Frequently Asked Questions
why do i need Direct mail or mailing service company?
Mailing on your own consumes valuable time and money. For instance, if you are mailing on your own, you will need to mail the USPS first class postage rate for $.50 each. However if you use a direct mail company like Addressers, you can send your mails as a marketing mail (aka Standard Class) at around $.27 each. If you are a non-profit organization, your postage will be at an even lower. (Minimum number of pieces required for these rate is 200 pieces.)
At the Addressers, we have in-house, state-of-the-art high speed machines for printing, folding, addressing, inserting ...etc., so we can handle your entire mail preparation costs for only a few cent each. Even if you have your printers to print your own letters, envelopes and postcards, our cost of printing is far much lower than your cost of printing after adding all the costs for paper, toner usage, time to print...etc. Click here to see our top rated equipment.
WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE FOR DIRECT MAIL?
Here are a few of the many mailer types we offer, but there are more. Listed from low to high cost:
- Postcard: Common sizes are 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8.5 x 5.5, 6 x 9, 6 x 11
- Self Mailer: Usually printed on 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14, 11 x 17 and folded to smaller size and tabbed before addressing.
- Snap Pack (Pressure Sealed)
- Letter and envelope
Here are postage options. Listed from low to high cost:
will mail advertising work for my business?
Direct mail advertising (direct mail) is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing strategies available. It works very well for some companies but not for every business and every situation. There are several factors to consider:
- Cost: The typical cost of mailing 5,000 pieces is from $1,500 to $3,000 depending on the type of mailers you are sending out. The cost includes postage per mail piece to send through the United States Postal System. It ranges from 15.8 cents each to 28.7 cents each for letter-size mailer. Due to the high cost of mail advertising, if you are selling small ticket goods or services, it is often a challenge to justify the cost of direct mail advertising.
- Return on Investment (ROI): In order for you to continue using direct advertising, you will need to set an acceptable ROI. You cannot continue to spend on advertising without getting some returns on your mailings. You need to be able to either generate enough revenue or generate enough awareness for future revenue. Even though you are not recovering initial investment right after your mailings, you will need to take into consideration the "life time" value of new customers you acquire.
- Availability of quality name and address: If you have a large base of existing customers, this is an ideal situation for your direct mail advertising because those customers already know you and are more likely to respond to your mail. If you do not have existing customer list, the Addressers can find a suitable mailing list specific to your clientele and for your direct advertising campaign. We can provide trade list (businesses) and consumer list (individual or household) with many different demographic and geographic information such as number of employees, household income level, net worth, ethnicity ...etc. Contact us to see if we can find a list suitable to your mailing needs.
how many should i mail?
Most self-mailers overestimate the effectiveness of direct advertising, so they end up mailing to a small group of targets. It is difficult to gauge the effectiveness of a mailing when initial mailing size is too small. I recommend a minimum of 5000 pieces for the first test mailing (2500 pieces mailer may work on some cases). Also, when you mail to a small quantity, your unit cost is much higher than a larger quantity mailing. Printing, data work, and mailing preparation require some setup time, so when the quantity is too small, you end up paying a much higher cost per piece. For example, the unit cost of a certain postcard mailing of 500 pieces is $0.85 each while the same postcard can be mailed at less than $0.38 when you mail 5000 pieces.
What is average response rate?
If you are a first time mailer, there is no way to accurately predict the response rate of any mailer. Response rates will vary widely based on many factors. For instance, if you are opening up a new supermarket and giving away a free watermelon, you can expect a very high response rate. However, if you are a mortgage company, you may get 0.2% response rate. Although a 0.2% response rate appears very low, if the mortgage company can make $10,000 on a single deal and the company can continue to mail even with such a low response rate. Return on Investment (ROI) is far more important than response rate. In order for a mailer to be successful, you either need a very high response rate or the product/service you are selling needs to be at a high price. If you flip through mailers that you receive at home, most of them are promoting high price items such as homes, mortgages, cars, shows, dentist...etc. You will rarely see mailer for small ticket items such as independent retail stores ...etc.
