Let's break that down - $2,500 per Quarter - roughly 50,000 pieces mailed each quarter, and out of each mailing he probably generated 20 leads, maybe 10 of those turned into qualified leads, and a portion of those maybe then converted to a sale.
The widget he sells ranges in price from $3,500 on up to over $10,000. When he signed on with Cazbah he was still running these direct mail campaigns, and didn't really think twice about continuing them. As his new site was built and launched, he moved over to my care and control where I quickly learned what his spend was on direct mail.
When I refer to direct mail - this particular product is the cellophane wrapped postcards that come in packs. I personally don't believe I have ever opened one of those mailers that has come to my home, they have all ended up in the trash.
Well my line of thinking is this... let's first save a tree by not doing the mailer, less garbage, less recycling... and second, let's save the customer bunches of money that can be put back into his business, and spend a small fraction of that $10,000 and generate more qualified leads on a monthly basis.
Challenge: Convince said customer that spending $300 a month on something like Google AdWords can generate more qualified leads, then the plastic-wrap mailer you've been doing for years! People are resistant to change... (But just how many trees is that?). After much discussion - customer agrees to commence with AdWords for a trial period of one month at a $10/day budget and very targeted ads featuring his product at a low monthly lease price.
Said customer promised to do just one more mailer with direct mail company (against my recommendation) and when I heard of it, said - okay if you are going to mail - push the web site and invite recipients to sign up for email updates and promotions - the mailer went out without that info. So there's $2,500 (or almost a YEAR'S worth of AdWords out the window).
30 days and $300 later - we generated roughly 25-30 QUALIFIED leads, and client received an influx of contact requests through the web site.
12 Months - Direct Mail - 50,000 Pieces Per Mailer - $10,000 - Annual Leads Generated = Approx. 80. (40 Qualified Leads).
12 Months - AdWords - Annual Spend roughly $3,600 - Annual Leads Generated = 360 Qualified Leads.
I would even venture to guess that after further optimization of the AdWords campaign through use of negative keyterms, and other techniques, the number of qualified leads would increase gradually.
Add to this, from the leads generated through sponsored search advertising (or pay per click), an email captured for each lead. On the leads that do not generate an immediate
sale, you have now fostered a relationship by which you can communicate future promotions and product features via email campaigns.
Consider email marketing and news updates to your subscriber base and or customers rather than mailing them promotions - you'll reach a greater audience, and by sending to an "opt-in" list - you already know you are sending to a receptive audience. It can take some time to build an email list, but there are ways to get the word out.
What's the punchline? Spend your advertising dollars in a way that will maximize your return, and in this age of social media and online awareness. Save a Tree! Save Money!