Why I’m Stopping My Pay-per-click Campaigns

Since November, I’ve been practicing a 3-prong approach to marketing:

  1. Pay-per-click advertising with Google Ads & Bing Ads.
  2. Email marketing to cold leads.
  3. Organic SEO.

But none of that feels like a great fit for me right now, mainly due to my lack of time. I’ve been relying on others to do the work without much input from me, and the results have been a disaster: For every dollar I’ve invested, I’ve received $0.50 in return. That’s a sure path to bankruptcy.

Warm Direct Mail Marketing

I’ve decided to try something new. Something I haven’t heard of anyone doing since Joe Girard rode it to millions. Something so damn simple it boggles the mind: A direct mail campaign to all the people I know.

Many of us do it at Christmas. It’s not intrusive. It’s appreciated by the recipient. And here’s the kicker: It costs less than all the other lead generation things I’m trying!

Plus, it just feels right to me.  I am intentionally working to build stronger relationships in my family life – why not work that practice into my business life, too? Who knows – Maybe it’ll attract other people who are also into building stronger relationships.

Here’s the card I’m mailing:

My first mailer, designed at VistaPrint

Cost Breakdown

If you are doing marketing for your small business already, there’s really no reason not to try this. My first mailing will be 75 people. (To put this in perspective, Joe’s mailing list was 13,000 people!) Here’s the pricing:

  • Customized Envelopes, Return Address Labels, & Magnet Inserts from VistaPrint: $95, including tax & shipping.
  • Stamps: $41
  • Labor (I’ve hired a marketing pro to do the actual work): $100.
  • TOTAL COST: $236 to reach 75 of my favorite customers.
VistaPrint Invoice

To put that into perspective, I’m currently paying $180 per lead to a local lead gen pro and thousands to a cold email marketing agency. And lead-purchasing feels like an expense, whereas this mailing feels like an investment in my existing relationships.

Let me know what successes & failures you’ve had.


Toby Cryns

Toby Cryns is a freelance CTO and WordPress Guru. He also writes for WPTavern.com.