Catalog Costs: How Low Can You Go? (

Direct mail is experiencing a long overdue resurgence for retailers, hastened by the pandemic. Increasingly crowded ads on social media and Google, full email inboxes, SMS dings all day long … while the much-maligned mailbox remained emptier as credit card offers dwindled and in-store postcard coupons were recycled.

It’s not surprising that many e-commerce brands decided to communicate in a new “old” way and test direct mail. We had the pleasure of assisting several launches in 2020 — some planned before the lockdowns, others as a new COVID strategy.

Two of the biggest surprises for folks new to mail are:

  1. the amount of time it takes to properly put together an effective mailing; and
  2. how expensive mailing can be.

One of our print partners and I assisted a pure-play that mailed within three weeks of our first discussion … this is NOT typical and we don’t recommend it. Haste makes waste. A well-thought-out plan needs time and the proper foundation, and the first mailing should allow for the upfront prep in list analysis and preparation, along with creative. A tip for new mailers: most seasoned mailers have already booked press time for Q4 2021 by the end of Q1.
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