Do you already have a direct mail provider? Have you been working with the same company for years and think, “Things are going just fine, why make a change?” If you are happy with your current provider, great! But it’s always worth asking the question, “What else could I be getting? Am I leaving opportunities on the table?”
Whether you’ve been in direct mail for years or you’re just getting started, here are six things you should expect from your direct mail provider, even if you’ve been working with them for years.
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 Accuprint, go even further. We drive trucks daily to the local sectional mail facility, reducing your costs even further. We also allow customers to use our indicia - or mail permit - to process automated direct mail, saving them the cost of acquiring their own permit.
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, are the indicia placed correctly? Are the folds placed so that the return address falls into the right place? 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.
Note: You might be mailing non-compliant pieces and not even know it. Even if you have been sending non-compliant mail pieces until now, that doesn’t mean that someone at the post office won’t suddenly decide to be a stickler tomorrow!
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. They offer mail tracking so that you know where your mail is in the postal stream and the exact day each piece hits.
4. Expert campaign development
No matter whom you work with, you want the best results. Best-in-class mail providers help you identify what your ideal prospect looks like, expand your database to get to know your customers, and can help you use this information to design highly targeted mailings. This can include sending direct mailers automatically based on triggers that you set. 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, your salespeople can start making calls immediately. You can also time follow-up emails and reminders, and if you know that mail takes longer in specific ZIP Codes, you can optimize your mail drops to ensure that you hit your target windows. You can even schedule complimentary channels, such as radio advertising, to begin the desired number of days after your mail is in-home.
6. Integrating your direct mail with digital marketing channels
The most successful marketers all have one thing in common; they integrate multiple channels with a congruent marketing message. This means that rather than using a single channel, like direct mail, they incorporate the power of email marketing, banner ads, keyword advertising, etc. When used together, this creates a multiplier effect greater than the sum of the individual channels. Knowledgeable providers incorporate these as value added opportunities for direct mail clients. Programs such as Accuprint's "Direct Mail Plus" are a great example. For a small relative price increase, clients can speak to their own customers across many channels, increasing the likelihood of the message being seen, lifting response rates, and enabling tracking and campaign analytics you don't get with a direct mail campaign alone. Curious to learn more? Ask how Accuprint can help with your direct marketing.
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 consultation expertise who can get you the best results.
Does your mail house do all that? If not, let’s talk.