Bulk Rate or First Class?

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I watched a few seminars from Halbert and Kennedy and another I can't remember on YouTube over the weekend.

It was mentioned a couple times that there had been an occasional problem with bulk rate mail not being delivered by lazy post offices.

For those that do postcards, what type of postage do you use? Have you had any problems (that you know of) with your mail not actually being delivered?

The seminars were all at least several years old, if not more. Maybe there was some sort of crackdown and there's no longer an issue?

I've used the catalog mailer types of mail before, but not my own individual or co-op postcard/letter.
#bulk #class #rate
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Judging from the number of bulk mail pieces of mail we receive, I'd say it's not a big problem. The cost difference, in my opinion, would more than make up for a few areas of spotty delivery if they do exist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

    I watched a few seminars from Halbert and Kennedy and another I can't remember on YouTube over the weekend.

    It was mentioned a couple times that there had been an occasional problem with bulk rate mail not being delivered by lazy post offices.

    For those that do postcards, what type of postage do you use? Have you had any problems (that you know of) with your mail not actually being delivered?

    The seminars were all at least several years old, if not more. Maybe there was some sort of crackdown and there's no longer an issue?

    I've used the catalog mailer types of mail before, but not my own individual or co-op postcard/letter.
    It's no longer an issue, and hasn't been for years. Bulk rate gets delivered the same as first class.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

    I watched a few seminars from Halbert and Kennedy and another I can't remember on YouTube over the weekend.

    It was mentioned a couple times that there had been an occasional problem with bulk rate mail not being delivered by lazy post offices.

    For those that do postcards, what type of postage do you use? Have you had any problems (that you know of) with your mail not actually being delivered?

    The seminars were all at least several years old, if not more. Maybe there was some sort of crackdown and there's no longer an issue?

    I've used the catalog mailer types of mail before, but not my own individual or co-op postcard/letter.
    Not an issue as Claude noted. You can send your postcard: first class, bulk, EDDM, or as a ride along in a weekly/monthly advertising sheet. The choice depends on your intent.

    We've found that EDDM is the most effective for most of the co-op postcards, because we can specifically target areas close to the advertisers, and for some businesses, like Pizza Shops, this is important. Sending out 10k, however to a wide area is probably a waste of time.

    In my city, we have a river as a boundary, and seldom do the pizza shops on one far side of the river deliver to the other, so any ads sent across the river, is throwing away money for them. The big gym, however, like Fitness LA, can send out across boundaries.

    So consider your advertisers in your planning, and some of the ones (think those who use BILLBOARDS) have the budget to send out first class, if it is warranted. We get a Tuesday advertising flyer, our free weekly newspaper on Sunday has an ad insert with many types of ads, and everyday, some bulk postcards show up too.

    Now a word about CO-OP cards. Don't forget EVENTS, where distribution takes place in person, no postage needed. Best events are Wedding/Bridal shows. Home Improvement shows, these are where thousands of people come for a long weekend event. Co-op cards are perfect for these.

    Targeted or shotgun, all depends on your intent. Good luck with it.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author StevenTylerPjs
      Thanks guys. That's good to know!

      Gordan,
      Good thinking on the billboard buyers. Those are good targets.
      And funny you mention trade shows, I was thinking of that recently. If I stood at the door and handed out information, do you think I'd get any flack from anybody, since I didn't actually buy a booth to advertise anything? I could offer somebody who has a booth to let me leave my flyers with them too...

      Anyway, as for the co-op postcard stuff, somebody recently bumped the 9x12 post. But then the guy disappeared. I was hoping he'd come back and share some info. Do you guys know of any national printers that are reliable and have competitive pricing, or should I look locally? I've always piggy-backed off the Money Mailer type catalogs, and they handled printing and mailing.

      If I do it myself, it would be on me obviously. So I'm trying to figure out a good rate to charge if I had two companies on a postcard that was going out. What is your typical fee for each company a 5k mailing Gordon, with 2 companies on a card?
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      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

        Thanks guys. That's good to know!

