APSFulfillment_image_100815Direct mail marketing is still one of the most effective means of engaging consumers and leading them to take further action. Of the many benefits of direct mail, like converting targets, one aspect that some marketers see as an obstacle is cost. If you are correctly running your campaign strategy, there are many ways in which costs can be significantly reduced while still reaching a high volume of targets.

One of the ways businesses can take advantage of mailing cost savings is by using standard mail, more formally known as bulk mail. Using bulk mail as opposed to first-class postage, the savings can be close to 40%, and even more for nonprofit organizations.

Understanding Bulk Mail

To utilize bulk mail, there are some steps that need to be taken, the first of which is applying for a standard mail permit. This can be done using online USPS form 3615, keeping in mind that nonprofits must apply with a different form number: 3624. To maintain standing on your account, you must pay an annual fee and send bulk mail at least once every two years. Another prerequisite for actually shipping bulk mail is that the mailer contains at minimum 200 pieces of mail, all identical in dimensions.

The next step is for your data file to be run through the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS). This system is essentially a checking point to ensure all information on the mailers are accurate, including addresses, spellings, zip codes, and the carrier route. This must be done between 90-180 days of your scheduled mailing. Something to keep in mind here is that efficiency matters. The USPS will charge your company for sending out mail to addresses which have not been updated if that amount reaches 30%. That means there must be strong attention to detail in the preparation stages of your campaign to avoid unnecessary costs down the road.

In fact, diligence plays a big role in being able to qualify for bulk mail. All mail must be addressed properly according to specifications. Postage needs to be paid with methods where cancellation is not required. To get the absolute lowest rates, a minimum of 150 pieces must be going to a five or three-digit zip code, with a sleeve covering each tray of mail.

Logistics Companies Can Help

Just reading this may already have you feeling somewhat overwhelmed. That’s OK, because the entire process can be overwhelming for even seasoned businesses and marketing companies. The truth is, understanding the postal service guidelines and how to best go about identifying and utilizing the cost savings is a process APS Fulfillment, Inc. can manage for you.

You don’t need to burden yourself with filling out forms or trying to make sense of all of the regulations and qualifying obstacles associated with bulk mail. We know these rules thoroughly and can put the systems in place to ensure you get the lowest pricing possible whenever possible.

Trust APS Fulfillment, Inc. to do our jobs so you can get back to focusing on yours. Visit our web site to learn more about the services we provide and how we can assist with your next direct mail campaign.