Important Questions to Ask Your Mail Vendor

#MailMatters: Important Questions to Ask Your Mail Vendor
May 16, 2017
Randy Kammerdiener

You know direct mail is a reliable, cost-effective way to delivery your message to your audience.

People like mail. It’s physical – they can hold it and make a personal connection to it. It’s trusted, emotional, and remembered. That’s important.

There’s a lot that goes in to making mail work, from the creative to the targeting to the timing, and it’s equally important you fully vet your mail vendor before starting your direct mail campaign.

Before you give us your stamp of approval …

  • Do you know what to look for in a mail vendor?
  • What important questions should you ask?
  • What should you expect from your mail vendor?

We can teach you how to pick a mail vendor by asking these Top 5 questions.

1. Who will I be working with?
You should be treated as the only client. That means a dedicated person assigned to you who knows your direct mail plan inside and out, can look ahead to keep you on track, and can troubleshoot before problems arise.  

2. Have you done a project similar to mine?
You don’t need to be your mail vendor’s test project. A qualified mail vendor is an experienced mail vendor. Ask about previous clients and projects. A reputable vendor will proudly share samples of their work and talk about the specific details behind the creation and production of the work you want to do. They will also be able to offer suggestions for additional production sizes and folds that may help to trim costs without sacrificing quality or message.

3. What is the time to see a first draft, receive edits, and from final approval to drop?
You should expect your mail vendor to have enough horsepower to provide first drafts within 48 hours max and edits within a day. You may be accustomed to waiting longer, but you shouldn’t have to and you just plain shouldn’t. By waiting any longer, you miss opportunities to react to the world around you and take advantage of opportunities. On standard size direct mail, any vendor worth their weight will be able to print, mailshop and drop your approved art within 48 hours as well, if not even faster.

4. What are the production, estimated shipping and postage costs per piece?
Be leery of any direct mail firm that tries to up charge you on postage. Your mail vendor should do their best to provide an estimate of the postage costs, and then bill you for the exact amount. In doing so, your mail vendor should be working to achieve cost savings for you, from drop shipping to running change of address updates for every mail drop. We talked more about how to save on postage here.

5. Does your mail vendor provide proof that your mail project dropped on time?
Your mail vendor should offer proof that your direct mail project dropped on time. That’s where a Form 3602 from the USPS comes into play. With that 3602, you have a record of exactly when the USPS received your mail project. Expect a 3602 from you mail vendor.

Majority Strategies has grown into nation’s most trusted and experienced influence marketing firm, specializing in targeted communications, including print. In our 20 years of experience, we have created more than 2 billion pieces of mail for over 3,000 clients across the nation.

We’re proud of our record.

We’d be proud to work with you.

Let’s get started.