Direct Mail & USPS (Where Do I Begin?)
Direct mail can be hard.
Compared to digital channels, there are so many more and different moving parts, like data, ink, paper, postage … where do you even start? Especially if your company or brand hasn’t done direct mail before, or at least in a long time.
Figuring out a strategy is a good first step, but you’re going to need more than that.
How do you design a direct mail piece? What specifications should you follow for a postcard or other mailers? How can you improve deliverability? What rates should you mail at? So many questions …
Well, don’t give up!
The know-how you need is close at hand. Please read on for some pointers on where to find it.
Talk With USPS
You don’t work in a vacuum when it comes to direct mail. Yes, the American postal ecosystem is gigantic and complex. But that’s only because it’s evolved to handle the needs and wants of a wide variety of customers over the many years it’s been around. And as clunky as it can be, the USPS can work with you at any stage of your process to get your mail through it all.
For example, the Business Customer Gateway is a USPS website that is an easy entry point for companies to access information on its business services, from Full Service Intelligent Mail to managing permits.
More broadly, PostalPro includes a range of tools and services offered by USPS, covering mailing, shipping, operations, and certifications. The nuts-and-bolts details of specifications needed for designing and creating mail can be found with Postal Explorer.
Looking for an all-in-one post about direct mail and the USPS? Head here!
Talk With Your Colleagues
With membership in the Postal Customer Council (PCC) program, businesses discover how to work more productively with their local postal officials. By networking with fellow decision makers from other companies, participants deal with local issues and processes, learn best practices, and get advice on how to improve mail quality and processes.
Then there are professional groups that offer training and educational seminars covering direct mail. Idealliance, National Center for Employee Development (NCED), and the Data and Marketing Association (DMA).
Talk With Us
Another option: find a partner with years of expertise helping their clients develop and sustain successful direct mail. We can help you design your direct mail and take it to press – to whatever degree works best for you.
And we have an in-house USPS verification team to ensure that everything is exactly right to get your mail out the door and to your prospects and customers.
Ideas in Action
- If you’re a brand looking at a direct mail agency, ask to see samples of their work – and the results they achieved.
- USPS offers professional certifications in database management, mail center automation, and mail piece design, among other specialties.
- Industry events are another place to share and get technical information about mail design, operational management, among many topics.