Unsolicited advertising sent to prospective customers through the mail is known as “direct mail.” This includes the postcard the local pizza shop sends out advertising their Friday night discount on large pizzas as well as the self-mailer the local charity sent asking for donations.
When direct mail is sent out in large quantities, it can qualify for reduced postage rates and is sometimes referred to as “bulk mail.” Officially, it’s known as “standard mail” by the United States Postal Service (USPS) but they also refer to it as “presorted mail.”
The Postal Service offers lower prices for bulk mailings in exchange for you doing some of the work. It saves the Postal Service time when the mail is already sorted by ZIP Code for example or when the mail is delivered to a destination postal facility. It’s a win-win situation for both the Postal Service and the mailer.
Direct mail companies specialize in addressing and processing bulk mail. They’ve invested in postal software and equipment that can save you time when it comes to preparing your mail. Often the money saved on postage covers the cost of the direct mail company’s services.
To qualify for postage discounts, you must mail a minimum number of pieces:
In addition to these minimum quantities, the Postal Service has strict requirements on sizes and design layouts that must be adhered to in order to qualify for the reduced postage rates. We strongly suggest you speak with a qualified mailing house or an experienced printer to make sure your mail piece meets all of the guidelines. A simple error in layout (being over sized or having a fold in the wrong place for example) can end up costing you more in the long-run.