In Direct Mail 101, Direct Mail Marketing

How We Prepare Your Mail for Postage Discounts

Some folks are curious about what it takes to prepare mail for postage discounts.  Below is a general overview of the process. It is a peculiar blend of brains and brawn.  Starting with the technicalities of data processing and ending with a trip to the post office for inspection.

mail-productionData Conversion and Preparation

If you provide a mailing list we will download it to our network, convert your compatible file to our system format, add additional data fields that are required for processing and possibly make minor adjustments in the database structure.

Move Update Requirement

Your mailing list must comply with this USPS requirement in order to receive postage discounts. It can be met by updating address changes yourself with “Return Service Requested”, requesting our Move Update Service, or adding the phrase “Or Current Occupant” to your mail piece. Click here for more details.

CASS Certification
Our software will standardize your delivery addresses and add the zip +4 codes for potential postage savings.

Remove Duplicate Addresses
As a default, we perform a hard duplication removal on every mailing list that is given to us for processing.  Multiple addresses that have identical name fields will be removed, leaving only one to be mailed.

Computer Presorting
The mailing list data will be sorted according to specific USPS rules. This is NOT simply sorting your list into zip code order. It is sorting to a complicated system of delivery paths and entry points that requires sophisticated programs and human skill sets. Don’t try this at home.

Letter Shop

Preparing The Mail Piece

Some mail pieces will require more work than others in order to take advantage of bulk mail postage discounts. That work might include folding and tabbing, stuffing of envelopes (we call that inserting),  stamping and other things. We use tools, machinery and muscle power to get the job done.

Addressing

All mail must be addressed appropriately and meet USPS standards of readability. Whenever possible we will use our high-speed inkjet equipment to print the addresses directly onto your piece. Otherwise, we will print the addresses on labels first, then apply the labels to the mail piece.

Packaging

Large pieces of mail and those with irregular shapes need to be rubber-banded together into “bundles” then placed in mail sacks. Smaller, letter-size mail, is placed in covered trays.  Each tray or sack consists of mail that will go to a specific sorting facility and must be labeled using a very specific format. Sacks are tied with cord and trays are tightly strapped closed. The sacks or trays for individual jobs are coded accordingly.

Documentation

Each mailing is accounted for using an appropriate USPS form, collectively referred to as a postage statement. The piece weight, number of pieces and address destinations are all used to calculate the postage amount.

Delivery to the Post Office

Mailings are taken to the main Phoenix post office where extra postage discounts can be obtained.

The above description of the mailing process is general and is meant for informational purposes only. If you are thinking about having us prepare direct mail for your business, it is best to call us early in the process. Call us today to discuss your direct mail

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