In today’s mail was one of those Valpak advertising coupon envelopes.

valpak advertising direct mail

Normally, I’d throw it straight into the garbage.  After all, I’m not looking to remodel my kitchen or get new windows.

But today, as I walked my mail back to the house, I took a second look at the Valpak and realized “Hey, this is a great example of direct marketing!” I also wondered how many businesses were using Valpak advertising as one of their direct marketing strategies to attract new potential customers to their products and services.

In fact, I had lots of questions about how effective local coupons are, how much Valpak advertising costs and

In this article, I’m going to give you an overall description and review of Valpak direct marketing.  I’ll answer the most common questions small business owners might have about using Valpak as part of their paid advertising strategy.

Then you’ll get some  success tips you can use that will actually drive foot traffic to your business.

Guide to Using Valpak Advertising:

What is Valpak?

Valpak is a direct marketing company that is best known for printed coupons that are delivered to 38 million homes.  A Valpak direct mail campaign features special offers and deals from businesses in your area.

While they are best known for sending coupons and reply cards in the mail,  they’ve advanced with technology and also offer mobile coupons and coupon codes with their mobile app.

If you’re a consumer, you can visit Valpak.com and see what deals are being offered in your area.  And if you’re a business, you can check out what deals your competitors are offering.

How Does Valpak Advertising Work?

valpak website advertising  section

Valpak can be an insanely inexpensive way to put your offer in front of tens of thousands of consumers in your area — sometimes for as little as .02 per household.

You can choose from a variety of printed marketing materials that include:

You can also distribute your offers online using their digital marketing options. These include:

So, if direct marketing is your game, you can use Valpak as an all-in-one lead generation resource.

Questions to Ask About Valpak Advertising

If you’re a small business owner considering Valpak, you probably have lots of questions.  The best thing to do is jot them down and chat with your local Valpak sales representative.  That’s exactly what I did.  I reached out to Lynn Yopko, the sales director for the Cleveland area.

How can Valpak help me with a website?

If you’re one of the millions of small businesses without a website, Valpak can help you with that.

Their primary offer is to design and build a website that is hosted by Valpak on a separate platform.  This is a great choice if you have nothing and don’t know where to begin.

If you already have a website that you are hosting with a web hosting company, Valpak can still help you.  They will provide you with a custom quote.

Valpak websites are typically done in WordPress, giving you access to make updates to your website like upload photos, change weekly specials etc.

What would a complete Valpak marketing campaign look like?

Of course, every business’ campaign is unique.

One of the best things about Valpak is that they design advertising campaigns based on their client’s needs, budget and future aspirations.  They are able to tailor the campaigns with no wasted distribution around ever-changing situations.

Do you help the business come up with an offer?

Valpak has more than 50 years of experience working with local businesses and a network of offices across the country with a broad range of expertise.  Valpak leverages this network to share best practices, layout design and offers that consumers respond to best.

What type of design help do you offer?

Valpak’s St Petersburg plant is full of experienced graphic artists that design ads across the country.

As an advertiser, Valpak provides sample ads, templates, and ideas to review and to help you make decisions on ad design and offers.

What information does the business owner have to have ready before the sales conversation?

Your first conversation with the Valpak advertising representative will be “all about you”.

Here is what you’ll need to know ahead of time so that you can get the most out of your conversation with the Valpak sales rep.

All of these questions require you to do some analysis and thinking ahead of time.  If you want to be successful with Valpak advertising, then you need to make sure that you have done some work upfront.

  • What are your goals for the advertisement you’re going to run with Valpak: Yes, we already know you want more leads and customers, but you need to be more specific.  Remember, you need to know how many new customers you need to be profitable.  Then you need to increase that number to cover the cost of the Valpak advertisement.
  • What promotions have you done in the past? What worked and what didn’t work. To answer this question, it’s a good idea to pull any previous advertising that you’ve done and have those results at hand.  This will save you valuable time and money later.
  • Who is your ideal customer:  “Everyone” is not an answer!  Because Valpak is local, consider where your ideal customers live, what neighborhoods.  What is their income level?  That’s not all, get as much information about your ideal customers as you can.
  • How will you track your advertising: There’s a good chance you’re only tracking the calls that come in and maybe asking “how did you hear of us”.  Take some time to think about how you can do this to better capture customers that might come in from Valpak.
  • How do you want to communicate with your customers: If you’re the one working in your business (such as appliance repair) you probably want prospects to go to an email so that you aren’t fielding calls while working.  If you have someone to answer the phone, then you can take calls.  So, think about what will work best for your prospects and for you.

Here are some options you may come away with:

  • Direct Marketing:  Target specific households, and demographics or take your current list of clients and scrub that list and easily and affordably mail to your current customers thanking them for their business and give them an appreciation offer, or remind them that it is time to use their services again.
  • Mobile Display:  to increase the performance of your Valpak ad by reaching consumers on their mobile devices where they spend the most amount of time.
  • Digital Overlay: Capture all the device screens inside the houses of the zones that we mail, giving their Valpak offer additional reach and frequency.
  • Facebook Social media program: A powerful way to reach consumers as well, if it makes sense we can put their Valpak ad front and center on Facebook where they can save it, share it, or ask to be contacted for more information.
  • PlusOne.  This is a targeted 8.75 x 5.25 solo postcard product which is combined with Valpak’s targeted households.  PlusOne provides advertisers an additional channel to reach consumers in the mailbox on their own piece at a fraction of traditional targeted Solo Mail to increase response and ROI.

