Eight simple questions to help you choose your direct mail partner

Looking at a new direct mail firm?  Or, re-evaluating your current one?  Here are eight simple questions you can and should ask during your decision-making process.

1.       Are you financially stable?

This is a vitally important question.  Many suppliers are struggling with current trading conditions.  You want a direct mail partner for the long term.

2.       What quality control systems do you use?

The last thing you want is a job that doesn’t look right.  So you need to understand how your supplier will manage your job.

3.       What is your on-time delivery record?

Late jobs are not acceptable.  Make sure you can reasonably expect timely mail drop dates.  This is especially important with event or date-driven mailings.

4.       What level of account handling can I expect?

If you tell a supplier the level of service you require, they will promise it to you.  So ask them what they offer as standard.  This way you understand how they are used to working.

5.       Do you have an environmental policy?

Direct mail firms that care about the environment will have a written environmental policy.  And anyone at the company should be able to tell you about it.

6.       Is your data safe?

Your data is one of your most valuable assets.  Ask your direct mail partner about their security measures and how they keep your data safe.

7.      Do you have a disaster recovery plan?

What happens if your supplier has power outage?  Or a fire?  Or a flood?  Can they show how they will get your job produced whatever happens?

8.    Is your operation turn-key?

Can your supplier perform all operations (Prepress, Data Management, Printing, Personalization and Postal Delivery) under one roof?  Or, will they rely on a third party for part of the project? That may put you at risk.

Your direct mail partner should be able to answer these eight questions satisfactorily.  Then you can be confident that you are looking at a professional and reliable supplier.

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One Comment

  1. Nancy Arter
    June 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Great suggestions! I’d also add another one regarding overall quality control of the data. Even if you provide the data to the direct mail partner, can they triple-check it for accuracy, deliverability, etc. Chances are, they should have systems in place to do this to ensure that your pieces get delivered in the most efficient way.

    Great post!