Episode 7 - ValPak Interview With Sr Account Manager Corri Balestreri-Depp
Updated: May 5
Are you interested in doing direct mail marketing? Are you unsure about what to expect or what the cost is? Join me this week as we walk through the pros and cons of direct mail marketing. learn the ins and outs of who is the best fit for direct mail. Tune into this week's episode of stand out and grow to learn more. I'm Kat Ramirez, your host of stand out and grow. I want to help your business stand out, survive, succeed and grow. building your business is really really hard. And knowing what marketing and advertising tools you need to help you become successful is extremely confusing. After 30 years of working with thousands of businesses, I am here to help you make good business decision. I want to help you understand the programs that are available to you so that you can stand out, survive, succeed and grow. So let's get started. This is Episode Seven of stand out and grow. Hell yeah. You are going to learn about direct mail marketing and what are the pros and cons of direct mail. I want you to understand how to buy it and what to expect for your advertising investment. You will hear from someone who has been in this industry for more than eight years. Please join me in welcoming senior marketing specialist Corey dap with Val pack. Thank you so much for joining us today, Corey. Thanks for having me, Kat. Absolutely. So I'm super super excited to have you on as our guest today. Being the first media gas Yay. I think all of our listeners are really, really going to enjoy this because I find your product very valuable. And I think a lot of people probably don't know a lot of the nuances of your product. So I want you to give us a little background about
Val pack, give us a little history about it.
Sure. So not to bore anyone too much with with all the stats and the details, but it's a 50 year old company mean it's over 50 years old. It's one of the first and still standing direct mail companies that has really reformed itself over the years to not only be one of the leaders in direct mail, but expand its product base to make sure that its clientele is getting the newest, the latest, the greatest and the best return on investment kind of with all of their marketing. So this company that's been around for over 50 years has constantly tweaked who the audience is and who We're going to reach with the product, again, in order to make sure that those that are advertising with us are really getting the best value for their investment.
That's awesome. Now, how long have you been with Val pack?
I've been without pack just shy of 10 years now. So I've got some good experience under my belt here in understanding how the company's changed. And really how media in general has changed.
That is awesome. And I love that because I love that, you know, people are educated, they're experts in their field, and you've for certain it are an expert in your field. So tell me,
what do you
feel like, is different about that they'll pack you know what makes you guys different? I mean, I know you. You have some competitors out there, right?
Sure. Yeah, there's a lot of great, you know, great marketing companies out there. But I think one of the things that Val pack does, that's unique and different among our competitors are, again, not only who we talked Good, because I really feel like you can have the most beautiful and you know, really any designer can put together a great looking at. But the truth is, if it's not going to the right clientele, advertisers aren't going to get the results that they need. And so what I think Val pack really does this unique is constantly takes a look at the people receiving the value pack, what they're buying expenditures look like what kind of products they bought in the last 12 months, who they are and what they're projected to buy in the future. So we can align who receives the value pack product with the advertisers that we have advertising. Okay. So
there's a little strategy there in place, right?
Oh, absolutely. Okay. I think another big, big thing that makes us a little bit different would be the tracking. In today's marketing world. There's there's so many ways that people can access information and can be advertised to that this company takes it a step further in its tracking abilities, which I'm sure we'll talk a little bit about later. That really has some unique ways that advertisers can track the response of their marketing to really ensure that their money as well.
Okay, great. And so what is the common myth that you run into when you're out presenting Val pack? What do you get the that you feel like you know comes back to you over and over?
Oh, I've heard I've heard a lot of them but um, I would say one of the big ones is Oh, I know what Val pack is, oh, everybody gets Val pack. It's the blue envelope and, and as much as it is a great blue envelope that hits homes, the missus it is not a saturated mailing piece. Again, to kind of go back to what I said it is a semi targeted direct mail piece that we're actually choosing who receives this fall pack again, based on these expenditure reports and in demographics and things and the other one being that it's just about pack. Now pack is a whole agency offering everything from direct mail to digital products, and sorry, I think that's a That it's just this traditional old fashioned direct mail product, which it's not.
