Many small businesses and organizations use direct mail marketing companies to print their marketing collateral. Some also use graphic design services to create their collateral from scratch. 

If mail marketing is a new addition to your outreach campaigns, you’re in need of the right custom mail services provider to simplify the process and keep your schedule from getting convoluted. Ask potential providers the questions below to narrow your list down to the best fitting companies.

“What is your experience with projects like mine?” 

As you go through your list of potential custom mail services providers, take note of the types of companies they’ve worked with and the projects they’ve completed. If you’re a nonprofit looking to send out fliers to local communities, you’ll want a provider who has printed similar for other nonprofits. 

If they have online portfolios, or samples posted by former clients on Yelp!, you can rely on those to get an idea of what you’d get. If they don’t have online samples, use your judgement regarding their website design and FAQs or Q&As. You could also try scheduling a time to meet and see any examples they have at their printing location. A quality provider won’t hesitate to show off what they’ve done. They should be proud and even excited to show why you should choose them to be your mail marketer.

They also should have experience with mail marketing, so they can create an effective call-to-action for your direct mail that pulls potential customers to your business. The more experience they have, the less likely they’ll make mistakes and the more you’ll get out of their services.

“In which format should I send assets?”

How does your potential provider prefer to receive assets, such as logos, images, and marketing copy? Which file extensions do they want for images? Do they want PDFs or physical copies of marketing copy? For example, Complete Mailing & Printing prefers print files sent as a PDF. All custom mail services want the highest quality formatting for images and other visual assets, such as your company font and brand colors. Marketing copy generally has looser requirements because text content can be easily recreated on design programs.

“Do I get to see proofs?” 

Each provider has different procedures for finalizing custom mail designs. Some will send you two rounds of proofs for major changes or tweaks. Others might allow one round of revisions if their design process is highly collaborative and results in little disconnect between the client’s expectations and the production. Though providers might differ in how many revision or proof rounds they offer, they should always offer at least one opportunity to give feedback before finalizing the design.

“Are there additional costs we haven't discussed yet?”

In some cases, the upfront cost estimate might be smaller than the final product. Additional costs might include extra revision rounds, increased postage for noncompliant mail pieces, or the use of programs that aren't part of the provider's normal toolbox. They should be upfront about these costs if they expect to use them for your project, but it’s a good practice to ask ahead of time. 

Other additional costs include increasing your print quantity, expanding your mailing region(s), and adding on services. You should know what these additions would cost if you purchased them. Ask potential providers what they recommend for future custom mail services, and if you can foresee your budget encompassing them.

Direct Mail Marketing in the Bay Area and Central Coast

Complete Mailing & Printing provides a full range of custom mail services for businesses and nonprofits in the Bay Area and on the Central Coast. Contact us to receive a quote for your direct mail project, including design, digital printing, mail merging, bulk mailing, and database management.