direct mail vs valpak

so I was wondering about this,
I can do val-pak 10000 mailed for $500.
for the same I can mail 1370 11 by 17 menus (about 10 percent of that of val pak)
what kind of response do you think I will get?

I advertise in our local small paper and they have a bulk mailing permit, Since I pay my bills and place ads every month he had no problem letting me use his permit number. I’m now mailing our menus complete with a small strip of coupons every week. My postage is only 11.2 cents a piece and I asked the post office for a list of courier routes so I can do them a couple at a time. For example Brodheadsville RR1 has 563 mail recipients, RR2 has 575, so I get those mail trays, count and load them, go to the post office my friend has his permit and pay the postage by check. Then I take them to the Brodheadsville post office to be distributed. For about 100 a week, my sales have almost doubled from last year, my entire staff is getting 40 hours and it’s a huge success. I don’t know the post office rules from state to state but if you can find someone with this license you gotta do this! I have broken down all the routes and post office boxes into a 4 month rotation, so I’m not spamming people with snail mail, so every 4 months they get either a new menu with fresh coupons or a million dollar letter. 400 bux a month to boost sales almost 100%, I’m all over it. PM me if you have any questions buddy.


Even if you don’t know somebody with a bulk mail permit you can get one yourself - it’s only $175 per year.

I’ve never received an acceptable ROI from Valpak. Money Mailer (if you have one in your area) is half the price and pulls far better than Valpak. Versus direct mail, my direct mail campaigns win every time.

In our area you need to take a class to get a bulk mail permit.

I hear so many horror stories about the US Post Office…In Canada, we are fortunate that the head office runs things and when they tell a local post office how it is done it is done that way…In the US it seems local post offices can “wing” it and make up their own rules that may be different down the road…

LOL. Royster’s post sums this up perfectly - it all comes down to your local post office and what the postmaster feels like doing.

We have the classes here, but they didn’t require me to go for the permit. Six miles away in another the city of my second location I was told that I would need to take the class, even though I already had a bulk mail permit in another city :slight_smile:

Hannah, I like your method of cycling menus. I just stopped a four month campaign of direct mail where I was hitting homes every 5 weeks. It works great and brings in more new customers than anything else, but it’s not something I can continue every month as my primary advertising. WAY too expensive.

I am now using Money Mailer and two local magazines for monthly coupon distribution. They don’t do as well as the DM in bringing in new customers but the ROI is triple. I think I have to explore what you’re doing as a way to keep my menu out there, and especially going into homes with new owners.

How are you printing your menus if you’re only sending 600 per week? Do you not have expiration dates on your coupons?

Hey Piper,
On this mailing I created a whole new glossy menu and got 8k printed up. When I opened I was distributing a paper menu that really wasn’t as pro as I wanted it to look, so I saw this as a two fold opportunity to put out a pro menu and hit my entire delivery/eat in area. When I’m done with the first rotation I will still have 1k menus left that will be enough for guests who ask for them in the restaurant. As far as the coupons go I put in buy one get one 1/2 off valid for each month up to March. I’m hoping they pin it up on there fridge to use them again and again over the next few months which I am the slowest, that way they keep seeing my logo, thus burning my brand into their memories lol. Without getting up now to run a report on my POS, I can safely say I’m up 100% for the first month of mailings over last year. In the Spring I’m going to do the million dollar letter format setting myself up for the good Summer months. If I can boost my Summer sales as much as these hard Winter months I’ll be able to start paying myself better, and pave my parking lot. What I am doing now is trying to formulate a way to tie in all three of my best marketing tools. Direct mailing, my email blasts and Facebook. Like I had mentioned before, since I don’t have “Pizza, BBQ or Seafood” in my store name, it’s all about my brand, and that’s what I’m marketing. Hannah Bananas.

I just got a PM from someone with a good question. He asked how I got my lists. That’s the beauty of doing it this way. There are no lists needed, it goes by courier routes. You choose which routes you want your menus mailed to and the post master gives them to the drivers or they put them into the PO boxes at the office. No more returned mail from people who died or moved! Also, if your designing new menus just for mailing, you need a permit number on the menu itself! If you have gotten one, or anything bulk mailed you will see a white box and the permit number placed like a stamp would go. Hope that clears some stuff up.

To get THOSE lists just ask the postmaster or try online, I get mine right from the master.