What if someone signs up for a year-long campaign, but isn’t happy? What is your “return” or cancellation policy?

There really isn’t cancellation or return.  However, the Valpak team will work with you editing and tweaking as necessary to get you the best results possible.

Now, you can see why it’s important to get all of your goals, information, past marketing activities and results pulled together.  This can save you thousands of dollars.

What steps does Valpak take to make sure that the customer’s offer will convert or work with their audience?

Marketing and advertising is a business that depends on how human beings act and react to be successful.  And, human beings are basically unpredictable.

Valpak doesn’t have a magic formula for success.  What they have is more than 50 years of experience and expertise across the United States that definitely increases your likelihood of success.

The other ingredient in that success is YOU and how well prepared you are for direct marketing.

One important ingredient that will increase your success is having success stories and testimonials on hand to use in your Valpak campaign.  So if you’re short on those, start collecting them now.

What data does Valpak collect regarding what types of campaigns are successful?

Valpak is really big on tracking success.

They code print advertising to see which of the NTA’s (neighborhood trade areas = 10,000 HH) are most profitable and if they need adjusting.

Valpak will  provide tracking URL’s, they provide Call Tracking numbers with weekly reports so you can listen to the calls and visually see where your calls are coming from.  They also provide digital reporting to look at views, click to call, click for directions and conversions to your website.  This allows you to review your programs and increase ROI

People Love to Save Money With Coupons

Valpak runs a research study regularly just to see how their market engages with their coupons.

I have to admit that the results were surprising.

Check this out!

research about Valpak audiences

“The readership study confirmed that Valpak continues to mail to a highly engaged audience. Among the households that receive Valpak, nine out of 10 (92%) opened and looked through the envelope and 82% looked at every envelope insert.

The Valpak audience isn’t just looking at the inserts, they’re using them too. Of the households that opened their envelopes, 54% used Valpak coupons once a month or more frequently. 71% set aside 1-4 coupons they intend to share or use in the future.”

That’s impressive.

And, if I were a potential Valpak advertiser, I’d be daydreaming about the stream of customers calling in and begging to do business with me.

There are a couple of key phrases in this research you need to pay attention to :

54% used the coupons — I’d want to know what industries and coupons were most often redeemed.  Is it restaurants, oil changes, or any product or service that is consumed more frequently or is it more durable such as windows or blinds?

Then there are the 1-4 coupons they are setting aside to use in the future — does that actually happen?  I’m not sure.

When you’re evaluating any data, don’t just take it at face value, make sure you understand where the data came from- who did they ask, are those people your customers?

The Website is a Marketplace for Business Owners and Customers

Of course, you’ll want to check out the website first. If you click on the Google sponsored ad, you’ll get this:

valpak advertising get information from website

I accidentally gave them permission to use my location so when I click on valpak.com I see this:

valpak register to get coupons on website

If you want to get more information on ADVERTISING, you should click on the ad.  If you’re a consumer who wants to get local coupons, then give them permission to see the local zip codes and you’ll get access to tons of deals from local businesses.

Don’t worry if you make the same mistake I did, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “advertising” in the footer.  That will take you where you want to be.

valpak website footer

The Direct Mail and Advertising Page looks like this:

valpak advertising digital marketing

Real Valpak Reviews from Business Owners

I wanted to know what actual Valpak customers thought about their experience and asked around.

I spoke with Jesse Silkoff, Co-Founder and President, MyRoofingPal. Jesse was looking for a way to attract some new customers to his company which helps customers find a local roofing contractor or repair company.

valpak customer reviews

What made you consider using direct mail?

Jesse was disillusioned by email marketing. “My open rates were terrible, so I assumed most people weren’t bothering to read ads and just deleted them immediately.”

Valpak was pretty well known, has great reach and people trust that there will be something valuable inside.

So, what were your results?

While it did bring in a few customers, Jesse didn’t feel like he got the kind of return he was expecting.

He paid about $400 to reach $20,000 households.  His call to action was a QR code along with a website URL.  The link and the QR code got about 5,000 hits (that’s not bad) but he only got about $100 in subscription fees.

What would you do differently?

After it was all said and done, Jesse would have created more of an irresistible offer.  He didn’t feel like people really understood the value of the service.

Conclusion

When you think about direct marketing with Valpak, it can be extremely tempting to think that all you have to do is send out a bunch of coupons and customers will come pouring in.

That’s not the norm.  Any direct marketing campaign is only as successful as what you put into it.  The better you know your specific audience, the problem they are trying to solve and how you help them solve that problem, the more successful you will be.

There are thousands of small businesses who count on Valpak to feed them new customers.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t still be in business.

After analyzing the customer feedback I saw online and getting information from Valpak, it’s clear that you play an important role in your success.