The importance of quality control in a direct mail campaign cannot be overstated. The upfront cost of postage makes it essential that all aspects of your mailer are checked and double checked. Once the mail is out the door there is no bringing it back. Below are the areas to focus on when ensuring that your piece is mailed correctly:
- The mailing list: It is important to make sure that the list that you are mailing to is appropriate and accurate. Appropriateness refers to the fact that the list is targeting the correct demographics for your direct mail campaign. You want to make sure the mailer is going to the right people and you must have your list checked for duplicates. Accuracy refers to the list containing the correct information. For accuracy your list should be checked with the National Change of Address database (NCOA) to ensure the addresses are up to date and should be run through Coding Accuracy Support Software (CASS) to ensure the addresses are coded correctly. Your mailing house should perform these two tests for you.
- The mailing piece: Having multiple people proofread your mailing piece can help avoid printing and/or mailing something with a spelling or grammar mistake. Checking with your mail house on the postal specifications of your piece is also important. It may be necessary to have the mail house check with the post office to make sure you can mail at a specific postage rate. Checking on postage rates and regulations can help you make decisions prior to printing and mailing that can save you money on postage. In addition, make sure that you sign off on a proof from your printer or mail house prior to printing commencing.
- Matching: Some direct mail pieces require matching the envelope with the insert(s). When matching is taking place make sure that your direct mailer has an audit procedure in place. Quality control may entail auditing every 10th piece or auditing all of the pieces.
At Action Mail we understand the importance of quality control from the start to finish of your mailer. We run our own extensive quality control and assurance procedures to check you piece again prior to it being mailed.