Why "Customer Service" Is Not On the DM Bill of Rights
5. List Advice
It's a DM rule of thumb that the list(s) you select spell the single most important component of your campaign's success. If your DM production vendor knows its way around a list enterprise and how to export and import data with your database, you've just found a direct marketing production partner who will make your life easier.
6. Postal Expertise
Anybody who's been in this business a year knows enough not to "go it alone" with the U.S. Postal Service. Even people who've been around since forever sometimes get confounded by the bureaucracy, change and technology that comprise mail delivery. Your DM production vendor absolutely, positively must be expert in postal matters.
7. Education that Never Quits
Who would quibble that this 21st century is proving to be a bruiser for folks deeply into the DM business? Only constant education tempered by experience can stand up to this consumer-driven market mix that calls for creativity; technology; metrics; database design and management; market demographics and shifts; the USPS; paper on ink; and human psychology — all on a tight, no-mistakes production schedule.
Bottom line: Your direct marketing production partner is not your father's (or even your older brother's) "printer." This is DM; this is BIG.
8. Online Tools
Today, time demands that you conduct much of your direct marketing work online. You're just too busy to do otherwise. Your DM production vendor should have every current online tool available so that you can upload files electronically, check proofs online, execute efficient Web-to-print strategies, make intelligent data and list selections from your office, retrieve job status updates in real time, and manage your inventory remotely.
9. Customer Service — A Gimme!
OK, I put it here. But it's not really part of the DM Bill of Rights because it IS the DM Bill of Rights. Customer service is the foundation from which the other eight — and all else — build. A direct marketing production company that emulates this bill of rights can be a steadfast partner that shares responsibility for the success of your direct marketing program.