longer and was harder than they thought it would be.

This is some of our summer results and research.

Save your junk mail for Sept and share with us who is mailing what in your area, and you will probably see that selling advertising to business is both a big business, and a cut throat highly competitive one. But, if you choose to compete, arm yourself with the facts, you'll make a stronger presentation to the merchants you are trying to sell to.


PS. Knowing what I know, I think the best and fastest start up is for one to start a small (5,000 at a time) flyer distribution service, and get the local high school band (or team or senior walkers) involved.

You could easily put 10, 15 to 20 flyers or menus in a bag, hang them on doors and do just as well as trying to sell ads on postcards, placemats, or with community boards or forums or coupon connections type things. Just my opinion, for a one man band type business.

I'll post or send Sept's results if interest warrants.
#junk #mail #marketing #save #september #study
  • Profile picture of the author Talltom1
    Great Information here. Love to see what your results will be for September

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  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Thanks Gjabiz,

    I tend to save pieces of junk that grab my attention but I never thought to keep it all and analyse it to the degree you do.

    This was one piece that I liked the format and the clarity to place an order. It was delivered in late May.

    I've posted the cover, an example page and the order form below.

    It was an A5 size - four folds so basically eight segments if you count front and back.

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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Great research, action, and post, GJA. I'd like to give my opinion on this because it's pretty often that my 9x12 members will email me with questions about their idea's to bypass the EDDM cost.

    And I have a pretty passionate opinion on it. I think that it's a bad idea in most cases; especially for a one-man band operation.

    It's pretty natural to come to the conclusion that there's got to be some other way to bypass the EDDM charge (even back when it was four cents less). Flyer delivery, real estate agent packages, businesses cross-promotion, doorhanger distribution, etc.

    Most of the time this kind of thought seems to be for one reason, the wrong one -- which is to make the price lower and more competitive. Some might see it as a way to make more profit by reducing distribution cost but here's my thoughts.

    If you hire people to deliver flyers:

    1. You'll need to take on all the extra duties of hiring and managing/overseeing workers. Getting high school kids to deliver fliers does not just involve running a craigslist ad, giving them a stack of stuff to deliver, and sending them on their way. There's a lot of time and effort into managing people and making sure they're doing their job, which can be solved by simply paying the extra few cents to have the mail carriers do it.

    2. How are you going to pay these people, under the table in cash? Not only is it illegal but it's also very expensive to pay in under the table cash.

    3. You likely can not 1099 (subcontract) these people legally. If audited, they will be seen as employees, and you can be audited by all sorts of agencies beyond the IRS, such as your state's labor dept of tax & finance, labor dept, disability dept, workers comp dept, etc. The only way you're going to be OK is if you hire an existing flier delivery service that delivers fliers for other people as well. I've been audited personally and have seen the ugly results from this. You WILL have to consider them as employees, which will cost you far much more than EDDM.

    4. What happens if one of these flier people get injured. What if a dog bites them, what if they slip on ice and break something? They're attorney is not going to say "well Jimmy, you were an independent contractor, so it's your fault buddy".

    My point is, a one-man band shouldn't hire people to deliver flyers unless they're doing it properly, in which case they should just pay the ultra-cheap and reliable EDDM service instead, or have the systems for having employees setup.


    Believe me, if there was a better solution to selling co-op ads I'd be all over it. EDDM is fast, reliable, can be done remotely, and cheap as hell. If printing and postage were double the cost, it could still be sold for value.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelWinicki
    If I were going to attempt this it would definitely be done using EDDM. Trying to get folks, who aren't normally delivering something-like the daily newspaper for instance, sends shivers down my spine.

    For too many times in my youth, when I delivered the daily paper and would pass by a couple of the creeks along my route and see where someone had dumped in their allotment of the free weekly Pennysaver rather than doing the work to deliver them as they should have.

    Yeah EDDM is more costly, but it's reliable. And I think getting something in our mailbox as opposed to stuck in our front door, elevates the mailed piece to a level of importance beyond that of a hand-delivered flyer.

    When it comes to success or failure with 9x12 postcards and a EDDM delivery system, I think it doesn't take much imagination to figure that most fail because they do not stick with it long enough to figure out the efficiencies and the short-cuts so that then they can roll it out to other nearby towns– and ultimately get that big day out of it.
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    • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
      Bob and Mike make excellent points, and if I had the need to advertise, I'd probably use EDDM, a postcard for just my business, not co-op. For me, it is not a primary business, and other people are involved.

      Like many of you, we have several balls in the air, our plates are full. Having a printing business as a back-end, as Bob and my associate Steve do, they love EDDM, and take on other different kinds of business.

      We are Entrepreneurs, and what I've discovered, many of the people who buy these selling advertising opportunities are not.

      EDDM, coupon connection, ValPak, Town Money Saver...are all pretty much the that you have to see the people, see the people, see the people type things.
      As a biz-op consultant, I would suggest this type of opportunity to probably only 15 to 20%, because it may be able to be done by remote means, it isn't easy nor quick, for the most part.

      Collecting advertising goes back to my Suarez days, Ben Suarez was a fanatic about collecting and analyzing what was mailed. He had a huge room he called "seed world" where he had collected every piece he had ever mailed, (tens of thousands) but also everything by Halbert,. Kennedy, Abraham and over 100 other remote direct marketers, and direct mail companies.

      One point I wanted to make is businesses are still mailing ads.

      The delivery vehicle is USPS. There are still good opportunities, and selling advertising is certainly one of them, albeit, not as EASY as some make it sound...

      BUT, if anyone chooses to do it...whatever IT is,

      You'll fare better when you walk into a business armed with the knowledge of what it costs to advertise in your area. One reason our FREE cards are doing well is because were not selling numbers of eyeballs, but having the cards circulated to people already shopping in that market.

      The best flyer operation I have found is a family run one where kids are still around and old enough to deliver flyers. The most profitable one is where the guy only does 5,000 by zones and rolls through the zones. Even then, it is my opinion it is not a good choice for 85% of Biz-Op seekers, including Warriors who read the promotions that make 5,000 bux a month sound like a walk in the park.

      As for other money making ventures, I think there are many other and better suited ones for most people, the problem is

      they either fall in love with the idea (good job copywriters)
      or get into a rut
      or do not get the fine print or details of what the day to day grind (and they ALL have one) is really going to be like.

      But no matter what one chooses to do, the informed professional is the cream that will often rise to the top.

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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    One thing I'd like to add is that overall, getting anything from local business into the hands of local consumers regardless of how you're doing it is a great thing to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    This arrived in todays mail. Two sided post card, On the front-" Offering a Complimentary Gourmet Meal. The meal is a choice of Chicken Francese, Eggplant Parmesan, Flounder Oreganata." On the reverse side it is laid out as a Special Invitation. It gives the location and two dates to choose. Wed Sept 30th & Thursday October 1st at 6.00 Pm. You have to sit through a Retirement Strategies Workshop. Presented by an area consultant group. Before they serve the meal.

    I wonder how targeted this piece is ? and what sort of Financial products they are trying to push. The town has a few large retirement communities, I'm thinking they are throwing a very large net in town to snag the wealthy retirees.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Didn't see this mentioned, but print shops are a great way to find out who is doing
    what in your area, and to obtain samples. I stopped in one yesterday and talked to
    the owner for a bit. I picked up some samples and one of them was for an small
    multi-location business.

    I have some ideas for that one.


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