        Gordan,
        Good thinking on the billboard buyers. Those are good targets.
        And funny you mention trade shows, I was thinking of that recently. If I stood at the door and handed out information, do you think I'd get any flack from anybody, since I didn't actually buy a booth to advertise anything? I could offer somebody who has a booth to let me leave my flyers with them too...

        Anyway, as for the co-op postcard stuff, somebody recently bumped the 9x12 post. But then the guy disappeared. I was hoping he'd come back and share some info. Do you guys know of any national printers that are reliable and have competitive pricing, or should I look locally? I've always piggy-backed off the Money Mailer type catalogs, and they handled printing and mailing.

        If I do it myself, it would be on me obviously. So I'm trying to figure out a good rate to charge if I had two companies on a postcard that was going out. What is your typical fee for each company a 5k mailing Gordon, with 2 companies on a card?
        Your first idea is a good way to get put on a black list, better to go inside the trade shows, and I'll give you more on this in a moment.

        The guy with the 6x13 folded thing will be back, probably setting up his next move here.

        As for printers. We are brokers, and can get discount rates from the really big national printers. But also, you might have a mom and pop small shop who needs the work, and will work with you on payments or give a discount. You have to ask, and it helps if you know the printing business too.

        This is anecdotal, our experiences over the last 6 years or so, and may not apply to your area. That being said. I think a co-op with two is a waste of time and effort. Three, maybe, if you are one of the advertisers and just seeking a free ride for your own thing.

        Six is the sweet spot, five if on a tight deadline. 12 for a tradeshow (spaces available, some want 3 or 4 so you charge for them as it a single ad). Prices are determined by location. We don't have a typical fee. Each vehicle has its own requirements.

        On a few of the vehicles where we have only 2 or 3 ads, we can command at least 495 for the ad, although most of these are long term vehicles placed in locations.

        So, how much and how fast determines our costs. From now until the end of the year is traditionally a bad time to get a co-op in the mail, businesses just too busy for their own holiday season. It is a good time to set up a co-op for a bridal show in Feb/Mar.

        Here is one example you may find useful for an event, like Bridal Show. A 6 x 9 with a host on the front, FREE, and six advertisers on the back. Each one getting some to give away at their booth. Good hosts are cake people, photographers, caterers, locations, etc.

        Each advertiser should offer a substantial coupon, I like 100 dollars or 25% off. This way it makes the card worth 700 dollars or more and is likely to stay around after the show is over. But they can be profitable with only a few ads on the back too.

        Home Improvement cards may have fewer with bigger money discounts.

        Anyhow, here is the downside to all of this, and this applies to all advertising selling.

        Runaround. First getting to the decision maker, getting a yes, getting the proof approved, getting paid, and this is why we abandon the big cards with over 10 advertisers on them, they take too long to get done. I like fast cards, lower prices for the advertisers, lower numbers on the mailing, most businesses don't need to send out 5,000, pretty much a waste of money.

        Prices. It seems that every business you will talk to, and you'll find this out as you get out there, is broke. Just went over budget. Can't afford it at this time. Thinks it is too much. Want guarantees. Want a discount. You'll see.

        A test mailing of 1000 EDDM, is good enough and if the location is in a populated area, then you can mail weekly around the horn, which means in each direction, finding 1000 in the zip zones.

        Now our evolution over the last decade has been speed over quantity. NO more cards with over 10, in fact, 6 is the max. But there are other vehicles available, like the chalk boards in restaurants. Or the black board in gyms. Or billboards on a postcard, distributed by the advertisers (saves postage costs).

        But if mail is your preference, then you set your prices in a way in which it competes with local advertising, which means you have to know what a billboard costs, what an ad in the newspaper costs, what a co-op mailing like Val-Pak costs or the TV or Radio ads.

        Once you know what people are paying, because you see their current ads or see them on TV or hear on Radio, you can figure out your costs. Smaller retailers seem to stick at under 250, bigger ones at under 500, tradesmen and higher cost services at under 1k.

        So, you have to first know what you want to do, your intent. How many will you mail, an what is the cost, then how many ads to break even and how many above that to profit and how much profit and how fast do you want it.

