The United States Postal Service (USPS) defines bulk mail as 'larger quantities of mail delivered with reduced postage' costs. The cost reduction offered is directly associated with reduced steps during USPS processing.
Most corporate uses of bulk mail center around direct mail marketing, catalogs, non-profit annual appeals, event invitations, and announcements; and typically align with the print and production process.
Often referred to as 'pre-sort' mail, bulk mail delivers a lower cost to put your materials in your audience’s mailboxes, mail carts, and hands. This process has required steps, which enables automation, proper accounting, address verification, sorting and reporting.
Here are some of the basics:
Common Bulk Mail Uses
- Stock Disclosure Statements
- Class Action Lawsuit Announcements
- Direct Mail
- Non-Profit Appeals
- Event Invitations
Steps for Bulk Mail Preparation
- Obtain Mailing Permit or Confirm Use of Our Mailing Permit
- CASS Certification
- Apply Postage or Permit
- Ensure Artwork is USPS Compliant
- Presort by Postal Code
- Assembly into USPS accepted Trays/Bags
- Completing USPS Approved Form(s)
- Postage Pre-Payment
Minimum Bulk Mail Quantities
- 500 pieces for First-Class Mail
- 200 pieces (or 50 pounds of mail) for USPS Marketing Mail
- 50 pieces for Parcel Select
- 300 pieces for Presorted or Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter
Bulk and Presort Savings Examples
- Normal Letter, presort, first class $0.34 (versus 0.49)
- Normal Letter, presort, bulk $0.28 (versus 0.49)
- Normal Letter, presort, non-profit, bulk $0.18 (versus 0.49)
In addition to the reduction in postage costs, many realize significant savings by way of the address verification process. Features like 'de-duping' and removing bad addresses will ensure you are only paying for mail that is deliverable.
Fact: USPS delivered an estimated 158 billion mail pieces in 2013, of which 6.8 billion pieces were undeliverable as addressed. Source: USPS Office of Inspector General
While saving money on postage is attractive to most, the application of bulk mail processing is not for everyone. Not meeting the minimum quantity, missing one of the required steps and needing the mail to arrive on a specific timeline can rule out the value of this method.
If you have any questions or need assistance delivering your material to your audience, please reach out. We are happy to consult on best mail practices, along with all other print related communication.
Xperient is Central Florida's locally owned premier printer, employing a wide variety of bulk and presort methods to deliver your printed materials.