Avoiding a Dud: How to Find the Right Direct Mail Agency

Direct mail can be a very effective tool in testing advertising materials and reaching
new customers. If you’re searching for the perfect direct mail marketing partner to
handle your next campaign, the following are some important things to consider.

Customer Service

Only place your trust in an experienced and dedicated client relations support team that treats you like a valued customer and understands your goals and obstacles. Poor customer service can add expense to your campaigns and cause delayed mailings. You'll want to work with a staff that answers the phone promptly, is friendly and helpful, and provides the peace of mind that if any issues arise, they'll be quickly resolved.

Track Record

Do your due diligence to investigate the vendors you're interested in. Go online and read through testimonials, negative reviews, and any mentions of awards they've won. Find out if your potential agency has worked with organizations similar to yours. Researching current and past clients' experiences and satisfaction reveals an agency's level of performance, communication and transparency. To find out the truth about a company, visit websites like Glassdoor (which provides CEO approval ratings, salary reports, office photos and more, all shared by current and former employees), Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot.

Capacity & Capability

Not all direct mail vendors are equipped to handle massive campaigns. Can your potential partner meet your organization's needs, both as an individual client and as part of their entire portfolio? If they've worked with companies of your size and in your industry, you'll be confident they have the experience and knowledge to deal with obstacles that may come up when running large, bulk mailing projects. Just as important are their creative and design tools and services when it comes to the look and feel of your postcards, magazines and other mailer formats. Look for a creative team with proven direct mail expertise, a wide-ranging portfolio and a depth of experience in the direct mail industry.

Automation Technology

Speaking of capabilities, one you'll definitely want in a direct mail marketing agency is that of variable data printing, or VDP. Personalized mail helps to target specific consumers and influence what they purchase. Using VDP, you can print millions of personalized, targeted direct mail pieces – each with a different name, address, message, image, and whatever else you want to customize – in a single run, without slowing down the printing process.


Choose a direct mail marketing service that offers quick turnaround times regarding concept, design and revisions, as well as how long it takes for your campaign to print, mail, and hit homes and businesses. One way your direct mail marketing service achieves high speed to market is by helping you develop a clean, up-to-date, highly targeted mailing list comprised of potential clients who meet your best customer demographics. They should also offer a variety of postal logistic options – such as presorting, consolidation, commingling and co-palletization – to ensure your campaign gets into your customers' hands as quickly as possible.


Make sure the vendor you partner with can regularly and consistently test and analyze the results of your direct mail campaign. Ask them about their plan to track its effectiveness and reach, and what their strategy is to continue to hit certain benchmarks over time. If your vendor has the tools that enable them to tell you how your current campaign is performing, it will help you to figure out your approach, and what adjustments to make, for the next one.


To be sure you're getting the best and biggest bang for your buck, get custom quotes from different agencies. Inquire about any and all static and added fees regarding design, revisions, printing, paper stock, postage and outsourcing. Postal logistic options (mentioned earlier in this post) can help with major savings on costs. Keep your business's specific needs in mind and make sure you understand the actual value each agency provides. The average cost of direct mail services varies widely, so put in the time and effort to shop for an agency that meets your needs in terms of quality and results, but is also able to provide measurable ROI with competitive fees.

In short, when choosing a direct mail marketing agency to champion your next campaign, go with one that has experience, innovation, the latest equipment, technology and resources, a history of proven results, and an enthusiasm to share your vision. Wilen Group provides all this and more, so look around the website and get to know us even better.

Published on January 27, 2021