I just got a flyer in the mail today for a direct mail/print company called Mail Shark. Do any of you guys have any experience with this company? Their weekly mailing program seems like a great deal. With this program they have a schedule where they send out 6x9 postcards, 11x17 menus with a detachable coupon fold, and 4x10 magnets with peel off coupons each week.
They work with you to set up a schedule as to which weeks they will send out each type of the 3 advertising pieces. Ex.: The first 2 months they might mail 1000 menus each week, the next 2 months they mail 1000 post cards each week, the next 3 months they alternate weeks mailing out 1000 magnets one week, 1000 postcards the next week , 1000 flyers week after that, and so on.
I was pretty impressed with their prices. For $299 a week they will send out 1,000 a week and $179 a week for 500. The price includes artwork for the flyers, magnets, and postcards, printing and postage.
I talked to a sales person on the phone earlier and they’re supposed to send me out some samples today. The flyer that I got today was nice.
Sounds like a pretty good price. I do my own direct mail and to send out 1000 11x17 menus would cost me $283. Of course the weeks they’re sending postcards and magnets will be a lot cheaper for them, but that seems like a pretty reasonable price to have somebody else handle it.
The best part is that it’s an automated system for you. My biggest challenge with doing my own direct mail is staying consistent and not falling behind on it.
I have signed up for Mail Sharks weekly mailing program. The service has been outstanding. My salesperson, Josh, gave me his personal cell phone, answered my e-mails on the weekends, and made sure I was 100% satisfied with my design. My first mailout will go out next week (feb.15 - 19), and I will keep all informed how it goes.
I used to mail my own bulk mail but my local post office stopped taking it.
I would have to go to the only post office in the area that would take it and it would take me about 2 hours round trip. I started using the shark in April 2009 and I mailed 1000 pc a week. I wasnt sure about the company so I signed up for half a year.It cost me about $50 more a week to use the service then to do all the printing and mailing on my permit. I resigned with them Jan 1st mailing about 1500 pc a week, I added an area that I was never able to bulk mail to before because it was a city route( not a rural route) and I only mailed by carrier routes before.The only negative thing I can say is one of the other pizzeria in my town just started using them.
Im a little pissed off about that. I’m going call Brian the owner to talk to him about that.What
I’m sure that they would be fine with mailing every other week. I have talked to them a couple times and will probably soon sign up for their mailing service. A couple things I noted about them. Out of their samples, non of their pieces really popped as an unbelievably great design. None of them looked bad, just fairly plain/generic. The other note is that their price is slightly higher than it originally appears. Not a huge deal, but they mail 50 weeks but charge you $299 for 52 weeks. It adds a little over a penny per piece. Again, not the biggest deal but it was something I took notice of.
I see about the same redemption rate with both. My biggest problem with door hanging is that I’m never able to get them out consistently week after week. Ideally I would like to hang at least 1,000 a week but it never seems to happen on a consistent basis. Also, I live in upstate NY so in the winter time it’s impossible to door hang.
Does anyone have any updates on Mail Shark or their programs. On the surface it is exactly what I am looking for and the prices are really great but was hoping to get some feedback before signing up. It is costing me a few more pennies to do it myself not including my time and headaches and am only doing menus. I love the aspect of different pieces going out, there is only so many times you can hit the same people with the same piece and being able to stick to a weekly budget which is becoming ever so important these days. That said, I agree with indie the animation sound on the front page is obnoxious and everytime I would click back it would come on again. They really should consider changing that.
here is what I got for you so far on mailshark.
I signed up with them 2 weeks ago. I sent out art work and such and got a proof back in about 3 to 4 days, it was like paul said a little generic, wasnt WOWED, but it serves a purpose.
Coupons are generic and since have been replaced. http://rockstarpizza.net/RockstarPizzaFRONT.pdf http://rockstarpizza.net/RockstarPizzaINSIDE.pdf
I chose to do the 500 a week (5000 mailings) just to test to see how it goes.
most of my postal drops have 600 people I am only getting 8 mailings instead of 10.
my first mailing goes out april 1st so I will let you know how my response rate is.
dealing with the company to this point has been smooth. I will say the rate is a little decieving
my total cost will be 9308.00 for the year for 25000 about .38 cents each, PLUS 1000 free instore menus
best part is no upfront cost (artwork, set up, menu printing) blah blah.
so I will update the response rate and delivery of menus after the first
I spoke with them a couple weeks before Pizza Expo and mentioned this thread to them. I was hoping they would chime in and help educate us about their company and their service. Rockstar, as far as price, it doesn’t surprise me that they are charging more for the smaller runs. Printing costs more per piece on smaller runs and the labor of the mailing isn’t much less for smaller runs.
I ended up signing up with them as well. My first mailing goes out the 31st of this month. They have been great to work with so far and very easy to communicate with. I got a proof within a couple of days. Here’s some links to my menu below. I did the design for the front cover and they did the rest. I thought they did a pretty good job.
As far as pricing goes, they were very upfront with me about everything and made sure I understood the pricing structure before I committed to anything. I signed up for 1,000 mailers a week for a year. The price is $299 a week for 52 weeks. There are 2 weeks out of the year (4th of July and Christmas week) that they don’t do any mailings. So essentially there is one total price ($15,548) for 50,000 mailings (1,000 a week) that is spread out over 52 weekly payments of $299. So basically after it’s all said and done, you’re paying 31 cents a mailing which includes artwork/design, printing, mailing list and postage.
Like I said, I signed up for a year. From what I’ve been told, they are very flexible and can set up almost any type of mailing schedule that you want. If you just want to do flyers and no postcards or magnets, they can do that. You can do smaller or larger mailings, just postcards, just magnets, etc. Their magnets are just like monster magnets, with the coupons, and a lot less expensive. I’m really looking forward to seeing how well this program works. Each of the advertising pieces are over sized. The flyers are 11x17, postcards are 6x9, and the magnets are 4x10.
Thanks for everyones quick responses. I have signed up for the annual program and am ready to get rolling. I am guilty of letting this critical piece slip by me for too long. They were very up front about all of the costs and made it as clear as possible. Annual program is still much less then 3% of our sales. I have friends who own franchises that have to spend 3% + of sales plus contribute 2% to corporates marketing programs.
I signed up at the end of last year and began the program the 1st week of this year. So far they have been great to work with and we are getting about a 4% return which is good compared to other things we have done. I would recommend them. (unless you are in my delivery area)
a 4% return for me would be 400 dollars. Being that you have to pay 300 a week to do it, results don’t seem
too great. Especially when you figure in your costs. ( food, labor, etc) I’m not trying to put you down, i’d like to do it as well. But a 4% return ehh??
I assume the 4% to be the number of redemptions based on the quantity mailed. If he mails 1000/wk that would be 40 redemptions/orders at $20 per order would be $800 bump in sales per week. Now, if even just a handful of those redemptions are retained as regular customers who order at least once a month…all is good! In my opinion if you can cover costs with your immediate return and gain some long term customers from each mailing the investment more than pays for it self over time.