We advocate that every business does a little direct mailing, particularly in its slack period. The cost of a second class stamp is 61 pence, which may make direct mail look too expensive. It is possible to get cheaper rates using metered mail, but then the meter has an up-front cost and we did just say “a little”.
So we do our direct mailing using 61 pence stamps after all, which we buy online. Our choice of stamp is the English Country Definitive, the greyish stamp with the three lions, which doesn’t scream “second class” at the recipient. The Scottish second class Country Definitive is also a nice stamp.
What we can do is to mail or not mail whenever we want, and we can do test mailings and monitor the results. We feel that these advantages outweigh the high cost, so we don’t think it is too expensive for us. Every other business will need to make its own decision, but should do so carefully.
A possible additional benefit of direct mailing is that it drives prospective clients or customers to the website, which means in turn that the website climbs up the rankings in Google searches. We do notice this ourselves when we slacken off with the direct mailing and then resume. Google is somehow aware when a business has other means of promotion, and it responds to help them. Money spent on direct mail is like an insurance against unemployment. If we have plenty of work we slacken off and drop down the Google rankings as well, while if we have nothing to do then a blitz on direct mailing is called for, with the double benefit of heading to the top of Google.