I was thinking about using Vistaprint. I get all my cards and stuff fromthere. They offer direct mailing. Says they can target the higher income areas.
It's not exactly cheap. I would do about 200 cards at a time.
Have you ever tried this? How was the payoff? Is there a cheaper place or method to try?
Yes, I do direct mail all the time, it is a hit or miss however. Direct mail has worked marvelously with my dance studio, but for cakes I have had less success. I do purchase the schools mailing list and in April send out postcards to all the graduating seniors. That tends to do well, and at Christmas time I send out a Holiday thank you to all my customers to get repeat biz. It works better if you put a coupon offer on it. I like to get the cards when Vistaprint is offering 200 or 250 free, that really keeps costs down. Postage and a mailing list is your biggest expense. Vistaprint offers a service where they pull the list and mail them on your behalf, onlything is you don't get to see the finished product except virtually, and sometimes the virtual proof isn't exactly around the edges the way the actual product is. This really is only a problem if you upload your own design, using their stock designs you don't have that problem. Give it a try, you never know, it might be a great return!
We use direct mail for our existing customers. We also get all the area schools mailing list for graduating seniors and send invites to our graduation open house.
We also do a lot of direct marketing where we take fliers or promotional info directly to the companies we are targeting.
If you're going to do a direct mailing, I'd strongly recommend you contact a direct marketing person in your area. They can focus the mailing lists to the target market you're trying to hit.
I talked to one and he had a program in which he'd send a "Happy Birthday" card to people about a month before their birthday. A great reminder to order a specialty birthday cake. He could target certain neighborhoods, certain timing, plus he had lots of ideas and programs that I would never have come up with.
Using a professional marketing person is like using a custom cake decorators. You can struggle thru the expense and the time to do it yourself (DIY or buy the cake at walmart) or you can get your money's worth by using a professional (contacting any CC'er for a specialty cake).
I absolutely hated making advertising decisions, but I did know that if I was going to do a direct mailing, I was going to depend on the expertise and experience of the marketer who knew my neighborhood.
I have a caterer friend who did a mailing and booked a $100,000 catering from it. I said, "Wow, you must have been ecstatic!" She said, "Enough that I immediately did another mailing!"