When you calculate ROI, it is important that you factor in the "life-time value" of a new customer because portions of new customers will continue to use your service for many years to come. You need to estimate the average "life-time value" and use that to analyze ROI on your mail campaign. Often restaurant mailers do not generate enough revenue to offset initial mailing cost. However, these customers, if they are satisfied with service, will continue come back. Furthermore, they will even recommend the restaurant to others. This potential additional value generated by initial mailing is hard to capture, but it may significantly increase ROI.
Is it worth to use premium paper and printing for our mailing?
Generally, the answer is NO. Premium paper and printing can increase costs quite dramatically, and most of the time, it is not worth spending extra money for higher quality materials because it will not increase your response rate enough to offset the higher costs. If you have some extra money on your budget, it is more effective and efficient to spend it on increasing your mail volume or sending a follow up mailer. Most people receiving mail do not care or appreciate higher quality material they get in the mail, so it is not much of a guarantee that it will boost the response rate.
what are the different postage rates?
The following are the most common rates, and it will fluctuate based on several factors:
Marketing Mail (previously Standard Mail) - Typical delivery time is 1 to 2 week depending on the area.
- about $.28 each for letter size
- about $.60 each for flat size
First Class Mail - 1 to 5 day delivery time
- about $.42 each for letter size
- about $.71 each for flat size
Marketing Non-Profit - Same delivery time as Marketing Mail except you will have much lower non-profit rate.
- about $.17 each for letter size
- about $.43 each for flat size
Addressers will find the lowest possible rate using our expertise. There are ways you can get a significant discount on postage. We'd be more than happy to analyze your data for you with no obligation.
Click here to open USPS Business Price Calculator.
What is estimated delivery time?
Here are published delivery time for different classes by USPS:
- Express Mail - 1 to 2 days
- Priority Mail - 1 to 3 days
- First Class Mail - 1 to 3 days
- Parcel Post - 2 to 9 days*
- Bound Printed Mail - 2 to 9 days*
- Media Mail - 2 to 9 days*
- Standard Mail - 2 to 14 days*
* USPS Doesn't guarantee delivery time for these classes. However, our experience is that more than 98% of time mails are delivered within these dates. By using drop shipments, you can save delivery time and postage. Please call for more details on this.
what are letter-size and flat-size mailers?
Roughly put, a letter-size mail is any rectangular mailer at least 5" long and 3 1/2" high. However, a mailer larger than the letter-size maximum dimension of 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" is considered as "flat" size mailer, and the postage rate for "flat" size mailer is significantly higher than letter-size mailer. There are some exceptions to this. Please call us at 800-961-4877 so we can provide more details. BTW, even flat-size mailer cannot exceed 12" x 15".
What is drop shipment?
Drop shipment applies mostly to Marketing Mail including Non-Profit Mail. If we deliver mailers closer to destination Post Office, we receive a drop ship discount from the Post Office. The overall cost may be lower even if you add delivery cost to destination PO. Drop shipment is not for all mailing projects because you need enough mailers within certain areas to offset delivery cost. This is a complicated process to determine if you should use drop shipment or not. However, Addressers has the latest technology and expertise to advise you with the most cost efficient delivery option. In addition to lower postage, drop shipped mail will arrive at homes faster and at a more predictable time.
What is non-profit rate and how do we qualify?
Qualified non-profit organizations can mail at significantly lower postage rate. You must apply at Post Office and receive non-profit authorization number before you can benefit from the lower postage rate.
First you will need to read the information on this form to see if your organization is eligible to mail at the non-profit rates. Once you determine if you qualify, you will need to fill out the application and submit required documentation . You can send this to us and we can send it to our local PO where they will then submit electronically or mail to Pricing and Classification Service Center.
You will receive a letter notifying you if you are approved along with an assigned Nonprofit Authorization number.
when is the best day of the week to mail?
It depends on your marketing needs and the type of service you want to use, but we need to work backward from "at home" arrive date. Most mailings will get better results if the mailer is received at home during mid week (Tues/Wed/Thurs) because your prospect are usually busy over the weekend, they tend to ignore mails, and often let them pile up. If you are mailing to local addresses via Marketing Mail, we can drop ship on Friday at either SCF or NDC location, and the mail will deliver in 2 to 4 days. Please note that drop shipment will not be possible for all mailers. We will advise you if it benefits you on your specific mailing.
how do i know that my mailing was sent?
