Buying in bulk is a great way to get the necessary supplies and save money. Just the same, sending out your marketing materials in bulk can get you a break at the post office. However, qualifying for bulk mail discounts isn’t as simple as dropping off a bunch of mailers at the post office. There are strict requirements for getting the bulk mail discount, and if you’re in the know – you can save some big bucks!
Here are some of the most important USPS bulk mail requirements. Satisfy these and you’ll guarantee yourself a greater return on your next marketing campaign.
Bulk mailing isn’t for everybody, and the post office makes sure of that by requiring prospective bulk mailers to apply for the right to do so. Pre-payment for postage is usually part of the permit process; an annual fee is also necessary to keep the permit intact
By definition, bulk mail requires you to send out large quantities of a specific marketing material. The number you have to send is clearly defined and is posted on the USPS website. You’ll have to send 500 pieces of first-class mail or 200 pieces of standard mail to get the bulk rate; any other sort of mail usually requires at least 300 pieces.
Part of the reason why the bulk discount is available is that you’re basically doing a share of the work. Bulk mail requires you to sort out your mailings so that the post office doesn’t have to.
The USPS requires that the addresses of recipients of bulk mail be vetted through a system called CASS. This verification, which is offered by most address correction services, ensures that all sent mail will arrive at the intended destination. CASS also includes barcodes that can facilitate automated sorting at the post office.
While the regulations regarding mailer tabs are in effect for all marketing communications, it’s especially important if you’re using bulk mail. Tabs are tiny pieces of adhesive that keep non-enveloped mailings closed. Catalogs, flyers, and booklets all make extensive use of tabs. Failure to strictly adhere to the tab requirements — the main ones being to keep tabs within an inch of the corner and that all mailers must have at least two tabs — means not only missing out on the bulk discount but not reaching any customers at all.
Don’t let any of these elements surprise you as you prepare for a bulk mailing. Know the rules and work with them to send out the best message at the lowest cost. Consider which types of mail will give you the best bang for your buck and which ones will simply drive the cost too high. Most importantly, make sure that the mailer is good; with so many eyes on the item you’re about to send, you can’t afford to let your brand’s perception slip.