With so many options for Bulk Mail, not to mention the Post Office changing the names of these options, it’s easy to be frustrated by Bulk Mail. Let me share a little story regarding a recent experience I had and then we can look at the current direct mail options you have to choose from.
We recently submitted a small mailing of about 600 pieces to the post office. It’s a first class mail job using the client’s database. After the job is submitted, we get a call from the post office claiming we sorted the mail incorrectly and were claiming sortation discounts we were not entitled to. As it turns out, the technician at the post office was fairly new and was just reading what her software, the post office’s Postal ONE software, was warning her about. After a few days and probably numerous conversations between superiors and managers at the post office, we get another email letting us know that we did everything correctly and they are sorry for the error. If your feeling frustrated by bulk mail, you’re not alone! I pay a lot of money every year for my presort software and I expect it to sort mail correctly which it has always done! I was very happy to hear that the money I spent for this software in order to provide presorting services to my clients is still the best out there.
Marketing Mail – This, most recently, was called Standard Mail. Prior to being called Standard Mail it was known as Bulk Mail. This category of mail will be your best value but your slowest delivery option. You can use your own database or a purchased list that is customized to your demographics and marketing needs.
First Class Presort – No name change here but there is a difference between postcard rates and letter rates. How do you qualify for postcard rates? Well, you need to understand that it’s more a question of size than anything else. In order to qualify for postcard rates, your mail piece needs to be under the 4.25” x 6” limit. Any postcard larger than this, all the way up to 6-1/8” x 11-1/2” is priced at the same rate as a #10 envelope. If you’re feeling frustrated by bulk mail, you’re not alone! It can be very upsetting to find out that your 5” x 7” postcard doesn’t qualify for the “postcard” rate because it’s just a little too big. Especially when you see how much more you will have to now pay in postage or settle for the slower class of Marketing Mail in order to not exceed your budget.
USPS EDDM® – Finally, the class of mail I get the most questions on is EDDM® or Every Door Direct Mail. The name sounds pretty self-explanatory. But if that were true, why do I get asked about databases? I believe, it’s because the post office isn’t doing the greatest job explaining the process. I also feel the Post Office is more interested in offering the low cost in order to hook people in. “Hook people in?” What’s that about? Let me explain. First, you need to select an area (unless you want to pay a marketing person to do this for you). Next, you need to decide if you’ll exclude business address and just mail to residents. But what if you only want to mail to businesses? Sorry, that’s not an option. Now you come to the size limits of the piece, it’s a whole different class of mail and is not designed to be used with letters or regular sized postcards. So now you have to start over with your mail design! If you’re feeling frustrated by bulk mail, you’re not alone! But wait, there’s more! Paying for postage and waiting in line at the post office is next. Of course you can pay a service to do all of this, but EDDM was designed to be easy and for the do-it-yourselfer.
So with all the possible hiccups and confusion around First Class Mail, Marketing Mail and EDDM, it is highly worth delegating these jobs to the experts. Call SLB Printing for your printing and mailing needs! We will get the job done, and done right.