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Prices of direct mail

Direct Mail Services Buyer's Guide

Basic prices
If you allow a direct mail company to handle every aspect of a basic campaign, you can expect to pay several thousand pounds for 10,000 items. As a rough guide for postcards, you should allow at least £0.20 - £1.00 for each one.

Average prices
Your costs rise steadily from this point when you use the other services direct mail companies can offer such as sales letters, brochures and self-mailers. It's not unusual for an average campaign to cost a further £0.70 - £1.40 per item, depending on your requirements.

Your postage will be cheaper than the standard Royal Mail amounts for first and second class. You should be able to achieve savings between 15% and 20%.

Mailing lists
The price of a mailing list varies according to the detail you request about the target customers and whether you are sending to businesses or consumers. The cost per name and address is around £0.08 - £0.20.

Design and copywriting
This can vary according to where your business is located. An average for both design and copywriting is £30 - £50 an hour each. Check that this price includes at least one revision.

Printing costs rise to a certain point and then become very good value for bulk orders. You may want to take account of this when planning your direct mail campaign.

Prices are difficult to estimate because they vary according to the size and type of paper, the use of colour, and the printing techniques. Always ask the direct mail company to send you the printing company's quote. You can then compare this with other printers, if you wish, or use it to decide if you want to extend the print run and take advantage of bulk volume discounts. Also obtain samples of the paper and envelopes to give you an idea of quality.

Business reply envelopes
Business reply envelopes, excluding postage, can cost £230 - £450 per 10,000 depending on their size. The envelopes are generally white with black print.

Other services
Labelling, folding and enveloping can cost £0.04 - £0.15 in total. The number of direct mail items dictates the price. Other small, basic services such as sealing self-mailers may be £0.02 - £0.04 an item. Prices for assembling dimensional mailers vary in relation to the work involved.

When you get quotes from direct mail companies, ask about turnaround times for your project. And before you sign a contract with a company, make sure you're happy with the agreed deadline. Ideally, this should be no longer than two – three weeks for the whole job.

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