Thoughts on Technology, Old Fashioned Mail, and Constant Contact

This is just an “isn’t this interesting” thought.

Here’s a little exercise.  We pretty much publicize the First Friday Book Synopsis with Constant Contact, and nothing else.  (I’ll leave out our web site as part of this little exercise).  We used to simply use our own e-mail program.  This is so much better!

We send out three e-mails a month for each monthly event.  One original e-mail, then ever so slightly adapted versions for two reminder e-mails.  Total yearly cost:  $454.68.

Let’s break it down.

I just sent out the first of two reminder e-mails about our August First Friday Book Synopsis.  We pay $35.00 per month, plus tax, for a total of $37.89 per month.  This allows for unlimited e-mails, and more than enough storage for e-mails and images.  (We have lots of book cover images).

I’m not smart enough to figure out the share of cost for my computer cost, and my internet access.  But, Constant Contact just added a new feature, at no additional cost, where they tweet my e-mail to my Twitter account – thus they create a web page for my e-mail for the tweet link.  (you can follow me on Twitter here).  Here is the link to the e-mail, provided by Constant Contact.

So – after being grateful for this new feature, I decided to figure out what it would cost to mail this in the old fashioned way – you know, with paper, and envelopes, and postage.  Of course, our mailing list is substantially larger than the number of folks who actually, regularly attend.  If you have ever had an old-fashioned mailing list, this is usual practice…

Here’s what I came up with, for our current mailing list size:

Postage (figured at First Class – we could save with some form of bulk mailing): — $865.92

Envelopes (the inexpensive kind): — $ 35.89

Copies of “flier” – (I figured this black and white, one side of one page) — $100.00

Administrative time (to stuff, seal, etc…) — $60.00 (a guess – I think conservative).

Total cost for one mailing:  $1061.81

Let’s pretend we mail it twice a month (we send three Constant Contact –e-mails a month – we discovered that with travel, etc., two reminders works better than just one reminder):  monthly cost, $2123.62

Money saved per month:  $2085.73

Money saved per year: $25028.76

This one page flier would have much less info that we can put in our e-mails.  And the images we use would not look as good on the flier.  In fact, we still distribute a paper flier at the event itself, for the next month.  The e-mail looks a lot better!

I’m sure I have forgotten something in this calculation.  But if you consider what Constant Contact saves us, then you begin to see how technology has an impact on productivity, and job creation or loss, in a multitude of ways.

(And, in case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of Constant Contact).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *