What the U.S. Postal Service Needs You to Know
If you’re interested in optimizing your marketing budget, taking advantage of bulk business mail rates is a great way to do that. When you’re sending lots of direct mail (link to direct mailing piece) on a monthly or even quarterly basis, figuring out how to send bulk mail easily and affordably will save you a lot of money on your business mailings.
What is Bulk Mailing?
Bulk mailing is a cost effective mailing system for your business. If you’re just sending a few letters here and there, bulk mailing isn’t for you. But if your business is sending out hundreds of flyers or postcards or magazines at once, taking advantage of bulk rates can save your business a fortune on annual mailing costs.
How to Qualify for Bulk Mailing Rates
In order to qualify for bulk mailing postage rates, you will need to meet a certain minimum number of pieces. How many pieces that is depends on what type of mail you’re sending. The minimum mailing piece numbers for postage discounts are:
- First Class Mail: 500 pieces
- USPS Marketing Mail: 200 pieces (or 50 pounds of mail)
- Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM): 200 pieces
- Presorted or Carrier Route Bound Printed Mail: 300 pieces
- Library Mail: 300 pieces
- Media Mail: 300 pieces
- Parcel Select: 50 pieces
How to Choose Your Type of Mail
The U.S. Postal Service offers several types of mail services, so you’ll need to choose which one suits your bulk mailing needs. The 3 types of bulk mail that are most likely a fit for your business needs are: First Class Mail, Marketing Mail, and Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM).
First Class Mail
First Class Mail is a good option for businesses that are sending mail across the country as the price for First Class mailpieces is a flat rate, regardless of whether the mail is going 20 miles away or 2000 miles away. First Class Mail includes letters, cards, flats, and parcels weighing under 13 ounces.
You would use Marketing Mail to send mailpieces like flyers, circulars, newsletters, catalogues, and small parcels to your current or potential customers. Each mailpiece must weigh less than 16 ounces in order to qualify for the Marketing Mail bulk rate postage. International mail cannot qualify as Marketing Mail.
Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM)
Every Door Direct Mailing (EDDM) is a good choice for small businesses, realtors, restaurants, and local politicians who are running political campaigns and need to send mailpieces to targeted neighborhoods but don’t necessarily have specific names and address. EDDM allows you to mail USPS Marketing Mail Flats (which are flat rate envelopes) weighing up to 3.3 oz at a huge discount.
Bulk Mail Rates
While the price for bulk mail postage changes every time the U.S. Postal Services raises their standard mail pricing, there is still always a substantial discount. The bulk mail rates for 2019 are:
Nonprofit organizations are eligible for substantial mail postage discounts – up to 84% – so if your organization is a non-profit, be sure to take advantage of that.
How to Send Bulk Mail
There are two ways to go about sending bulk mail: You can hire a bulk mailing service or you can Do It Yourself (DIY).
Hiring a Bulk Mailing Service
There are several bulk mailing services that come recommended by the USPS. They are:
- Printing for Less (PFL): a good option for a business that needs a lot of custom printing, from custom sizes to custom effects and personalized services. PFL provides all that and handles mailing as well.
- Amazingmail: a good choice if you need rapid (next business day) printing and mailing of personalized postcards, brochures, and letters. Amazingmail will let you upload your own design or choose from hundreds they have on file. They will address, stamp, and mail your items with Postal Protect coating and First Class postage.
- Click2Mail: includes Priority shipping to a U.S. Post Office facility or your office with EDDM direct mail orders, and next business day printing and mailing for First Class mail orders. Free tutorials, APIs, and mailing list rental are also available.
- EveryDoorDirectMail.com – Taradel: assists with preparing direct mail for addressed direct mail campaigns and EDDM. You can design flyers, postcards, and advertisements using their free design templates or hire a designer to help you.
- GrowMail: offers both full-service direct marketing and also print advertising services to small- and medium-sized businesses. They also offer marketing strategy consultations.
- AMPlified Mail: supplies ROI reporting and responses, as well as tracks your mail through the USPS. They offer personalized consultations for your design and mail strategies.
DIY Bulk Mailing
If you decide that you would prefer to manage your bulk mailing in-house, you can do so by simply following the normal process of:
- Creating your list of direct mailing names and addresses
- Designing your marketing material mailers
- Finding a printer to print your marketing material mailers
- Acquiring a mailing permit and paying an annual mailing fee for USPS Marketing Mail and/or First-Class Mail (No permit is required for EDDM.)
- Paying for postage through permit imprint, postage meters, or precanceled stamps
- Choosing the shape, size, and weight of your mailings
- Certifying that your recipient addresses are correct
- Presorting the pieces of mail by ZIP code
- Transporting your mailing to the post office where you have your mailing permit
While it is a bit more legwork to DIY your bulk mailing, it can save your business a fair amount of money over using a service. The extra effort can be worth it when you’re just starting out and don’t have a clear idea of what the ROI on your bulk mailing efforts will be.
How to Make DIY Bulk Mailing Easy and Fun
Most DIY bulk mailing projects end up being a headache because they start without a system in place. The most important thing you can do if you’re DIYing your bulk mail is to set up a system to keep track of everything.
Having a standard mailing process will make everything much easier for you and your team. Rather than having bulk mailing be a project that takes up one employee’s time for an entire week, consider diverting an afternoon of several staff members’ time to bulk mailing. You can even order pizza for everyone for lunch and make it a party.