Posted By Seamus Barton
How to Choose the Best Lettershop for Your Business
Choosing the best lettershop to carry out your direct marketing campaigns is almost as important as creating the campaign itself.
Making the wrong choice could lead to time and money wasted. And with many different factors on the line, the last thing that you should need to worry about is whether or not your direct mail even reached its intended audience.
Before you go to any lettershop for direct mail marketing purposes, there are a few things you need to decide on that will help you make the right choice.
Before You Look for a Lettershop
It would be more helpful for you to determine exactly what you are looking for in a printing vendor. Do you need a full-service lettershop that can take care of data processing, variable imaging, commercial printing services and timeline printing?
You also need to decide what you want your direct mailer to look like. Will it be a static image that gets sent to your entire audience? Or do you want it to be personalized with each recipient’s name? If so, you need to think about how the lettershop will be able to process and apply your list’s data.
Along with this information, what format will your direct mail take? Will the lettershop need to help you with polybagging, insertions, folds or tabbing? If that is the case, you will need to find out if you need to supply materials to the lettershop yourself or if your lettershop has the required equipment.
If you can identify your needs for your direct mail campaign, it will inform you of which vendors to bookmark and which to avoid. Once you’ve done the legwork and have answered these preliminary questions, let’s move on to choosing the best lettershop for your business’ needs.
What to Look for When Choosing a Direct Mail Lettershop
1. Look up reviews and customer testimonials
When you come across a lettershop that you are interested in, it is beneficial to look up reviews or testimonials of past clients before contacting them. Depending on what you find, this can help you narrow down your search quite a bit.
2. Evaluate your potential lettershop using your usual process
If this isn’t your first time working with a lettershop, approach them with the same expectations you have when undergoing any project. Each company has particular ways of doing things, so you should make sure that the way you do things matches up with theirs. The better the match, the smoother the process will be.
3. Assess their level of communication
Do they respond to you in a timely fashion? When you call them, are you greeted by an answering machine or an actual person? At Troi Mailing Services, you’ll never be forwarded to voicemail. The more responsive, the better. You don’t want to run into communication issues if there is a last minute change to your plans. You’ll also want to make sure that they answer your questions clearly, without any fluff and if they do so in a respectful manner. Does one vendor go above and beyond? Do some fall short? These are things to keep in mind.
4. Compare the quotes
Compare the quotes that you receive from each company you inquire about. Are some undercutting the others by a wide margin? This might indicate they didn’t understand the brief or the scope of your project. Knowing the possible quotes can help you if you have a strict budget. But keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Ensure you are comparing apples to apples.
5. Consider what times of the year are busiest for your lettershop
Fall and winter around the holidays are usually a busy time for print and lettershops. Most businesses are trying to get their direct mailing out before Christmas or for New Year’s. This means you should plan and ensure that the lettershop you choose can accommodate your project and meet your deadlines.
6. Visit their facilities
If you can, visit their onsite facilities. This will help you get a feel for the team who will be working on your project, and you are also able to see what the production environment is like. Is their facility organized and clean? Are the people friendly and happy to accommodate you? Let your judgment guide you when it comes to these visits. Are you comfortable letting their staff handle this critical task for you?
7. Take a look at their machinery
Besides the facility’s general order and maintenance, you should also take a look at their specific machinery. Be sure that they have the equipment you need to handle folding, insertion, labeling, inkjet-addressing, colour laser printing, or any other processes required for your campaign. There’s nothing worse than finding out that they do not have the capabilities to carry out your direct mailing project after all your hard work in vetting them.
8. Ask plenty of questions
If you doubt anything you see or any information that remains unclear to you, just ask! It’s much better to ask now before any commitments are made. Remember, lettershop employees are experts at mail production, and they are a wealth of knowledge. They are informed about all the processes involved and the rules and regulations enforced by Canada Post and other mailing services.
Choose Troi Mailing Services
Troi Mailing Services is your one-stop shop for printing and mailing services. As a Smartmail Marketing Expert Partner with Canada Post, you can trust us for fast and reliable services — our team has the knowledge and experience to meet your needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our capabilities, and what we can do for you.