View Full Version : Direct Mail? Good or Bad?

08-20-2008, 12:36 PM
Hey guys,

OK, quick question... If you have ever used direct mail to advertise your haunt, how did it work out?

What are the pros and cons of direct mail and haunts?

Did you actually see an increase in attendance due to direct mail?

Thanks guys, any info you have on this would help me out greatly. -Tyler

Dr Spooktakular
08-20-2008, 02:24 PM
We are gonna do a metro type magazine that goes to over 25,000 addresses in our city. Everyone in our city gets one once a month for free, homes, businesses, etc... A 1/3 page ad is $475, when I called the mailer (valuepak) guys they were double that for one month in the Dallas area. A better option if your willing to spend the money is to advertise at the local movie theater on the screen before movies, it reaches target audience and movies are doing well right now attendance wise.

08-20-2008, 02:59 PM
Thanks for the reply... We've looked at local newspapers and mags. as well. As for the theaters, we've got that covered! ;) ... Thank you though, this is really helping.

Anyone else? -Tyler

Patti Ludwinski
08-21-2008, 12:52 AM
Direct mail refers to mailings direct from your home/business to their home/business.

As for whether it works, it depends on where/what/how you got your list for the direct mail that you'd be doing. Here's a couple examples:

If your direct mail piece was being sent out to a list of haunt-goers who attended your event last season, then that would be considered a TARGET (or NICHE) direct mail piece. This would work phenomenally, even with running the risk of advertising to some who might already have been planning to attend your event, because every dollar you spend is going to your target audience.

Now, if your direct mail piece was being sent out to a list of homes within a certain county/district, then that would be considered a MASS direct mail. Mass Advertising is never as cost-effective as Target Advertising, but that doesn't mean it won't work. However, when you advertise to the mass populations like that, you must calculate that only up to 5% or so of the population might be a haunt-goer. Which would mean 95% are not. Therefore, anytime you spend money on a Mass Advertising campaign, you can figure that 95 cents of every dollar you spend is potentially wasted.

On a bit of a side note:
I encourage you to gather numbers from your ad rep(s) before purchasing any Mass Advertising campaign from anyone (including TV and radio). Take the number they give you of how many your message will "reach", figure that only 5% of that number is a potential haunt-goer, multiply that by your ticket price, and compare that to the amount of advertising dollars it will cost you. Do this before placing the advertising. Also, know ahead of time how much money you're willing to spend per attendee. That number might be only $1 or $2 dollars per attendee for an established haunt. Or, that number might be higher for someone trying to grow their haunt initially, especially if competition is an issue.

Hope that helps!

08-21-2008, 03:54 AM
Patti, thanks so much for your response! We are looking at what you called a "mass mailing", meaning EVERY house within a set radius within town. I think we're looking at a little more than 80K mailings. One thing that we're doing is that the design, layout, and other marketing ploys that we're doing is actually kinda... nice. Like, if I sent you what we're mailing out... you'd say, "hey, lets GO to this place and check it out"... So, if we even pulled 20% of our direct mail attempt, we're happy!

Thanks for the info though. This is helping out nicely. -Tyler

Haunting Copy
08-21-2008, 07:53 AM
Tyler, are you hiring a professional to write the piece?


Jim Warfield
08-21-2008, 08:14 AM
Move alot, change addresses often, youthfull decisions, school, ex cetra.
I had a mailing list from my own customers and a large number of my mailings returned because of the changes in addresses and this list was very current as far as when they gave me their addresses.

With potentially only a 5% return on your advertising money , you might want to calculate if you might make a better return buying Lotto tickets instead or attending a local gambling institution? (I always threatened to do this instead)

I was told after-the-fact that cable tv ads are a waste of money because of channel surfing and the person telling me this works for a large major network and is married to my cousin, which might be why he was so honest about it rather than following the "party line"of "Spend! Spend! Spend! Spend Some more! See how well it's working!" (for them.)
On the other side of that "Coin", a local woman who owned a small jewlery store placed small ads every week in all the little newspapers and shopper papers all year long. Then in the Christmas buying season her little store (around the block from me) would be PACKED! with customers coming from all around! She would hire quite a few employees and they could not keep up.
Figuring out "Business" is one thing, figuring out "Your Business" might be a whole different and special can-of-worms"?

Patti Ludwinski
08-21-2008, 10:36 PM
I agree with Jim... Beware of purchased mailing lists as the information could be outdated or inaccurate. But, with a mass direct mail campaign, you don't have to worry about that. You just address to CURRENT RESIDENT.

On the otherhand, if you were attempting a Targeted Mail piece to perhaps local college students, and you purchased a list of your local community college attendees, then...beware. Be sure to know who you're buying your list from. Are they credible? Otherwise, you could be mailing to folks whom the Grim Reaper has already collected. LOL.

Tyler: It sounds like you've got a great piece and direct mail can be inexpensive which is always a plus. Good luck with it!

Jim Warfield
08-22-2008, 07:26 AM
21 yrs. ago when I bought this house there had been 5 apartments in it and I would get junk mail for "5 Apartments!"
Sometimes this was good when someone was giving away free rulers or soap, but usually it was a pain-in-the posterior.
They had names on those labels of former college students who once lived here seven years previous! What a waste of postage and print!
Ask yourself, "How much money do I want to spend on "Landfill"?
Buy a movie ticket , go see the theater's ad presentation before you buy.
A local place shows those ads with reddish house lights on that blurs the screen to the point that the images there hurt your eyes , if you are still looking, that is,then their ad comes on telling you how incredible these ads look!
I laughed So Hard!
Of course if they were showing an expensive ad for my place I might have had my gresey hands around someone's neck! (Just wiping off the popcorn grease!)