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Old 12th February 2008, 07:49 PM   #1
Jody37604
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Default New To Direct Mail/Bulk Mailing

First off, I would like to say hello to the community here and think it is a wonderfull thing you guys are doing here. Well to start off, I am wanting to start up my on bulk/direct mailing buisness, in which I will be mailing out anywhere from 1000-5000 pre-printed out post cards per order. I am needing help to find the right program but cheapest and effective that would allow me to import a mailing list and print addresses and postal barcode onto the postcards. Also Is it possible to use Microsoft Office for such a task? Any help would be very appreciative.

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Old 12th February 2008, 08:26 PM   #2
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Hello, welcome to the forum.

I know Verticle Response, a program I use for email blasts, also does post cards. I am not sure what artwork you need to supply though. You can upload your list into the program, and they will print and fulfill your postcards.

Or, you can do it yourself. If your list is organized in Excel, you can do a "merge" and print labels. Then stick the labels on your postcards by yourself.

You may also want to look into Postcard Mania. I see them at the DMA Show every year.

Good luck! Nick

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Old 12th February 2008, 08:53 PM   #3
Jody37604
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Default Address Printer

Oh I forgot to mention I have a pitney bowels address printer. Will Excell also work in printing nothing but address and barcodes onto cards? My aunt has her own telemarketing buisness where she sets appoinments off of returned post cards that insurance agencys has got to do there direct mailing. I am wanting to be able to do the direct mailing myself.


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Old 14th February 2008, 12:18 AM   #4
StillWorking
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Jody,
If I am reading in between the lines correctly, sounds like you want to be in control. I am a control freak too! But when it comes to direct mail, I have to tell you that I have sliced and diced it so many ways, and when it comed down to it, it's really better handled by a company that does it.

As an example, we set out with a mail campaign that was 2,000 post cards. Printed our own labels (using ACT after importing them from a CSV list that we purchased). Once they got labels... they (of course) needed stamps. Two people working really well in an organized set up could only handle about 1,000 card per hour PER job. By that I mean, it took 2 people an hour (2 man hours) to label the cards. Then another hour (2 man hours) to stamp. It's just a lot of handling no matter how you cut it.

When we compared pricing. We started with our own printing + label + postage. When we went to Postcard Mania they actually saved us money. They had better prices on print. They were organized enough to get our list sorted, etc. to get out at buld postage rates. They did everything... and they did it very, very well and at the end of the day... saved us about $300.00 on 2,000 cards (just remember... Postcard Mania will only print 5,000 and up) But when you compare the dollars you save... and you don't handle anything!

Now, since then, we have changed our campaign and do mailing in another way, but that's another story.

If I can help, you're welcome to e-mail or PM me. I will do the best to help you by sharing our first hand experience.

Good luck!

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Old 14th February 2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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Well the thing is my aunt has nothing to do with the direct mailing. People she does her work for takes care of all that. She just does all the dialing on the mailed in responces off the postcards. I am trying to learn how to do the direct mailing myself or figure out the basic/cheapest equipment needed to get started, in order to start up my own buisness and have her send work my way.

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Old 8th March 2008, 07:25 PM   #6
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Default Do you have a good list.

Direct marketing can be a wonderful addition to your marketing plan. The first thing you need is a good list. Don't send out your material to just anyone. If you do you will be doomed. You need to know your ideal customer if you don't already have a database of interested prospects. You can buy your list from many different companies. Just make sure that your list is compiled of your target market. This will increase your response rate as much as 50-300%. As for the design of your postcard, to get the best results you want to hand address them all. I know this is alot of work, i usually hire my kids and their friends to help. Studies show that a hand addressed postcard or envelope will be 75% less likely to be tossed in the trash. Now on to the pre-printed postage, once again this screams out JUNK MAIL. You want to us a normal stamp or collectors stamp, if you do, you will receive a much higher response rate. I know this seems like a lot of effort, but if your message gets read by 3-5 times more people or your response rate skyrockets it will be well worth it. Please feel free to contact me for more tips and suggestions.

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Old 17th March 2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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I have used direct mail and have had great results. I totally agree that personalizing every piece of mail that goes out is the way to go. I send out sales letters that read like stories and personalize each letter and address each envelope by hand. Amazing success doing that as long as you have a targeted audience. Success to all!

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Old 17th March 2008, 08:18 PM   #8
Jody37604
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Hello again and thanks for your input. I have stuffed more in brain these past 2 months then I have all year. I have found out all the information as far as USPS standards and what software that I can use to handle all my mailings. I am wanting to use postcards because they are cheaper have a better responce rate from the reserch I have done. I also will have to attach information with the postcards, to my targeted list. I am stumped on this because I am not trying to use envelopes and all the information I am needing to send just want fit on a regular postcard alone. The thing I have came up with is to have the information perforated onto the card and tri-fold it. The question is will I still get the mailings read, and have a good responce rate using this method? Any suggestion or input on this matter would be great thanks. I also want to know if any of you guys have had luck using handwritten fonts with an address printer? I was thinking about using this method.


Last edited by Jody37604; 18th March 2008 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 5th June 2008, 07:51 AM   #9
Rich_Muir
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A tip would be to place some teaser copy on the most visible part to entice them to take the effort to read further. It may sound obvious but not many do it well so take time with it otherwise it could kill your results.

Regards

Rich

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Old 5th June 2008, 11:14 AM   #10
debs5
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Thanks for starting this thread Jodi...I do alot of direct mailings myself and didn't realize that handwriting created that much of difference. I will have to start doing that myself and see if I get any better results.

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