We will send you official postal receipt upon request when mailing is completed. The form shows the date of mailing and the quantity that was mailed. It is an official USPS documentation and you can call USPS to verify the information.
how do i design a direct mailer?
We have professional graphics designers who can assist you at a nominal fee. A typical postcard design will be at $75.
WHAT IS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EDDM AND RESIDENTIAL SATURATION MAILING?
EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) is mailed without a name and address on the mailer. It simply says "Local Postal Customer". Bundles of these mailers are given to postal couriers in an area for distribution. Residential Saturation mailer will have a name (about 70% of all addresses have a name) and an address on each mailer. Cost is slightly higher on Residential mailer, but having a name and address on mailer often produces better response rates than EDDM mailer. There are other benefits in Residential mailer, too. Please call 800-961-4877 for more details.
can you explain different paper types?
Here is a helpful link: paper weight conversion chart. This link explains difference between 24lb bond vs. 70# text, 14pt stock vs. 120lb cover ...etc.
do you handle aqmd mailing?
Yes. We do that all the time. We can send notification letter to all resident and business addresses within 500 ft or 1000 ft from the site address. We will provide certificate of the mailing when mailing is done.
WHAT IS PMEOD/PMOD (Priority mail open and distribute)?
PMOD (Priority Mail Open and Distribute) is not well known in the mailing service industry, but it can be beneficial to some customers. Instead of entering Marketing Mail at local Post Office, we can ship trays of mail via USPS Priority Mail service closer to destination post office. If you are mailing to local addresses, PMOD won't help. However, if you are mailing outside your local area, PMOD can expedite mailing delivery time to 2 to 3 days instead of 1 to 3 weeks. PMOD can save you a lot in postage when you need first class delivery time, but you don't want to pay for first class rate. Average PMOD postage rate falls between Marketing Mail ($.28 each) and First Class Mail ($.42 each). Total PMOD cost is regular Marketing Mail cost plus Priority Mail cost to ship to post office closer to the destination addresses. PMOD is not for everyone. Please contact us so we can analyze to see if your can benefit from PMOD service.
DO YOU HANDLE FULFILLMENT OF VARIOUS ITEMS OF DIFFERENT QUANTITIES?
Yes we do. First of all, we can store your materials in our warehouse and even manage inventory for long-term projects. We can print custom cover letters and any other literature based on your specifications. Send us your artwork and we will send you samples for approval. We can presort packages to be able to get postage discounts if the mail piece is within the specifications for presorting. If not, we have other options to mail the packages at a reasonable rate. We have in-house programmers who can handle the complexity of your mailing/fulfillment project. Our handwork crew is well trained on fulfilling multi-item/multi-quantity packages which we call Pick and Pack. For bulk shipments, we can pack/palletize items based on your list and be able to ship those at the cheapest possible method. Should you wish to use your own shipping account, we can coordinate that, too. Please call the number (800) 961-4877 to be able to work closely with one of our fulfillment experts so we can customize our service to your specifications in the most efficient way. Lastly, quality control is a protocol for all our jobs but should you need to do your own QC, feel free to come and visit the facility while your project is being worked on.
WHAT IS MOVE UPDATE (ALSO KNOW AS "NCOA"-NATIONAL CHANGE OF ADDRESS)?
When you move your resident or business, you normally go to a Post Office and provide the new address so that the Post Office will forward all your mails. When we prepare your list for mailing, we are required by USPS to compare your mailing list against USPS move update database and update your mailing list with new addresses. If you request it, we can send you an updated database so you can improve your own list.
Can I include a sample inside of an envelope and mail?
USPS has several requirements that will limit what you can put inside an envelope and mail as first class or as marketing mail. For example, envelope has to be an even thickness, which means insert piece has to be thin (no more than gift card thickness). If your mailer doesn't meet USPS guidelines for first class or marketing mail, you can mail as parcel post, but postage is much higher than first class or marketing mail. Please call us at 800-961-4877 to discuss further.