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Making Mailing Services Work for You

Plotting a course through postal regulations and marketing your business with a brochure mail piece can seem like a challenging task. Fortunately, a little knowledge can go a long way toward removing the confusion with mailing services to make your brochure a successful marketing campaign.

Clearing Up Mailing Services

The good news is you don't have to deal with the mailing procedure on your own for your brochure mailing project. Many of the tasks can be accomplished with cutting-edge mailing service production equipment and software. And the best news is that it can actually save you time and money to get help from the experts with your brochure mailing project.

From securing a targeted list for your brochure to personalizing your greetings with variable data, mailing services go beyond just addresses and delivering your pieces to the post office. Specialized mail houses can do the majority of the work on your mailing, leaving you to focus on the market, messaging and timing of your direct mail brochure campaign. To make it even easier and faster to get started on your brochure project, find a printer that also mails for a one-stop mailing shop. You'll find the following types of brochure mailing services available to help make your mailing a snap:
  • Mailing List Rental - Rent a list of names and addresses for single or repeat brochure mailings
  • List Processing and CASS Certification - This service cleans up the duplicate addresses and finds any potentially undeliverable addresses in your brochure mailing list. Find out more in our related article about address quality and why a clean mailing list is the foundation of a successful mailing.
  • Addressing - Frustrated with putting on address labels and licking stamps? For pennies a piece, mailing services companies will ink-jet the recipient's address, return address and mailing indicia all at once using high-speed addressing machines.
  • Variable data - Customize your brochure mail pieces with personalized greetings or sequential numbering either during or instead of the addressing process.
  • Inserting and tabbing - The latest expertise and technology makes it easier than ever to insert brochures, letters or even multiple brochures into envelopes and tab or seal folded brochure mailers.

Postal Services Made Easier

Have you questioned what the difference between First Class and Bulk (or Standard) mail really is? Do you know what your brochure will cost to mail? It's more than just the cost of the postage and delivery speed. Your local post office can be a maze of regulations and computerization, with machines buzzing away. To make it easier to handle and sort your brochures, the USPS offers incentives for making your mail piece machine-friendly and waiting a few extra days for delivery.
 First Class MailFirst Class Pre-SortedStandard Mail (aka Bulk Mail)
CostMost expensiveDiscount off First Class because the sorting step is done ahead of time.Discount off First Class Presorted because the USPS has more flexibility on delivery speed.
SpeedDelivered in 1 to 3 days nationwideDelivered in 1 to 3 days nationwideMost pieces delivered in 3-11 days, with some stragglers.
QuantityAny quantityMinimum of 500 piecesMinimum of 200 pieces
Mailing Panel Design RestrictionsNo specific restrictions (think of the hand written note from your Grandma) but the USPS will add an ugly bar code, unless it is applied in the addressing process.Requires open space for the printing of the address and bar code so that it can be read by a sorting machine.Requires open space for the printing of the address and bar code so that it can be read by a sorting machine.
For help with laying out your brochure to work with postal equipment, see our Mail Layout Guides or give us a call today for a free consultation at 888-922-0699.

Mailing Service Endorsements Work for You

While the phrase may not be well-known, the idea should be. "Service endorsements" are directions to the USPS on what to do with your mail if it can't be delivered. Two of the most common endorsements are:

Return Service Requested

The brochure or mail piece will be returned to the sender with a sticker displaying the new address or reason for non-delivery

Temporary Return Service Requested

The undeliverable brochure or mail piece will be forwarded to the new address if the recipient filed a provisional change-of-address request

There is no charge for these services if you mail with the First Class or First Class Presorted option. For Standard or Bulk Mail, you'll receive the returned brochure or mail piece and pay a First Class rate plus a small charge for the service. If you want to reach more of your recipients and keep your addresses updated, these endorsements are recommended.

Size Can Equal the Best Postage Rates

Size is important when it comes to sorting mail with machines. The USPS has grouped mail into four size categories. While there are intricate computations used to determine the size of your mail piece, here are a few guidelines that relate to most business mail:
  • Postcard Rate - 4.5 x 5.5 and 4 x 6 postcards qualify for this postage rate
  • Letter Rate - at least 3.5 high x 5" wide but not more than 6.125" high x 11.5" wide
  • Large Envelopes and Flats - bigger than a letter but not more than 12" high x 15" wide
  • Packages - for everything else. If your mail piece isn't a postcard, letter or flat, then it's considered a package.
Thickness and shape also factor into mailing service rates of your mailing piece or brochure. If you're using an especially thick paper, such as a brochure cover stock, or non-standard shape, your brochure piece may not meet the criteria for lower rates. Discuss your needs with your mailing services provider to ensure your brochure design will meet your mailing budget.