The marketing and Direct Mail Companies we find ourselves in today have substantially changed over the past few years. We are all linked in the global economy more than ever, and we all face similar challenges.
As a marketer responsible for sourcing Direct Mail Company, you have witnessed significant changes over just the past few years: a manifold increase in data security threats; paper & labor shortages; the emergence of continuous ink-jet printing; etc.
Given the importance of your campaigns or programs, selecting the right provider is a critical decision. Most direct mail vendors utilize similar equipment and production methods, so what are the key factors to consider when choosing a direct mail vendor?
- Stability and Experience
The direct mail industry has undergone significant change and consolidation over the past 10 years, causing disruptions to many clients’ marketing plans. Make sure the vendor you consider has a solid and substantial history for the work you are considering. For example, with the current paper shortages, only vendors with established paper mill allocations will be able to procure the exact paper you need, when you need it, for your campaign.
Data breaches and other security issues are constantly in the news. Your direct mail vendor will be managing your client’s data. Confirm they have the needed security infrastructure and processes, and have independent certification of their data security, such as SOC2/Hi-Trust. Having the needed certification provides proof that the vendor has the necessary tools to securely manage your or your client’s data.
- In-house vs. Outsourced
Full-Service direct mail vendors have better control of the production process by performing all tasks “in-house”. They have inherent efficiencies and a superior ability to monitor, coordinate, and maintain integrated control of all aspects of quality, helping ensure your campaign mails or delivers on time. This is especially relevant regarding data security, as in-house data processing reduces data-loss risk, and ensures a more secure approach to personalization and production.
- Postal Experience & Expertise
Postage can be the most expensive element of a Direct Mail campaign. Keeping up with postal rates and regulations is critical. The company you consider should have experienced postage programmers, with state-of-the-art software to provide the best options to reduce your postage expense. Co-mingling mail is another good tool to reduce postage expense, and confirm your prospective vendor provides that option.
- Customer Service
While difficult to vette, a vendors Client Services team is a key component to the ideal vendor/client relationship. They should be the facilitator that helps coordinate campaign task planning and provides clear and consistent communication with the client. They are a key component to every successful campaign. Client references can be a useful tool to determine how your experience may be with that vendor.
While there are of course many factors that contribute to a successful vendor relationship, starting with the above traits will provide some direction as you navigate to the vendor that is right for you and your clients.
Why you should consider Federal Direct as your Direct Mail Company
- Print and direct mail producers since 1926, Federal Direct has modern production facilities, a seasoned Client Services team, and industry resource capabilities, such as paper mill allocations, available for your campaign.
- We are SOC2/Hi-Trust certified for data security. Our stand-alone secure data center provides in-house industry-experienced data processing and programming personnel.
- We are a full-service Direct Mail vendor, providing offset and digital print, full color personalization, bindery capabilities, Postage Management, mail consolidation, print fulfillment, warehousing, and distribution, and much more.
- Your Client Service rep will be your crucial point of contact, providing exceptional communication and coordination on all aspects of your campaign, including postage, data, ancillary material to be procured or received, piece design, etc.
Federal Direct wants to be your Direct Mail Company! Give us a call today to meet with our specialist at (973) 667-9800 or email us, we are here to help with your next project or campaign!