5 Things to Look For in a Direct Mail Partner


Finding a direct mail partner to deliver print media to your customer’s mailboxes isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

If you’ve worked with a marketing service provider before, you’ll know that finding one with experience makes all the difference.

If you’re a first timer, we’ll tell you what to look for so you can avoid the headaches that come with picking the wrong one.

We’ll be covering 5 categories:

  • Service
  • Expertise
  • Technology
  • Options
  • Guidance


On the surface, some services sound like they should be simple. Web designers should just make your website. Car rental services should just have a great car for you. Restaurants should always have great waitstaff.

In a perfect world, yes. In the real world, that’s not always the case. And you’ll notice the difference.

Some direct mail partners function as order takers. They’ll do their best to deliver what you want as long as it fits into one of their premade templates. If you’re not happy with the design, you’re either forced to send something you’re not proud of, or start all over with a new vendor.

Partners like GrowMail, function as advisors. They’ll help execute your campaign from end-to-end. This includes design, pre-campaign planning, execution and post-campaign evaluation.

A truly advanced direct mail partner will even help optimize your future campaigns with experiences you’ve had together. That means analyzing data to see what areas got the best response rates, reviewing pieces to correct call-to-actions, highlighting attributions, and maximizing your offering.

The most important component is the level of communication and the relationship you have.

Questions to ask:

  • Do they provide a consultant to work with or are you on your own?
  • If they do provide a consultant, are they easy to contact?
  • Do they provide you with your consultants name, phone number and email address?
  • Do they offer design services? Is it tailored or template-based?
  • Can they provide examples of solutions they’ve offered to customers to tailor their campaigns after the first delivery?

In the following section we cover why the USPS Preferred Vendors list as a great place to start.


When you’re getting a repair or an oil change, most of us look for a name we trust. Even if there are cheaper options, we want someone who will do the job right the first time.

A direct mail marketer’s reputation and expertise will help get your message delivered to more people, faster and at a better rate.

Companies with their own design team and marketing consultants are constantly monitoring feedback and making improvements to their deliverability.

On the other hand, providers with outsourced and templated design strategies tend to deliver the same materials over and over again without much adjustment. That’s because they aren’t able to get data from their results, or take action using direct feedback from customers.

A good place to start when looking for a reputable partner is the USPS preferred vendor list. The list contains a selected group of the most professional teams. It takes over 2 years to be considered, and they must have a proven reputation and a strong relationship with the postal service. So far there are only 6 companies on the list.

These companies have a proprietary relationship with USPS that gives them access to resources that lower cost and accurately target areas.

Questions to ask:

  • Do they have an in-house design team that works directly with clients to monitor feedback?
  • Do they have meaningful relationships with USPS, or any other service that adds value to their offering?
  • Do they plan on meeting with you consistently or is it a plug-and-play strategy?
  • Can they explain something to you about design and messaging that you don’t already know?


Technology isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when people think about direct mail. But there’s a reason why even technology forward companies, like Google, “use it like crazy.” The vendors that help you see the most return on investment (ROI) for your campaigns are using technology to collect data from databases, find cost savings, and maximize your targeting.

GrowMail, for example, has proprietary software to find postal efficiencies (also known as discount zones) to send mail for 30% less than Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).

Not to mention, AI tools that scan millions of postcard mailings, and identify where they can leverage economies of scale for additional savings.

It’s also important to know where your provider is getting their contact information. They should be using databases like Dun & Bradstreet and Axiom to build high quality mailing lists.

For B2B marketing, you’ll want strong databases that are DPV verified so you’re hitting the right mailbox as much as possible.

Learn more about how to get the best deliverability results, here.

Questions to ask:

  • Do they have technology tools that maximize efficiencies and print costs?
  • Are they able to speak to where they get data for their mailing lists?
  • Do they offer a way to track return on investment?
  • Are their B2C mailing lists DPV verified?
  • Are their B2B mailing lists updated monthly?


At some point in your marketing journey, you might learn something from your experience that requires you to change your strategy. Maybe your leads are calling you and mentioning something in the print that you weren’t expecting or maybe a certain demographic is more interested than you thought they would be. When you decide to change things up, it’s important that you’re working with a company that offers flexibility, customization and a variety of options.

An important aspect to consider is batch sizing. Batch size is the number of units manufactured in a production run. Many companies that use outsourced vendors for printing have to order in specific sizes to reduce the cost per unit. Companies that do their own printing in-house might offer more flexibility.

Make sure your sizing is flexible so you’re not stuck paying for more than you need or forced to settle for less than you want. Look for a partner that offers batch sizes in increments of 25-50.

Here’s what to look for before you jump into your first meeting with a consultant:

  • They’re invested in your success and can offer resources to help you get there
  • An ability to adjust their strategies and receive feedback
  • Experience with companies like yours and relationships with USPS
  • Technological solutions, and the ability to speak to how they benefit you

Direct mail partner


Like a Sherpa guiding a group of climbers to the top of Mount Everest, you’ll want a direct mail partner that can take you to peak campaign performance.

Here’s what to look for before you jump into your first meeting with a consultant:

  • They’re invested in your success and can offer resources to help you get there
  • An ability to adjust their strategies and receive feedback
  • Experience with companies like yours and relationships with USPS
  • Technological solutions, and the ability to speak to how they benefit you

Put a face to the name, decide if you can trust that person, and make a judgment on how much they actually care about your results. After all, your success should reflect theirs.


GrowMail offers everything you need in your next direct mail partner and more. Full Color Printing, Premium Card Stocks, Every Door Direct Mail Sizes and 24-48 Hour turn around.

Our marketing consultants have 20 years of experience helping marketers get results with our full suite of marketing solutions. If you’re ready to begin getting results from your marketing efforts, book an appointment with a GrowMail marketing consultant.

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