        Hope this helps a little. Feel free to ask more questions, I'll try to answer if I can.

        GordonJ

        PS. Too many co-op advertisers don't know or use any direct response techniques, and almost all of them are coupon type, but havimg a good copywriter on board will give your card an advantage too.
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

          Once you know what people are paying, because you see their current ads or see them on TV or hear on Radio, you can figure out your costs. Smaller retailers seem to stick at under 250, bigger ones at under 500, tradesmen and higher cost services at under 1k.

          So, you have to first know what you want to do, your intent. How many will you mail, an what is the cost, then how many ads to break even and how many above that to profit and how much profit and how fast do you want it.
          Adding to this.. because it is TRUE... price point does become an issue.. I think often times what happens is the "Marketer" thinks "Ok I have to drop the quantity and the price to get these people to buy" and this is where the bottom line / profit takes a hit.

          YES you can produce only 200 cards and send them using EDDM.. but with all cylinders firing and getting a 3% return you are looking at creating 6 new customers for your client.. and not even "New" but customers walking through their doors because of your efforts.

          Part of YOUR marketing is then understanding Cost in relation to "Good, Better, and Best" Good becomes a single offer on a single card and we will say 250 of them Brings your cost to print at around $100 and then $47.50 to send and then we will say the creative is $50 so COST is $200.00 and your sales point becomes $400.

          Best is described above at "So having 3 Clients on a card then drops the client cost to $1000.00 each or $.20 per unit." Place 5 spots on the card ( one being yours ) and you can then drop the cost to $750 per client on your end.

          So the separation between "Good" and "Best" is basically 2x the cost up front but the ability to reach 20X the customer base.

          And then we can throw "Better" at this. 1 client 1 card. $400 to send 250 once.. or a 1 month ( 4 week contract ) 1000 cards in total and you have about the same $100 in printing cost - $200 in Postage and the same $50 in Creatives. so you jump to $700 for sending 250 cards 4 times ( a total of 1000 ) - and this becomes your "Better"

          You have now given budget sensitive choices, and by contrast in numbers reached created SMART choices. Getting the client of the "Good" choice and moving to "Better" and "Best" puts you back in the Money. 4 clients at "Better" puts you at $1400 in your pocket
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          • Profile picture of the author StevenTylerPjs
            Great info guys, thanks. Exactly what I was looking for on how to do the numbers.
            For EDDM do you drop the cards off at the post office and they address them?

            What if you had a targeted list? Would you have the printing company print them in that case?
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            • Profile picture of the author savidge4
              Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

              Great info guys, thanks. Exactly what I was looking for on how to do the numbers.
              For EDDM do you drop the cards off at the post office and they address them?

              What if you had a targeted list? Would you have the printing company print them in that case?
              A "Target List" and EDDM don't fall into the same sentence. You can look at: https://www.usps.com/business/every-...irect-mail.htm This will give you a better idea of what the service actually is and can do for you. Before you really get going with this you may want to sit down with your local Post Master to get a better idea of what you need to do. You can use a service to print and send the cards for you... BUT you pay for that luxury, and if you understand what is required, ( what has to be printed on the card for EDDM rate ) you can actually walk the cards in yourself.

              IF you have a "List" you then fall under "First Class" and your postage expense goes up, as well as having to address each, be it paying to have the address' printed on the card, using a ink jet to address the cards OR using a label.
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              • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
                Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

                A "Target List" and EDDM don't fall into the same sentence. You can look at: https://www.usps.com/business/every-...irect-mail.htm This will give you a better idea of what the service actually is and can do for you. Before you really get going with this you may want to sit down with your local Post Master to get a better idea of what you need to do. You can use a service to print and send the cards for you... BUT you pay for that luxury, and if you understand what is required, ( what has to be printed on the card for EDDM rate ) you can actually walk the cards in yourself.

                IF you have a "List" you then fall under "First Class" and your postage expense goes up, as well as having to address each, be it paying to have the address' printed on the card, using a ink jet to address the cards OR using a label.
                It doesn't sound like Steven is ready for this, he needs to do a little more research.

