Bulk mail is confusing. Here are the options and some bulk mail tips so you can save big on your direct mail campaigns.
When trying to save on postage for your direct mail campaigns, you run into a dizzying array of potential bulk mail discounts. Let me simplify the process for you by telling you there are basically two ways to save.
Bulk mail, as defined by the United States Postal Service, is, “quantities of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates.” The key word here is “prepared,” because essentially you do part of the work for the USPS, and in return they give you a break on postage.
Here are two ways to save:
1. Use a Mail House: Usually I would put this option second, but the process of preparing bulk mail is so convoluted, I think it needs to go first.
There are many guidelines to follow and requirements to meet before your mailing qualifies for discounts. For a majority of businesses, the easiest way to save is to go through a registered mail house with trained professionals. Finding a direct mail firm that offers mailing services is ideal for small businesses. You get the discount without jumping through the hoops.
2. Go Your Own Way: If you are really going to do this, understand it will take several hours to get the work done depending on how many pieces you intend to mail. You may need a staff member that doesn't have very many other duties to help. Or you can get your whole crew to stay late and have a bulk mail preparation party! To qualify for Standard Class, the most common bulk mail option, all of your pieces must be essentially identical. The discount for Standard Class can be pretty darn good—sometimes up to $0.20 off standard postage—but you pay the price with the work it takes to get the mailing prepared.
To qualify for standard class, your mailing must be:
- At least 200 pieces or 50 pounds.
- Less than 16 ounces.
- Marked with your registered bulk mail indicia (If you register through your local post office and pay the fee, you can get one.)
- Pre-sorted according to USPS standards and the exact nine digit ZIP code.
So there you go. If you really want to tackle bulk mail on your own—you can do it! But remember, the easiest way to save is through a direct mail company that can mail for you. Make sure your mail house of choice passes the postage savings on to you, because some companies keep it for themselves!