It’s a good question. Every business or non-profit should ask that question if they are sending much direct mail.
From time-to-time you hear stories about some rogue postal carrier dropping all his “junk mail” in a dumpster instead of delivering it. I doubt that happens very often, but mail does sometimes get lost and you should monitor it.
The best way to do this is with a “seed.” If you are using your own address list, you should put your name (or a that of a family member) in the database. Often, I add several names of friends throughout the country and then ask them to send me an e-mail with the date they received the mail piece. That way I can track not only if they got it, but when the mail arrived.
My particular client was using the Every Door Direct Mail program from the post office. This service delivers to specific carrier routes. It’s a little more difficult to track, but the price is worth the investment.
Since you have selected the carrier route receiving the mail, ask your employees or customers who live in that neighborhood to monitor whether it is delivered. Let them know you plan to send a mailing and request a confirmation when it comes. Be sure to offer your customers a small incentive – a gift certificate, movie tickets, etc. as a thank you.
What do you do if your mail is not delivered? Take the documentation (a statement from the addressee saying they never received it) and file a complaint with your local post office. You can also consult with your direct mail house or provider to see if there is a problem on that end. Be sure you have verification to support your assertion. Just going into the post office and telling them that you don’t think your mail is being delivered, will be less likely to get a positive response.
If you pay for it, you have the right to expect it to be delivered.