Okay, great, because your segue into my next question. Okay. So, you know, give us some background on the signature piece. I'll just walk us through how it works. What it is just describe it. Okay.
Sure. backpacks direct mail piece is a it's called marriage mail or group to mail. And so it's an envelope that mailed out to over 38 million homes nationally, every every month, filled with all kinds of different advertisers from restaurants to medical home improvement to General Services, things that consumers need, each month, that product males out each and every month, depending on what region advertisers are in that that could change on what week of the month it targets. But as of 2000, you know, 18 we had a 93% open rate with that traditional product meaning 93% of the people that received Battle Pack each month, look at it and go through. Okay, so these are those blue envelope coupons that you would get in the mail month. Okay.
And so you know, because I think a lot of people have the misconception of the value pack could be those mailers in the newspaper, do you know what I'm talking about that fly out? And that's not your product?
No, ours will be the ones in closed in. It's about a, I would say probably a three by seven envelope. It's blue generally has some national partners like we have charity programs and things that we support, advertise on the front but it'll be a nice big blue envelope that mailed out enclosed with anywhere from probably 20 to 60 offers Okay,
and then the benefit there to the business owner is it's a shared cost, right?
Yeah. Okay. This is, this is by far one of the most cost effective ways for any size business to reach an extremely large audience, and at the same time have an extremely high open rate. So visibility on this is, is huge with probably one of the lowest Mark investments in the advertising.
Okay. And then the other benefit to your product, this product here, the signature one is you can have a coupon Redemption of some sort,
right? Absolutely. Yep. So outside of some of the
newer tracking methods that we have, which include like call tracking and website tracking, you have the traditional means of someone actually bring in the ad or the offer to redeem within your business, which helps the business owner see, you know, what kind of effectiveness their average right the
ROI and in case anybody listening doesn't know what ROI is return on investment. So I know that I have a few clients that love that they like the track ability, and they like the good old fashioned way. We're Someone actually bring something in, you know. Okay, so now let's move on to a product that you have that probably businesses don't realize that you offer.
So there's there's a few and I'll hit on a couple of the most common ones today. So as I mentioned prior Baalbek is an agency so we do offer everything from direct mail products to digital and I know one of the ones that you've used for some of your clients as well is our standalone direct marketing. So outside of value pack or the group mailing, we do standard direct mail from postcards to menus to flyers, that can have either a saturated lists targeting every home in a zip code or more specific for those that are looking for a very unique or niche you know, market. So the direct mail alone there recently within the last couple months here about pack is actually launched a new product called plus one and this is a spin Off the traditional postcard direct mail it, it follows a lot of the same carrier routes is our bell pack product. But it's actually a standalone non attached postcard. It's about six by nine. And so this product really gives those that are looking for, I'm going to say a little bigger, little bigger recognition, right a standalone piece that goes in the mail that's a little more recognizable for their brand and their business alone. But it seems a lot of the cost of postage, and the full package putting it together in that it follows the carrier routes of value pack, sometimes coming in at about, I'd say a third to to a fourth of the cost of traditional direct mail.
Yes. Now I absolutely love, love, love this product that you're talking about. And just for my anyone who is listening, I'm just want to really describe this product to you because it's a solo product. You own it. It's yours. It's your brand on it. And six by nine is a nice size you know piece of mail to really own when you're hitting these homes it's targeted and so it is a very very effective because you're essentially defining exactly what and forgive me if I'm wrong Corey you can this can be sent to homes only or businesses in homes.
So this plus one piece follows Val pack carry around so this is a residential mailing okay the traditional postcards though that can be sent to be to be or to consumer base.
