Direct mail idea

Hi all,
What would you think of a direct mailing service that fronted print/postage costs and charged “per open” or “per engagement” instead of per piece? Basically like google adwords but for direct mail. You’d have to assume there was a reliable way to track viewership of the mail piece. Not sure it’s possible but would you try it if it existed? Just curious…

On Google Adwords I use both pay per click and pay per 1,000 impression…At the end of the day my costs are about the same…

So in my mind it will not matter whether you pay for your pieces up front or just the number that are opened, your costs will be the same…

Now where you might be able to do this, is with a local tv or radio station that has lots of air time to sell…Use an “offer code” for online ordering and give them a commission for each new client…With a small local station they might do this on the honour system…

It would be pretty easy to do with a unique promo code used for online ordering. Our system will show me how many times it was used, who used it and how much was spent. I would be happy to do a deal like that where the cost was based on a fee per order or a % of the money spent and a premium for first time orders. Whether what I am willing to pay would work for the party doing the mailing is another question alltogether.

I can drive the redemtion rate up pretty high with a killer offer… but then I am giving up so much on the price that I am not thrilled to have the costs be high as well. For a high production quality 4 color 6X9 card, I can put 10,000 pieces out to my delivery area for about $2500 including everything (creative, printing, mailing services, postage). If I put a screaming deal on it, I will get about 500 orders (costing me $5 each!) as a result and perhaps pick up 40-50 first time customers… A more conventional offer will generate 300 orders… so it is costing me about $8.00 per order to generate the business… hardly a great equation if I also have to give the customer several dollars off!

Not a bad thing to do once in a while. I will pay 5K per year to pick up a couple of hundred new customers especially if I get email addresses for them and can reach them for 1/10th of a cent from that point on.

If some one offered me a mailing where I get to approve the creative work and set up the offers, I would pay $3 per order generated plus a bonus of another $3 on any new customer and I would be happy to do it several times per year as long as I also get emails.

Thanks for the feedback and your experiences with direct mail.

Royster: I’ve advertised with adwords a lot too, and after thinking about it a bit, I’m not sure that it’s really the pricing model that is attractive about it–as you mentioned, the costs tend to be about the same either way. What I like about it is that you can get started without much $ and ramp it up if it’s working. What do you think makes it so attractive to people?

Bodegahwy: Not sure if it could work for $3/$6 per sale on the mailer side, but who knows! Thanks for all the insight on your results with direct mail to date.