Getting to Know the Cost of a Direct Mail Campaign

March 18, 2022 / Digital Marketing

Even in a digitally-driven world, direct mail has proven its value time and again. With an open rate that can reach up to 90%, every business should be using this impactful marketing tool. Direct mail encourages a direct response, whether making a purchase or visiting a website. A tangible piece of marketing, your customers or prospects can physically handle it. They will also look at it more than once, providing recall power. You can target who receives your direct mail, even personalizing your piece to make it more effective. The best part is your competition is limited, as many companies are scaling back in favor of digital marketing. 

With all of this in mind, you get why you need to take advantage and incorporate direct mail into your marketing efforts. But how much will it cost you? Here are the key variables to consider when pricing out your next campaign.

Design Cost

The cost associated with the design of your piece depends on a few different factors. Consider the complexity of your design and the time it’ll take to complete. Direct mail, like postcards, come in a few different sizes, which impacts the design parameters of your piece. Recently, the USPS increased postcard size, allowing you to create a more effective design. Make sure the design team keeps USPS mailing requirements in mind when designing your piece at the onset so you don’t need to go back to make any changes, which will save you time and money. When picking the type, size, and quantity of your direct mail piece, consider the cost of printing as well.

Postage Cost

Postage is usually the biggest cost associated with direct mail. First-class is the most expensive, but it comes with the quickest delivery, priority processing, and precise mail tracking. Standard class (aka Marketing Mail) is discounted pricing only available to direct mail service providers and commercial printers. The latter is a great option when you’re mailing over 500 pieces.

List Cost

The cost of your mailing list depends on how targeted your list is. 

  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): There’s no mailing list with EDDM. Your direct mail piece is distributed to every mailing address within a specific region—including to those who might not find your product or services beneficial. However, it’s one of the more cost-effective options, saving you on postage and the cost associated with purchasing a list.
  • Saturation Mailing lists: These lists qualify for the lowest bulk postage rates because of delivery efficiency. You’re required to purchase a list, but there’s no limit to the size of your direct mail piece, allowing you to have more control over the type of piece and design. It’s similar to EDDM; however, it targets more specific demographics within a region rather than hitting every mailbox.
  • Targeted Mailing lists: As the most targeted approach, you purchase one or more lists with addresses for qualifying leads who are most likely to make a purchase. While more costly, it can significantly increase your response rates if you purchase your lists from a reputable source.


With direct mail options like postcards, you can anticipate a response rate of 5.7%, with an ROI of 29%. But the benefits don’t stop there. Adding digital enhancements like LeadMatch and digital ads to support your campaign will increase your response rate by 23%-46%. At Strategic Factory, our team of experts takes care of the entire process, so you don’t have to go anywhere else. Our creative experts can provide an effective design to drive results. We have top-of-the-line print equipment with variable data printing capability. Our mailing experts offer accurate lists for a targeted approach, and our marketing agency team provides digital support to increase your response rate. We’re the only solution you need for your direct mail campaign, so contact our experts to start getting in front of your customers and prospects today.