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Best 4 Questions to Ask Your Direct Mail Vendor Before Signing Contract

Whether you’ve just opened your business or have been a neighborhood staple for decades, a direct mailing campaign can have a dramatic impact on your success. After all, recipients of direct mail purchase 28% more items and spend 28% more money than people who don’t receive the same piece of direct mail.

When you start looking for direct mail vendors, you’ll quickly realize that there are lots out there to choose from. To ensure you get exactly what you are looking for and the best possible results, be sure to ask these 4 questions before making your decision.

1. Is there a post office onsite?

Plenty of companies advertise their direct mail services, but the ones who really excel at it are those that work together with the USPS. An onsite post office guarantees that your mail meets USPS standards, meaning it won’t be returned and you’ll receive the lowest possible postage rates. In addition, an onsite post office ensures your mailer is formatted correctly to meet machinability requirements, gets rid of undeliverable addresses, and presorts your mailers by zip code. Once your mail has been sent out, you should get a confirmation receipt.

2. Are you using the correct mailing address?

Currently, many printing companies offering direct mail services only utilize the USPS EDDM® program. While this is perfectly acceptable for saturation direct mail campaigns, it just doesn’t give you the same benefits you’ll get with a full-service company that offers both saturated and targeted mailing (audience segmentation).

Audience segmentation gives you the chance to omit certain categories of residential addresses, including seasonal addresses, apartments, and drop addresses. EDDM® doesn’t allow for this. Depending on the type of business you own, the targeted mailing maybe your best option. For example, if you pressure wash driveways, sending your mailers to people who live in an apartment complex would be a waste.

3.  What’s the total price, including EVERYTHING?

You have to be careful when signing up with a direct mailer, particularly if you sign on with a rate that seems to be too good to be true. How horrible would it be to get all excited about the potential money you’ll save, even as your business grows, only to see your bill double or triple because of charges that weren’t detailed in your original quote?

Do not sign until you know with 100% certainty what the exact total cost of your job will be. It’s not unusual for providers to prominently display low prices on their website or marketing materials, only to find that everything you need isn’t included in that price. For example, the price listed may not include the cost of design or revisions. It also probably doesn’t include upcharges. Take the time to do your homework. Don’t just assume that the provider proudly displaying the lowest price will actually save you money.

4. What’s my possible return on investment (ROI)?

Okay, this question doesn’t actually have an answer. How successful your direct mail campaign depends on you, including what and who you are mailing to, the potential value of new customers, and how much you spend. Do your research and determine what is an acceptable ROI for your business.

Obviously, you want to do whatever it takes to make certain your business succeeds. Starting a direct mail campaign is one way to accomplish this.

News Reporter

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