Okay, so this plus one is only two homes and it's a really really great product and then their regular direct mail piece can you can target homes or businesses which is very, very cool. Because if you think about today, like I don't get mail unibody mean like I did not get just normal traditional us mail except for that. stuff I get from the newspaper. You know what I mean? So it's a great, great way to stand out efficiently and put yourself out there. Okay, so who is the ideal customer
so for I would say really all of our products everything is really customized to their business but we do have kind of a top tier category here any any size of business and we have clients ranging from your mom and pop, you know, pizza, your mom and pop clothing boutique, all the way up to your National Retail Store. So anything where they're looking to target consumers that need discretionary income to purchase their products, so again, restaurants, medical, General Services, like you know, attorneys or accountants, you have your home improvement categories, again, really anybody that needs to get their message out too small, medium large size market were there to target those that have the discretionary income to spend at their business.
Okay, so let me let me ask you this in regards to that. Okay. So is your product best sold? Because you sell your product based on zip codes, regions, how do you sell this product?
We break out areas into zones or neighborhood trade areas and they consist of 10,000 pre selected homes, again based on those demographics and expenditures that we find. And those can sometimes encompass one zip code. Sometimes they encompass many it really just, it will depend on the market area and what type of you know what kind of traffic and home counts and things are in that area. Okay. But again, zones of 10,000 are what we focus on which, in my opinion, makes it affordable for that small business all the way up to the very large business. They can customize their reach and their budget. Right.
Right. No, that makes total sense. And thanks for explaining that. Because I think that's another vantage point to value pack is that you can really focus on different areas. Especially if you're looking for, let's say, a zone in your neighborhood, you know, I mean, correct. Okay. So can you walk us a little bit through pricing? I mean, can you give us some ideas? I know that it won't be exactly. So please keep in mind that our pricing is really determined on the area that you're in and should be, you know, custom to your area. But in general, can you give us an idea ballpark?
Absolutely. So for our traditional value pack product, your price is going to range anywhere from two to five cents a home and when I say two to five cents a home, it's all all encompassed from design to printing. postage mailing tracking everything. One of the products that I didn't mention yet is we actually offer digital enhancement as well. So this is a partnership program that Val pack has with many many different websites. But we started including this with all of our print products so that three to five cents a home really includes both a print and digital marketing piece. And that price will range based on frequency of how often you're going to be advertising in addition to the the overall volume so what scale of marketing are we going to do but somewhere within that range, direct mail Oh gosh, you know, firsthand Kat that this can kind of scale all over, but I would say anywhere from you know 2526 cents all the way up to $1 apiece depending on the size and the volume. And then the plus one product which is this brand new direct mail standalone postcard the follows develop and carry around. Much, much more affordable option then standard direct mail. And that floats between somewhere between 22 and 26 cents a home as a general range for that. Again, just based on volume and frequency of the mark. Okay,
awesome. Great because I think now, is there a setup costs? Is there any you know what I mean? Is there any other cost to this?
No, this is the best part about it. Nothing is nickel and dime, there's no setup fees, there's no design charges. We really want these programs to be all inclusive for business owners. So when they provide us with a marketing budget, they know that they're getting everything that they need within that budget and aren't hit later with all of these little, you know, extras and, and things to get what they really need to make their campaign successful.
Okay. And then what typically is a good campaign timeframe link, you know, just give me some examples of how someone would use this, you know,
sure. So there's something to be said about consistency and all marketing. And this isn't just direct mail. If you're listening, guys, advertisers, any marketing you do really needs frequency. And so when we set up any kind of campaign, whether it's a digital marketing campaign or print marketing campaign, really I'm looking at about I would say anywhere from a three to a six month test window, and it can be smaller, right, somewhere around four months to really give you an accurate snapshot of your results. Generally, I look into that four to six month range to give advertisers the full potential of what their print or digital marketing can do,
I can totally appreciate I'm so glad you said that. I say it over and over and over again. I can't say it enough. I am a huge fan of being consistent you can't brand yourself if you're not consistent. So I thank you so much, Corey, for affirming that with your product as well. Okay, so is there a any opportunity for you to give us some case studies, some success stories, anything like that anything that you can share with us so that someone listening can kind of get a feel for what the response would be like.
