In our last post, we discussed the many benefits of bulk mail campaigns, from how they connect you to new customers to how they can improve your business for just a few cents per mailing. We also mentioned, however, that taking advantage of bulk mail prices requires following several USPS bulk mail rules and regulations.
Below, we’ve outlined these bulk mail requirements in some detail.
- You must acquire a bulk and commercial mailing permit. To get a permission to mail permit, you must fill out the appropriate paperwork and pay an annual fee. You must also make a bulk mailing at least once every two years in order to permit imprint account active. You must also apply for a permit if you are seeking non-profit mailing privileges. However, if you use Towne Mailer you can also use our indicia without any cost and you do not have to complete any paperwork – we do it all.
- You must meet size and shape requirements. How much your mailing costs per piece, as well as if it qualifies for bulk mailing prices, depends on the size and shape of the piece. For example, you letter must be rectangular in shape. The thickness of your mail also matters.
- Your mail must be folded and tabbed in a specific way. If your mail piece is folded, it must be sealed completely along all open sides. In some cases, this requires spot gluing, continuous gluing, or wafer seals. The number and location of tabs is also important.
- Your recipient’s names and addresses must meet USPS guidelines. In order to meet commercial mail requirements and get bulk mail postage prices, your address list must be accurate and correctly displayed. You can ensure this though acquiring mailing lists and checking them for accuracy before your mailing. Towne Mailer can certify and correct your list as part of the service we offer.
- You must mail a minimum of 200 pieces (or 50 pounds) of mail. It’s called bulk mail for a reason. One of the reasons bulk mail rates are so reasonable is because of the large volume of pieces that are mailed. If you do not have 200 recipients, you may wish to consider purchasing a mailing list. Alternatively, if you want to stay with your list but are only a few names short of the 200 required pieces, you can mail a handful of letters to yourself!
- Your design of the piece must meet postal criteria. For example, your mail must have a certain amount of “free space” in order to qualify for commercial mail prices. Towne Mailer is familiar with all of these design requirements and we will gladly review your proposed mail piece without charge BEFORE it is printed.
- Your pieces of mail must be identical. Bulk and commercial mail can’t be personalized. For example, you cannot secure bulk mail rates in order to mail statements or invoices, since each statement includes information that is specific to the person receiving the mail. Other than the name and address on the piece, every other aspect of the mailing must be the same.
At Towne Mailer, we review all pieces of bulk mail to ensure that they meet all USPS requirements – and we can help you alter your design to make your piece more effective overall. To learn more about our bulk mail services, or to ask one of our team members a question, contact us today at 877.882.6245.