We’ve all made buying decisions that didn’t pan out. Expectations were high, but results fell short. That’s disappointing, but did you know that choosing the wrong direct mail company for your direct mail marketing projects can actually hurt your campaign? That’s far worse than disappointing, because your business growth is on the line.
There are three ways a mailing company can hurt your campaigns, holding you back instead of helping you thrive. Don’t allow these things to happen to you.
1. Railroading you.
Just because something is more convenient for them doesn’t mean it’s best for your business. Beware any mailing company that offers the “simplicity” of plug-and-play production work. That goes for:
- Design – templates spell potential disaster for your marketing campaigns, putting your entire direct mail effort at risk. Sure, they’re fast and easy – the company can get your work done in no time. But your mailer won’t stand out, it will look like one of the masses because it is one of the masses. Custom design sells your business and no one else’s. (And, by the way, a full service mailing company can give you outstanding custom design and get your mailing on its way in a surprisingly short time.)
- Mailing list – direct mail only works when it’s targeted to your most likely prospects. A mailing company that offers you a pre-existing list for a discounted price is not doing you any favors. You might save a little money, but you’re using someone else’s list – mailing to their audience instead of your own.
A “pretty good” list could generate pretty good results, but the great results you want come from selecting the targeting criteria that match your campaign goals. Mailing companies that try to slip you a second-rate list are endangering your response rate, and that will cost you, in wasted printing and postage and lost sales.
2. Mediocre printing.
Print quality that is anything less that stunning tells people your business is, well, cheap. The minute your prospect picks up your postcard, they should be wowed by colors that pop crisply and brightly and an overall look that shouts “professional quality here.” Muddy colors and resolution that’s just the tiniest bit off are unappealing.
If you can’t be bothered to send the best possible postcard, why should anyone bother to read it? The best mailing companies ensure you get beautiful printing and a great price.
3. Not advising you.
Some companies are happy to take your money for whatever services they sell, but they won’t go out of their way to help you make the best choices. You might as well be shopping at the grocery store. On the other hand, the best mailing companies are delighted to give you personalized guidance every step of the way, sharing their knowledge and insight. They care about your marketing outcomes because your success is their success. They know customer loyalty is a two-way street.
The solution is simple.
Don’t just pick the first company you find, check them out. Ask questions so you understand what services they offer and what they don’t. A lot of mailing companies only do certain things – printing and mailing, for instance – so they can’t help you with anything else. You’ll have to go somewhere else for that.
Get references and talk to them. Look at the company’s past work, and ask about the results that work generated for customers. Look for a company with experience working with businesses like yours, because that can bring you extra insight into creating successful mailings.
You want a company that’s on your side, business-to-business – a company whose skill and experience you can depend on for the long haul. Remember that you aren’t just choosing a mailing company, you’re hiring a partner. Superior work and a comfortable relationship are both vital.