Professional Marketing Help

Good Morning,

We have been marketing in various forms since purchasing our first store in November (we now have 2 stores).

We currently mail menus, doorhangers, flyers, new mover cards, etc.

A common problem we have is running out of time each week to get new materials designed and printed. With running the shops, the days truley fly by.

We have many new avenues we are exploring such as Monster Magnets, Peel-a-Deal Fundraiser cards for local schools, as well as continuing the other items listed above.

One important area we have neglected is mailing postcards to our exisiting customers. Menus and “Specials” boxtoppers do go on every pizza box.

We would like to mail postcards to our existing customer base (especially to those that have not ordered in a while). However, with everything going on, we were thinking of leaving the design and printing to a professional.

Is their a recommended marketing company that can help, without costing too much?

As an aside, on of the things we are thinking of putting on the card is that when someone orders and gives the card to the delivery driver or counter person they’ll be entered into a contest to win an iPod (thinking of picking 3 winners at the end of March).

Any recommendations or other thoughts?

Thank you,

I started using Contemporary Communications based out of Wichita, KS about 2 weeks ago. I just toured their facility yesterday… quite impressive.

Try to picture 90,000 square feet and over 60 employees working two shifts per day with hundreds of machines doing nothing but direct mail. They work on anything from my one little pizza store, to Carleton Sheets brochures, to Cox Communications mailers. The sales manager told me last year they produced over 69 million direct mail pieces. In case you didn’t do the math, that’s 189,041 direct mail pieces a day.

They mail all over the U.S… and they’re cheap. I pay 22 cents per postcard (that is printing, sorting, stamping, mailing).

www.mailcci.com

Hope this info helps. -J_r0kk

Do they do design work too?

Thanks,

you could try www.mypizzapromo.com as well they are doing my menu and doorhangers, and postcards. Very nice looking and proffesional.

Are you SURE on the 22 cents per piece? What are you having them do? I went to their site and the postage alone began at 17 cents, then you have their production costs. I put in two proposals and they came out about 33 cents at the cheapest.

Will they do a Saturation Mailing with simplified addresses, or do you know?

Have you seen the actual quality of the postcard, and is it multiple colors or just a one or two color printing?

Very impressive website that they have, and it appears they’re on top of things too.

I have used Netpost through the USPS website, and they have outstanding photo quality glossy cards. They will even use your uploaded photos if you want to do such.

Check them out too!

Cruiser writes:

Are you SURE on the 22 cents per piece? What are you having them do? I went to their site and the postage alone began at 17 cents, then you have their production costs. I put in two proposals and they came out about 33 cents at the cheapest.

Will they do a Saturation Mailing with simplified addresses, or do you know?

Have you seen the actual quality of the postcard, and is it multiple colors or just a one or two color printing?

Very impressive website that they have, and it appears they’re on top of things too.

Yes, 22 cents per postcard. I designed the card, sent it to them in a Microsoft Publisher format. They have great relations with local printing companies and got them printed at 5 cents each (half page). We used an earthtone postcard stock with black ink. This is saturation mailing (got the carrier routes from www.melissadata.com) in which we designed a plan to hit two carrier routes at a time. The saturation mailing cost was 14 cents. Handling cost was 3 cents each.

The quality is stellar. I’ve always been a 4-color guy, but I got contradictory information from “pizzacity”. They stated they just sent out black and white copies to their military post and got great response. I figured I’d give it a try here, and to no surprise… it works. -J_r0kk

Most direct marketing experts seem to think color get 30% better return…

I have started using clear cello envelopes for my mailings,…That way the full colour material inside shows through…I do not have an exact figure but I am pretty sure my results have increased since this change…

…RCS…

Went to their site also as I have to find a way to do some mailings to counter a "no doorhanging’ area. The quotes came out around $.33 per postcare ($.17 postage) and the rest their printing costs etc. Even at the higher rate than j_rOkk got, this seems very reasonable. I am working the ***melissadata site to get certain carrier routes I know I can’t doorhang in. Great site–thanks again j_rOkk.

Pizza Bob

Went to their site also as I have to find a way to do some mailings to counter a "no doorhanging’ area. The quotes came out around $.33 per postcare ($.17 postage) and the rest their printing costs etc. Even at the higher rate than j_rOkk got, this seems very reasonable. I am working the ***melissadata site to get certain carrier routes I know I can’t doorhang in. Great site–thanks again j_rOkk.

Pizza Bob

Our company does do design work. We can produce simple one color mailings or full color. It would depend upon your budget. No matter who you use, I would start small and build from there.

As for basic mailing cost you will always have postage. Here are some of the in’s and out’s of postage and mail piece design.

  1. There are three basic postage rates on a direct mail pieces (post card or letter size piece)

    a) Post card rate - This rate is for a mail piece that is “post card” size (minimum 3 1/2 " x 5" & maximum of 4 1/4" x 6") This type of mail piece can mail at post card (first class) rates. If you mail saturation (all mail receipents in a carriers route) your average postage rate would be .18 cents each piece. If you selected criteria (for example, age, homeowners, income) you average postage rate would be .20 cents each.

    b) Letter size STANDARD mail - This rate would be used to mail a letter size piece (larger than a post card but smaller than 6 1/8" x 11 1/2") The average postage rate for STANDARD mail is .16 cents each for saturation and .21 cents for selected criteria.

    c) Letter size FIRST CLASS mail. This is the most expensive way to mail. The main advantage of FIRST CLASS is the speed in which it arrives in-home. The average cost per piece would be around .295 cents each piece. The only reason I would reccomend F/C would be to help improve sales at a location quickly. When you mail F/C you would allow 2 to 3 days to arrive in-home. STANDARD mail can take 3 to 12 days depending upon where it mails from and to.

I would suggest using a letter size piece. The best succes we have is the “oversized” post card. This would be a card normally 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" printed on both sides. A lage post card normally is NOT ignored. If you can develope a mail plan that mimics a company like Pizza Hut, you can easily create a loyal customer base. This takes time and of course money.

If anyone has specific questions about a mail plan, please ask away. I will respond as soon as I can.

My experience with CCI has been very bad. We have used them twice on 2 different very large mailings and they have screwed up each one. They will not owe up to the mistakes they made, only offering to discount the next mailing. Well there will never be another mailing there. We went there on the recommendation of someone who had used them once and since then has had his own problems with them. We found another company in the same city with much cheaper pricing and better work. Just my .02 for someone shopping around.

:smiley:

Can you recommend the other company. I’m always more “interested in better service better price”

We have had good luck with Office Aide. Our mailings have grown since we left CCI and have not had any problems yet and our mailings include a lot of data and production work. FYI, there is another business close to Wichita that slowly building up and moving into the direct mail business, I’ve used them for fulfillment and may give then a try when they are ready. Our mailings are getting big enough we have discussed spliting some of it up.

Good luck!!

Does Office Aide have a web site? I’m in Colorado

Yes its
http://www.officeaide.net/

Just for grins you should also get a quote from Typed Letters in Wichita. I don’t have their website info though but I have gotten pricing from them.