Valpak: Should Your Business Do It?

by Liz Magill on June 15, 2011
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Full service direct mail marketing service company Valpak provides 45 million U.S. homeowners discounts and deals from local and national brands on everything from dental services to pizzas tucked in those signature blue envelopes. As a small business owner, you may be thinking about advertising with Valpak, but aren’t sure how it works, how much it costs, and most importantly — if it’s worth it. We dug in to find the answers to these pressing questions.

What does advertising in Valpak cost?

Probably the most immediate question on your mind is cost. We spoke with Bernie Kuminkoski, General Manager of Valpak’s Southwestern Pennsylvania division, who told us that pricing varies according to mailing frequency, print quantity, target customer, and Valpak special promotions, which typically run in the spring and fall. Generally speaking, the cost for a direct mail piece in the “blue envelope” runs from 1.5 cents to 4 cents per home, says Kuminkoski. So, targeting a 10,000 home radius could cost you anywhere from $150 to $400. (More than likely, a 10,000-home target will cost you $300 to $350 since price breaks start at 50,000 homes and up). The minimum order is 10,000 homes.

There’s also a solo direct mail advertising option — which ranges from 25 cents to 99 cents per home. Valpak solo mail campaign includes a standalone mail piece, which is sent separately from the blue envelope.

What are the benefits of advertising in Valpak?

Beside the fact that consumers know that deals await them in the familiar blue envelope, advertising in Valpak can drive new and old foot traffic to your restaurant or retail shop, generate increased visitors to your website, or target seniors and other individuals who may not be online. With families continuing to pitch pennies due to a sluggish economy, coupon usage is on the rise — so more consumers are turning to Valpak for savings. Valpak mailings can also help you increase brand awareness or showcase a new product, service, or business. Most significantly, it can increase sales and ROI, as several case studies and testimonials suggest.

What’s the return on investment of Valpak?

Valpak presents 29 case studies on its website on companies ranging from Brookstone to PODS to Terminex showcasing results in areas such as acquiring new customers, driving traffic, generating sales leads, increasing per-transaction value, and more. Take a look at some of the notable case study highlights:

  • Goodyear – Net increase of 5.1 percent tire sales per day
  • Walmart Vision Centers – 16.2 percent increase in units sold; overall ROI of 288 percent
  • A casual restaurant – ROI 26 percent; 2.9 percent increase in foot traffic
  • Subway (117 southern Virginia stores) – 45-plus percent average store sales growth
  • South Salem Pet Supply – 202 percent ROI

Need another Valpak success story? Peter Jaansen, owner of BytesOnsite.com computer repair and services store, says he realizes a 250 percent monthly return on his Valpak investment.

What’s new?

Although the iconic blue envelope is the bread-and-butter of its business, Valpak executives realize they need to reach their online and on-the-go consumers, too. To that end, Valpak now offers digital coupon solutions to mobile users who don’t have to snip, clip, and print. Advertisers already using Valpak’s direct mail service are included in the mobile app for free.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, and Windows 7 Phone users can punch in their zip code to receive local coupons, and most retailers and restaurateurs accept a look at your phone’s screen to grant the discount. Valpak’s digital offers receive over 40 million monthly views. The online website has also integrated with deal sites, such as Edeals.

Valpak’s latest innovation is a location-based mobile device app called Junaio. Using GPS capability, Junaio enables consumers to see merchant offerings like rebates, coupons, or purchase deals in real time, right through their camera’s view finder. Consumers simply point their view finder toward a merchant, and deals populate within a five feet to 20 mile radius. Check out more app features on this video.

So, is it worth the expense?

Valpak may not work for every merchant every time, but most of the information we’ve seen indicates that it’s an affordable way to get coupons distributed to a large number of interested people. Have you ever advertised in Valpak? If so, how did it turn out?

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