Sure, absolutely. So recently, I actually just got a success story from one of my medical clients. I've been working with them for probably close to nine years now. And they started off their marketing rather small at the time, they had two offices and two doctors and just really wanted to get some branding. They had done phone book and newspaper and things for years. And while it was it was doing all right for them, it just wasn't really giving them that extra boost that they needed. And so we started with a really small marketing campaign that got their brand out there got their name out there. We were able to track phone calls at the time that came in. Back 910 years ago, there wasn't this huge push for digital so we weren't Tracking that is steadily at the time but over the years what's happened with this particular clientele is their marketing that we've had has become and this is their words not mine their strongest marketing effort meaning not only have they received the most phone calls from it, their conversion rates of patients that came in for a consultation to actually coming in for procedures or treatment was extremely high and over the years you know, certainly with the doing of their wonderfully run business, you know, we've aided in and helping this business grow from A to location to five location, medical practice, and acid today Not only do we handle their, their print marketing we do with backpack but we do postcard marketing for them. We also do sem, so search engine marketing, through AdWords online for them to get a bigger digital presence. They have a beautiful website, but this this helps gain more leads online as well. So almost over the course of nine years here, we've worked together to become their strongest lead generating marketing program.
I think that's awesome. Because, you know, you just talked about a few things that we really hit home on, and that they have been consistent for a very long time, you know, with your product. And that consistency is very, it's, it's real, it's King, you know, and that helps out in their marketing spend and what they're doing and in getting that ROI, return on investment, okay. So, like, if someone were to start a new campaign, what is a good response? What What should they expect? I want to be as realistic as can be okay,
sure. So I, I kind of laugh about this because it's still in today's day and age, you hear people come and say, Well, I need this percent or I need this, you know, I need a 2% response or 1% response and it's it's kind of interesting to think Because while years and years ago that may have been this traditional direct marketing response in today's world, people find you in so many different ways. It's not just the value pack that they look at and call, it's not just Google that they go to to search. It's a combination of so many different marketing mediums combined, and trying to track that has become, gosh, a science of its own. So when I talk to people about the return on investment and what they can expect, I really talk about two things. One where they want to go with their marketing, what is the point of the marketing? What are they here to obtain, right? Is it new people through the doors at an increase in revenue is it the bottom line has grown year over year and trying to figure out what their needs are to match the campaign to their needs. Additionally, ROI should be based off of growing in some way, shape or form. So I take a look at what their industry is and what the average ticket is of a consumer by right That's going to vary whether you're, you know, the burger restaurant or your, you know, a home contractor that could be an average of a $5 average ticket to a $50,000 average ticket. So I really take a look at what that is and what it means to have a return on investment. And to figure out how many can you know, how many leads? Do we need that convert into sales? What type of revenue Are you looking for, and setting expectations that way? So, I know this is a really vague way to answer this question, but it's going to depend industry to industry and that's a conversation I want to have on a case by case basis with the advertiser to truly figure out what ROI means to them, and what type of ROI they're looking for. And in that matching of campaign that will bring them the results.
I would agree with you Corey because you know, when I'm talking to my clients, I can't say enough on you know, and some clients that I work with want this immediate Just immediate, you know, reaction or you know what I mean response or whatever. And, you know, my response to them is always, you know, hey, unless you're going out of business, you know, the floodgates aren't going to happen and people aren't going to be pounding on the door that you have to, you know, this is a marathon. It is a complete marathon, it's not a sprint, and you have to be in it. And you have to make the investment knowing it's a long haul, you know, just like losing weight or, you know, putting money into your retirement fund. It's the same thing, you know, no different.
I love that. And I love both of those analogies. Those are great.
tell me, you know, I know you probably know nuances right now. So I have to, as we wrap this up, I have two questions that if you can kind of give me a feel for that from your professional experience, okay. One you know, what makes the what are the mix Mannix for good campaign and then to I know you've seen failed campaigns and give me an idea of like mechanics on someone who has had a failed hit campaign. And it could have been prevented.
