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Advantages of Direct Mail Marketing


Direct mail is one of the most powerful and profitable ways of marketing available today.


Every year, billions of dollars of goods and services are sold through direct mail —everything from automobiles to home repairs. Large multi-national firms and small "Mom and Pop" companies can take advantage of direct mail to build their enterprise.


Despite the obvious advantages, a lot of companies shy away from direct mail marketing because of the technical challenges it presents. It can be a complex and difficult job. It requires imagination, foresight and determination to see it through. Many companies become discouraged after one attempt.


There are data requirements and mechanical challenges, as well as confusing and constantly changing postal regulations to stay on top of. But that's just the beginning.


There are also human challenges. Your plans must be effectively communicated to your partners—your Mailing House and other key suppliers. Your Mailing House and other partners must listen hard, confirm their understanding with you; then they must execute—accurately, and on time.


Since 1991, Troi has created a record of extraordinary service for companies large and small. Whether it's a small mailing to a house list of a few hundred names or a major fundraising campaign to a rented list of 1,000,000, you will find our expert staff highly motivated and able to meet your deadlines and exceed your expectations of great service.


Please take a good look through this Insider's Guide. There are a number of important facts and insights to consider while planning your mailing campaigns. Please don't hesitate to contact me personally any time you have questions regarding your Mail Projects.


Stacey Carruthers, Manager Operations

Four Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

  1. The data is incorrectly formatted.
    The key is to know exactly how the data should be formatted for maximum processing speed and clarity. Our data department will walk you through this step-by-step to make sure you buy Tofranil get it right the first time. If necessary, we will even come to your office and personally guide you through the data formatting process.

  2. Envelopes and brochures are non-machinable.
    Too often, inferior or incorrect materials are selected which causes unnecessary delays and extra expense. When you call Troi at the design stage, we will work with you to ensure your project is both functional and "machinable".

  3. Lack of planning—the client does not know how to "reverse-engineer" the project.
    You know the result you want, but don't have a crystal clear action plan to get you there. A good Mailing House will give you the guidance to fulfill a workable plan. Call us! We’ll help you get there!

  4. Data, printed materials and/or stationery arrive late or incomplete.
    To begin the work of "lettershopping", all the materials must be on site and organized correctly. For this to happen, proper planning and clear communication are vital. We suggest that once your materials are available, you prepare a mock-up sample along with detailed, written instructions.

19 Insiders' Tips

  1. The two most common types of mail now have new names. "Letter Mail" was formerly known as "First Class Mail". "Address Advertising Mail" or "Admail" was formerly known as "Bulk" or "Third Class Mail".

  2. The largest envelope which qualifies for lowest Bulk rates is 6-1/8" x 9-5/8" or 245×156 mm. and not 6" x 9" as is commonly supposed. This rate is available for letters of up to 50 grams in envelopes no thicker than 5 mm.

  3. There is a separate Bulk rate category for oversized envelopes/items.

  4. The maximum weight for an envelope is 500 grams. The maximum allowable thickness for an envelope is 2 cm. When you exceed either of these specifications, your mail piece becomes a parcel.

  5. For reference purposes, the standard business envelope is a "# 10" envelope, with or without a window. Its dimensions are 4-1/8" x 9-1/2". Although window envelopes cost more than regular envelopes, they can substantially lower the cost of personalizing your mailing piece.

  6. Insiders always call their Mailing House first to discuss their plans for a mailing campaign. They rely on the experts to help them find the most efficient and cost-effective way of getting the job done.

  7. Insiders code both their house and purchased lists. They introduce a field to their address records and controls so that when a reply comes back, they can track the response and see where it came from.

  8. Seeding is a way of self-auditing your mailing lists. Your lists should include your president or a key staff member. When your project is delivered, your representative will receive the letter and will know approximately when the entire mailing arrived and how an individual piece looked when it got there.

  9. The greatest proportion of postage savings can be realized on oversized materials i.e. Admail vs. Lettermail. "Oversized" means an envelope with dimensions greater than 6-1/8" x 9-5/8".

  10. Quality paper stock is often worth the extra investment because it's machine-friendly, therefore it minimizes wastage.

  11. Bulk rates are constant for the first 50 grams of your mailing piece. Unused capacity in your envelope could be a missed opportunity for piggy-backing complementary information. If you are paying for it, why not use it?

  12. When you are sending several inserts, clearance becomes a critical issue. Insiders work closely with their graphic artists and printers to make sure there's enough room to comfortably fit all their pieces into the envelope mechanically.

  13. Insiders are not "penny wise and pound foolish". They know that trying to save money by printing their own labels, for example, can be a mistake. Attempting to achieve small savings on one area of a project can actually slow down production and end up costing you money.

  14. In many cases using a self-mailer has advantages. An 11" x 17" self-mailer, folded, can stand alone without envelopes and at the same time appear highly professional.

  15. When you are planning a self-mailer, be sure to instruct your graphic designer to allow for a 2" x 4" area for addressing purposes. Your Mailing House will supply the art work to pre-print the postal indicia, or permit number. Your printer should print it at no extra charge. This will save you the labor of running each piece over a postage meter, and will provide a bolder and more professional image on the mailing piece.

  16. In your address area, a matte or flat finish absorbs ink/tonor better than a gloss finish. This provides for a clearer, crisper address image.

  17. Before they purge non-responders from their lists, insiders run re-activation campaigns. Many times if you send a "We Want You Back!" letter, the response can be very profitable and satisfying.

  18. To qualify for Admail rates you must pay Canada Post for a minimum of 1,000 pieces. Insiders take advantage of the savings even when they are mailing less than 1,000 pieces. If you are mailing only 700 or 800 pieces, paying Canada Post for 1,000 can still represent a significant savings.

  19. Canada Post has no responsibility to return non-deliverable Admail. In order to ensure the return of non-deliverable Admail, you must pre-print "Return Postage Guaranteed", along with the return address. For an additional postage amount per returned piece, this will allow you to update your mailing list.


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Thank you Troi for the great job. It ran seamlessly and I will not hesitate to send further DM projects...

Beth Hooper
Econ-O-Pac Limited
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