                Just my take. If you have a list, create a direct mail piece, and depending on your offer, determine if you even want to use postcards. Maybe. But for higher priced services or products an offer might work better in an envelope, with an involvement device, a lift sheet, an order form, a sales letter...or just a dang good deal. Realtors DO send postcards, except for ones we've created, haven't seen any of a Co-op nature.

                EDDM is great. Now to start off, get your feet wet, try one in a small area, with zones up to 1,000 addresses, or if you want, eliminate the business addresses.

                savidge4 gave you the best advice, MEET your local postmaster and whomever is in charge of their EDDM. It will make your life easier. If YOU deliver the cards to the PO, they are bundled in 100 along with a sheet of paper saying which zip code (zone) they are going to. So, at 1k you only need 10 bundles. But if you scale up, and do what the big dogs advise, at 10 thousand, you would have 100 bundles, and consider the time to count them out, fill out the forms, and then deliver them. Sure, there are lots of printers who will handle this for you, but you better have the margins to make it worth your while.

                Also, the creative costs can get expensive if you choose an inexperienced designer, so make sure they have EDDM experience, to get the indicia in the right place, and it meets all the PO regs. Getting a 1000 cards tossed back at you because it wasn't in the right place, is an education you don't need, is it?

                Ewen has written some great posts on LISTS, suggest Steven you review those, if you have lists at the ready. If not, do a quick card, even at break even, so you can experience all the steps you need to take. Go to USPS,
                https://www.usps.com/business/every-...irect-mail.htm

                Read all about EDDM. Search Google/Bing images for Co-op cards (lots come up with 9 x 12 too)...search for EDDM printers, look over their sites and what they offer.

                Search for Co-op postcard business opportunities, and in a couple of hours, you'll have enough education that it will then be time to take ACTION.

                In the past, when we have trained people, we always start them off with cold calling on businesses, BECAUSE, what some of the gurus have shouted from their rooftops is HOW EASY this is, all you have to do is SHOW AND TELL, and these guys will throw money at you. Some of them have even told businesses to expect a 5% response, so a 10,000 mailing will get you 500 new customers (keep this long deleted phone call on a special thumb drive)....

                so, it is a good thing to get a taste of REALITY when offering advertising to small businesses.

                Don't forget some of these co-op gurus are very good copywriters and make it sound easy-peasy. Find out for yourself.

                It is lucrative, evergreen for the right person who understands what it is about, and learns from doing while studying the elements of the whole thing.

                GordonJ
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by StevenTylerPjs View Post

        What is your typical fee for each company a 5k mailing Gordon, with 2 companies on a card?
        Before I had a press to Print this type of material I used Got Print ( https://www.gotprint.com/home.html )

        In terms of a "Fee" there is no "Typical" what are your expenses... Designing Printing and delivering the piece? THAT is your break even point ( minus your time and effort ) The question then becomes - what are YOU worth?

        Until you understand what YOU are worth, I would come up with a figure of what I think I am worth TODAY, and multiply times 3 or 4. Or you could use an equation such as Cost of Product and Delivery x2

        So Got Print 5000 cards 4" x 11" Gloss and color both sides Delivered to my door is $300 ( +/- ). Delivery is rounding up $.19 a piece $950.00 and then add your "Creatives" cost and to keep things somewhat even we will say $250 for creatives Leaving you with a cost of $1500.00

        $1500.00 X2 is your overall ticket, and then dividing the number by 2 ( number of advertisers - you would charge $1500 for each client - making your clients cost $.30 per piece.

        Keep in mind this is for 4" x 11" and REALLY you want 3 across the back and 1 in the front. ONE of those spots being YOURS . So having 3 Clients on a card then drops the client cost to $1000.00 each or $.20 per unit.

        Regardless of how you do this you walk with $1500.00 in your pocket with each and every mailing. Start developing this idea based on business's grouped within the same EDDM area and produce 3, 5, 10 of these in a single city market - and you have decent cash flow.

        And thinking "within the box" you could use the Google Contribute APP process as the trip wire to setting these accounts up.
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