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Direct marketing

Anybody have any suggestions on direct mailing companies? I’m finding
myself in a position where I have to learn to market myself, and

I’ve never been good at this. Any suggestions anyone has, including
maybe a good mail marketer in the Portland, OR area are welcome.

Cindy Proctor
Newberg Jewelry Studio & Supply

I don’t mean to be negative, but the return on direct mailings is
about 3%. If that is acceptable to you, then go ahead and do it, but
think about the direct mailings you get every week and how you deal
with it. If you are at all like me, it goes in the trash or recycling
bin. I really don’t have an answer, I’m sure many of the folks here
have some ideas for you that will be much more productive. I wish you
the best. I’m sure some others will come along shortly and give you
some ideas. Most of them know a lot more about marketing than I do.
Good luck to you. Let us know how you are doing.

Barbara Stewart


In a former life, I did a lot of variable data marketing pieces.
Barbara’s right, in that the return rate on traditional, non-
personalized mailers is in the 2% range, if you’re lucky. Usually,
it’s around 1%. (Probably worse yet these days.)

The return rate on personalized, data driven pieces averages around
20%. The drawback is that they’re a lot more expensive to print, and
you have to have a database of recipients to drive them. This is a
good argument for keeping a database of your clients, with more than
just name & address. If you know that person X buys vessels, and
person Y buys rings, you can automatically swap out the images and
target the mailer that much more accurately. (This is why Google’s
database of personal preferences is so valuable to advertisers in
the world of web adverts.) Some of the systems will even (for a fee)
set up personalized websites, such that each mailer has a slightly
different URL on it. So you know exactly who responded, what they
looked at, (when) and how interested they were, even if they never
bother to hit “reply”.

There are some serious tools out there, but unfortunately, none of
them come cheap. Most of them cost at well above the level that the
average craftsman is going to even consider.


Direct marketing works but you have to research who is your market.
The post office or marketing company has demographic lists and you
can mail direct to them or to list of businesses/households near to
your establishment. The standard return percent quoted is 3 % but it
is much, much lower for most businesses. If you get 1% I think that
would be very good.

Now if using a direct marketing campaign you must be prepared to do
this on a consistent basis, least 9 times in a row. So if you are
advertising weekly then at least 9 weeks in a row. It takes time and
consistency for name recognition.

One other factor that is extremely important, Your advertisement/
flyer/brochure should be made to standout. Full color, heavy glossy
paper, larger than the other items being sent all help make your
item standout. Think of it as a piece of jewelry. Would pick up a
tarnished, same as everything else piece, NO. It is your business you
are advertising. Make your flyer/brochure your calling card.

I hope this helps


I design direct mail for a living and design jewelry on the side.
When you design and create a direct mail piece, you need to print a
large run in order to keep the coast down. Then after you print all
of these mailers, you need to consider the price of the stamp or
indicia and the coast of a mailing list. With this being said you
are going to be spending a lot of money. You are better of
advertising by word of mouth.


... you are going to be spending a lot of money. You are better of
advertising by word of mouth. 

And from a consumer’s POV, I only buy from word-of-mouth referrals.
I never buy stuff advertised. I am not alone in advertisement


If you have sales in the $200,000.00 or better range annually then
it’s worth the costs involved for an initial direct mail advertising
campaign provided in your state they can be written off as long as
you are a legitimate business and pay quarterly taxes ( beyond the
obvious marketing strategies if you don’t know them from experience
and must then pay a consultant at least once to point out things you
may have overlooked, applying for and getting postage discounts
through bulk rate mailings which means a very high minimum number of
pieces from mailing list rental/buying/creation [ for instance at
well attended events where allowed to solicit by the producers, i. e.
-a :3-5 day public event/ festival with an average of 25-100,000 >
adult or over 16 yr. old attendees each day and even a quarter of
them sign up or use a tech based ’ touch screen ’ to easily and
quickly sign up on the fly as they pass bywhich can mean using a
promotional or incentive item to attract even some of the hoard to
stop at your kiosk, booth, etc! upping the preliminary costs even
more though you then own the mailing list and can then- if you feel
it’s ethical rent it out for profit… ] and the return on all the
investments ( time, money, printing that will remain current and
consistent representing your brand over a very long period in case
you don’t use all you have produced the first time around! ) is well
worth the traffic you project it will generate and that you will be
able to keep up with whatever it is you are advertising in terms of
fabricated product on hand, custom work, commissions from corporate
entities, etc. and a speedy turn around from your vendors if required
all weigh on the rationale and viability of a small business, or even
a start-up getting involved with reconciling a direct mailing
campaign other than a relatively cheap "print and mail " using a
customer base you have established and a reasonable printing service
( there are a number of internet printing services that will give you
250 pieces ‘free’ for the shipping charge) offering a percent off
discount or something to get them into your location to move
inventory that is getting too much shelf-time ! or to “open” a new
collection or line …then consider it and the reason you are
inclined at the start to think it would generate more business in the
first place… I agree with the other persons that said they buy more
from word-of-mouth recommendations than from direct mail campaigns.
Not knowing a thing about your business or the kind of things, or
capability related to quantity you can produce…I would stay away
from it if you have to ask!.. I do consulting as well as one of the
other responders so feel free to contact me off list if you need some
help beyond my playing devil’s advocate in attempts to help you see
that direct mailings 1) are on different scales and 2) take a great
deal of money and projection in a long-term sense to be successful
and finally 3) truly, if you have to ask then it’s probably not the
best idea for your business as that money could be spent far better
to reach a tangible population in your community …rer