Whether you’ve been running direct mail campaigns for years or you’re just getting started, here are five things you should expect from your direct mail provider.
1. Lowest possible postage.
Most direct mail houses help you get discounts on your mail, but not every direct mail house is certified to get the lowest possible discounts based on volume, drop-shipping, and mail design. That’s where a “best in class” provider comes in. Best-in-class providers can offer all discounts for which you qualify and have the knowledge, technology, and experience to help you capitalize on them. Some companies, like PrintComm, go even further. We use our postal logistics software to analyze entry discount opportunities. In other words, does it make sense to truck mail to bulk mail centers?
2. Expert mail consultation and design.
Saving money also means avoiding unnecessary costs. Best-in-class mail providers look for problems that might delay your mail or result in unexpected surcharges. For example, is the aspect ratio right or does the size conform with postal guidelines? Are the folds placed so that the return address falls into the right place or is the piece tabbed or fugitive glued properly? We can’t count the number of times we’ve helped clients save thousands of dollars by identifying out-of-compliance designs or tweaking details before the piece goes into the mail.
3. Sophisticated data management.
Best-in-class direct mail providers can help you save money by managing your mailing list to remove duplicates, stay up to date with address changes, and fix noncompliance issues. Mail tracking can be provided for an additional charge so that you know where your mail is in the postal stream and the exact day your pieces land in mail boxes.
4. Strategy consulting.
The litmus test for direct mail is the results. Best-in-class mail providers help you identify leverage the data you have to present relevant messaging and offers. This can include variable offers or messages. It can also include sending direct mailers automatically based on triggers that you set, i.e. if you want to onboard a new customer, reach out to a lapsed customer, or send based on some other behavior or event. Best-in-class providers also help you collect detailed metrics (so you know your campaigns are working) and do A/B testing to refine your campaigns based on real-life results.
5. Detailed tracking and reporting.
The more tracking and reporting data you have, the more you can plan your timing around other aspects of the campaign. For example, once delivery of your mail has been confirmed, salespeople can start making calls immediately or other channels/touches can activate to begin the desired number of days after your mail is in-home.
Working with a best-in-class direct mail provider is more than
making sure your mail is delivered on time. It means working with someone with
in-depth knowledge of the postal regulations and with deep data, mail design,
and direct marketing expertise who can get you the best results.