Absolutely. So the big things that I see I like to use the saying that our product works every time when done correctly. And there's so many different metrics of what correct can mean. But some of the things that if you're an advertiser, a consistency is one of them this one and done advertising. It doesn't work unless you're an event, right? I mean, just like you would send Kat people need to see your brand. They need to trust your brand, and a one and done marketing campaign with direct marketing or digital radio TV. It's just it doesn't work as well. And so I've had some campaigns where, you know, it's just not been a long enough campaign or there's not been really time invested in a hole in it hasn't worked. Another thing is what you're promoting. So I think Sometimes advertisers, business owners, they know their products so well, that they have to remember that consumers don't. And so sometimes we have to widen the reins on what we're promoting and make things more general for people. Because if you're promoting something that is so narrow and so niche and the market have to understand that the more you do that, the less people are going to be able to buy your product or service. And so I find that when it's very narrow down to one specific, very, very specific component, sometimes the results aren't exactly what the advertisers looking for, because they're not opening it up to a big enough audience in order to get the results that they
Okay great, though, that that was a great response. And I want to add to your one and done because here's my philosophy on it, because I have worked in when I was in a TV world. In my previous life, I have worked with businesses that made these huge investments Okay, and They did it for, let's say, a month to three months, anything less than, you know, six months. And then they walk away because they think, oh, it didn't work. And my response always is, and this is anybody listening in, if you've spent money on advertising is you just put a lot of money, you put a lot of money into your business to brand it. And for you stop, what you're doing and walk away is that momentum is gone, you've lost that momentum. And that momentum could, you know, could if they stayed at it, have grown and really created some serious momentum. You just weren't, you weren't going to see it until maybe the fourth or six month you know, I mean, like, you were not going to feel it.
And so, you know, I always caution business owners in regards to if you're going to make an investment, something, make sure it's for the long haul, because otherwise you've just lost all that momentum and it's and you and it wasn't worth it. You know? I mean, like, like, Why waste your money.
Um, another thing I think I'd add to that is casting a big enough net to kind of follow up with. The last point I made is I have advertisers that they think their local backyard is, you know, I'm going to mail this many homes and maybe it fits with our budget or whatever the case may be, but really casting the right sized volume with your marketing. And this doesn't mean every campaign has to cost thousands and thousands of dollars by any means. But every industry and every size business depending on what results are looking for, need a right sized marketing campaign and I've come to find that the frequency you know, the the reach of the advertisement itself are two of the biggest components in the success and the outcome of that campaign.
That's a great point. glad you brought that
up. Corey. I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Okay,
so, as we wrap this up, how can people get ahold of you if they have any questions?
So I am always open for questions. Or if you're looking to advertise whether it be with the products I have or just suggestions and marketing in general, email me call me my direct line which I am more than happy to give out on this is 414-312-2731 or by email, which is my first name Corey CORRI. underscore my last name which is def DPP at Val Pat calm. So Corey underscore depth at Val pack calm,
awesome. And then is there anything that you're offering today for anyone who is listening in order for them to have a sense of urgency to get a hold of
you, Cory? Absolutely. So currently we are running a promotion this goes along with that frequency of the four time minimum. Any campaigns purchased for an you know the third month we will actually be honoring matching the fourth month for free on your mailing list. volume. So, at this time by three months get the fourth free we really want people to give it that, you know, minimum of a four month campaign to ensure they get the results that they need.
What an incredible deal I love it. And and for anyone who is listening, we will also have chorus contact info in the notes of this podcast. So if you have missed out on it, don't no worries, it will also be in the notes with a direct link to her email. And finally, you know, what advice would you give any business owner if they were looking to do direct mail so that they do it correctly.
really look into who your audience is, make sure whatever product it is, again, print digital, other media, really make sure that wherever your product is reaching the the marketing is reaching, is targeting the ideal clientele for you.
Sam, thank you so much for being on the show Corey. This was Fabulous. I loved it. I hope you enjoyed it as well.
Thanks so much for having me.
Okay, have a great day and I will talk to you guys soon. Thank you
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