The Basics of Mailing For Direct Mail Campaigns
  by:  |  May 8, 2008

Once you’ve designed the studied and determined your primary market, created the perfect postcard mailing campaign, compiled your mailing list and created the ideal postcard design, you still have one hurdle left: Getting your postcard out to your potential customers. Although everyone of us has experience in actually mailing a letter, when it comes to mailing hundreds or thousands of the same letter, it becomes a lot more complicated. Here’s a few of the major issues and/or concerns which can come up in mailing out a postcard campaign:

1. What Postage Rate should you use?

You have two choices when mailing out your postcard, First Class or Standard/Bulk rate. There are two primary differences between the options: price and time. Standard/Bulk rate is considerably less expensive than First Class. However, you get what you pay for in this regard as the First Class mail delivers much faster than Standard, with First Class arriving to your customers within 3-5 days of mailing as opposed to the 10-14 days it takes for Standard mailings to reach the customers. You should weigh your options as to time and cost and then determine which rate is right for you.

2. Address Area Regulations

There are certain standards which must be adhered to in regards to the Address Area on the back of the postcard. Specifically, there cannot any information other than the mailing address in the address area, graphics are not allowed. Moreover, there must be at least ¾ of an inch along the bottom of the card reserved for post office markings.

3. Don’t Forget the Mailing Time!

You need to be aware that mailing time is not included in the turnaround time and should plan accordingly. In other words, you need to account for extra days after the turnaround time period for the mailing. Plan for at least two days for mailing time after your project is completed before the cards go out for mail. Remember that these two days are in addition to the turnaround time and the time for the mailing under the postage rate which you chose. So for example, if you chose to have 6 day turnaround with First Class postage, the soonest the cards would reach your customers is 11 days after your order (6 days of turnaround, 2 days added for mailing and 3 days for First Class postage).

4. List Preparation

One way that you can insure that your mailing goes smoothly is by putting in the time in preparing your mailing list. Using an approved formatting program like Excel or Access will provide you with a list formatted in a way that your mailing company can easily work from. In addition, if you organize your information properly, with clear column headings like First Name, Last Name, Company, Address, City, State, and Zip, it makes it easier to process your postcard order and can help keep the mailing preparation time to a minimum.

If you keep each of these basic rules in mind, you can insure that your post card mailing campaign goes off without a hitch.