Getting Ready To Start My 2nd Full Cycle With Mail Shark

Just wanted to share my experience from using Mail Shark the past 6 months since they’ve been discussed several times on TT. A quick recap of how I’m using them: 1,000 mailers a week with 10,000 addresses so I’m in each home once every 10 weeks for $299/wk. We started with 11x18 menus with coupons in May, then did the magnet coupons with KC Chiefs schedule on them and just finished our “mostcard” that has an abbreviated menu with coupons on it.

I made a mistake to start by rushing through the menu design and trying to get it mailed before school got out instead of being sure I had a design that I was completely happy with. I also realized after awhile, that the coupons should be targeting delivery and take out customers ordering for more than one person (i.e. no sandwich & drink deals). Menus and magnets had a great response with between a 27-34% increase in sales every month! The postcards we just finished were disappointing, but probably still are within an acceptable return rate. I’m not sure if I’ll do them again, but I have a few months to think it over.

My new menus are being finished up and I’m really excited to have them start going out soon. I also love the fact that I can order extra pieces to use in store or door hang with and have the cost spread out over that same 10 weeks. Everyone I’ve worked with has been super nice and helpful and they’re always willing to tweek anything within reason to make sure I’m happy with the program. I’ve told a few people this in PM’s here, but I always feel like I’m their most important customer whenever I talk to them.

Highly, highly recommend people give them a try. They even have an “out” available if you sign up for the year contract and decide it’s not for you.

We must have started about the same time as you. We did menu, magnets, and just finished postcard. We are getting ready for the next menu mailer and thinking of doing a scratch off piece for our 5th and final piece of the year. I am thinking of upping it to 2000 pieces per week next year. We have gotten a decent return, great service, at a fair price. The best part of it is it doesn’t matter how busy or distracted I am, some marketing will go out each and every week. I highly recommend calling Josh at mailshark and getting started with a program. You won’t regret it!

What’s the scratch off piece you’re talking about? Is it something you’re having done somewhere else and MS mail it for you? I haven’t heard anything about it.

It is a new piece from mailshark. They sent us a sample not too long ago. Not sure if the price will be the same but it may be worth paying a little extra.

does the $299 a week cover all costs? Design, mail, address lists, etc?

Bryan

Yes, everything is included in that price.

It seems expensive at 30c per customer to me, but if you feel its worth it then who am I to argue. I don’t like the fact of mail pieces every 10 weeks(becomes junk mail in the eyes of consumers) . You have to find your niche. I used a scratch off piece I produced myself and got a huge response also but it was a one off. Keep thinking outside the box. Good luck and continued success.

What sort of results have you experienced? Have you seen a sales increase? How many new customers? How many new customers repeat buy? I’ve been debating signing up but for $300 a week I’d probably have to stop doing some other advertising and I have a couple more months with those avenues…

The price isn’t that bad. It cost around 12 cents a piece for 11x17 Tri-fold flyers. So that leaves you with 18 cents for addressing, sorting, and postage.

12 cents for 11X17 tri fold seems high. I have 50K printed at 5.5 cents each and that includes an extra fold with coupons, design work, and the shipping to my mail house.

I am sure the price range on 50,000 11 x 17 trifold fliers is maybe 0.05 each to close to 0.20 each depending on the quality of the paper and printing…At the low end it will be 60 pound paper (a little better than newsprint) printed on a web offset press…Like a lot of weekend newspaper inserts…At the other end will be 100 or even 120 pound fine paper printed on a sheet feed press (good color registration)…Like jewelery store inserts…

In my mind so much of the cost of bulk advertising like this is the distribution cost and I think if you spend a little more on the actual pieces being distributed you will get a return…But to figure out what works best you have to test and track…

Your marketing efforts need to vary depending on a lot of variables…Size of market, location of market, number of competitors, price point in market, aggressiveness of competitors, price sensitivity in market, etc., etc., etc…

And marketing dollars should not be a fixed amount…You need to spend as much or as little as needed to maximize your sales in your particular market…

In one of my previous pizzerias we were 40% higher price than other stores in our market…We had to drive sales by aggressive marketing…We did full colour 11 x 17 tri-folds every 3 or 4 weeks…Other stores did 8 1/2 x 11 2 colour tri-folds when they got around to it and not very often…They had lower price point so they had no money to market…

I was just quoting gotprint’s price for 10,000. You can get 50,000 from them for 5 cents a piece which includes shipping.