Last year, we managed to grow a pretty decent sized list of addresses that we’ve been using for direct mail marketing.
These are physical home addresses where we can ship letters, goodies, sales messages, and promotions to.
It’s not quite as quick and easy to mail as an email list. There are printing and shipping costs involved.
However, when we mail our email list, we may see a 10% – 20% open rate. With direct mail marketing, when we mail our list, people are excited to be receiving something in the mail from us.
We obviously don’t know the exact open rate when it comes to direct mailing but I can guarantee it’s a heck of a lot higher than 20%. I’d venture to guess it’s somewhere close to 90%.
We’ve really built this direct-mail list in two ways, and both strategies have grown our email list in the process.
How to win at direct mail marketing with a free plus shipping giveaway offer
The first strategy we used to build our mailing list was a free plus shipping offer.
With this strategy, you are basically telling people you will give them something for free, in the mail, if they just cover the cost of shipping.
We recently sat down with David Sinick from Paleohacks to discuss how he used the free plus shipping model to sell over 400,000 cookbooks.
The idea is that you break even on the cost of the book and the shipping while collecting home addresses and email addresses.
We created a free + shipping offer over at Evergreen Wisdom and about 17% of the people that land on the page takes us up on our offer to get a free copy of the book. We charge $6.95 for the book, almost the exact cost for us to print and ship the book itself.
Other than building a direct mail marketing list and an email list, we had an additional benefit to this strategy.
After someone placed their order, we were able to offer them the ability to add a subscription to the Evergreen Profits Letter to their order.
Since we already got their credit card details in the first step, we didn’t need to ask for anything again.
Customers simply had to click yes or no and it would add our upsell to their order.
We added about 20 new Evergreen Profit Letter subscribers just through this promotion. This is sometimes referred to as one-click upsell and is a feature that you should look for when making decisions on what tools and software to use when running this kind of offer.
Here’s how you can emulate a free plus shipping offer:
- Think of something that you can give away for free and determine your costs to produce and ship it. In our case, it was our latest book. Our printer charged about $3 to print the book and about $3.50 to ship the book.
- Create a landing page. The page should talk about the benefits of the offer as well as offer it for free if they just cover shipping. We used Clickfunnels to build ours.
- Link the landing page to a simple checkout page. We like Thrivecart for the checkout page because it’s the simplest to use and has the most powerful feature-set we’ve seen. Forward any sales emails over to whoever is fulfilling the physical product that you’re shipping out.
- Create any upsells that you might want after the book offer directly inside Thrivecart.
It’s a super simple strategy.
Once we had our book created and we knew our costs, we had our pages, our checkout, and our fulfillment system dialed in within a matter of a few hours.
Direct mail marketing and how to do a free giveaway in exchange for something
The second strategy that has worked well for us was another free giveaway.
Except, this time we didn’t charge for shipping. We simply asked for a favor and, in exchange, we’d mail them something.
In our case, we were asking people to subscribe and leave a review for our podcast.
After they had done those two steps, they’d fill out a quick form and we’d mail them a teaser strategy guide from the Evergreen Profits Letter.
This allowed us to kill multiple birds with a single stone.
We got new podcast listeners, a ton of reviews, collected shipping addresses, collected email addresses, AND, with each freebie we sent out, we also included a little sales letter that promoted our Evergreen Profits Letter.
All said and done, it cost us about $1.50 per person to mail them a little sample strategy guide.
So for a cost to us of $1.50 per person, we got a physical address, email address, a new podcast subscriber, a review, and an opportunity to pitch our program to them in multiple ways.
I’d say that’s pretty good value for the money.
This was also SUPER simple to set up. It’s almost the identical process as the book giveaway except that we didn’t have a checkout page.
Here’s how it works:
- Think of something you can give away for free that will be inexpensive to produce and to ship. It can even be a typed letter in an envelope like we sent.
- Create a simple landing page that explains the details and steps of the giveaway. Make sure to collect name, email, and shipping address.
- Forward any orders for the freebie over to your fulfillment company or, if you’re keeping it small, print out the letter yourself and pop it in the mail when someone fills out the form.
It’s as simple as that.
With a couple inexpensive giveaway type items, you can quickly get one of the most targeted and most responsive types of leads lists there are.
Once you decide which strategy you’re going to use and which offer you’re interested in promoting, it’s time to start driving traffic to your sales page.
Resources for direct mail marketing:
- The Ultimate SEO and Content Marketing Playbook interview with David Sinick