Questions? We have Answers!
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIRST CLASS AND MARKETING MAIL (STANDARD) POSTAGE RATES?
A: First Class mail enjoys a much faster delivery time, but is more expensive than Marketing Mail (Formerly called, “Standard Mail” and “Bulk Mail”). Nationwide delivery times for First Class average one- to five-days. One other difference between First Class and Standard mail, with First Class, the undeliverable mail (wrong address, for example) is returned to the sender free.
Marketing Mail is a more economical method of mailing but it usually takes longer to arrive. We see nationwide average delivery times of one-two weeks and local averages of one-three days. Extras services can be added to decrease delivery times and save even more postage. Think of Standard Mail as a low-cost alternative with a difficult-to-predict and longer delivery time. Standard postage may not be used for bills, invoices or other mailings which contain unique personal information. It is used instead for advertising material. With Standard mail, you do not automatically receive the undeliverable pieces, so it isn’t a good choice for keeping your mailing list up-to-date, although you may ask us to include an endorsement like “Return Services Requested” and, for a fee, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will return this mail too.
Q: WHAT IS AN INDICIA?
A: An Indicia is one of the most popular ways to indicate, on the mailing panel side of a mail piece, that the postage has been paid. Other methods include stamps or metering. Indicias are especially useful for high volume mailings. An indicia is an imprinted designation on mail that denotes postage payment, permit number and mailing classification. We can provided this artwork for you at no extra charge just give us a call!
Q: WHAT IS A MAILING PERMIT? DO I NEED TO GET MY OWN PERMIT FOR MASS MAILING AND POSTAGE DISCOUNTS?
A: A USPS mailing permit is permit assigned by a single post office for a single class of bulk mailing. It allows one to enjoy postal discounts for mass mailings. You probably don’t need on of your own and you can use our permit for FREE when we mail for you. In 20017 the cost for your own permit is $225 to register and $225 for the annual fee so the first year will cost you $450 and it really doesn’t make sense to get your own permit unless you do many mailings each year. If you’re considering your own permit, call one of our account executives first, we can probably save you some money. If you already have a permit but allow us to do your mailings, you can get rid of your permit and save the $225 yearly renewal.
Q: HOW MANY WAFER SEALS, OR "TABS", WILL I NEED ON MY SELF-MAILER OR BROCHURE?
A: If you want to take advantage of the USPS postal discounts, the number of tabs required and the location of the tabs are strictly enforced based on the design and size of your mail piece. USPS rules are rather complicated, so we always advise our clients to please call and let us see your project at the design stage, before you print, that way we can frequently suggest ways to cut down on the number and cost of wafer sealing.
Q: WHY DO YOU NEED A BARCODE?
A: A USPS-approved barcode facilitates automated processing by barcode readers and scanners at the post office. It is a requirement for most postal discounts. It can also convey information for Delivery Confirmation and Signature Confirmation services. In simplest terms, it will save you money and speed mail delivery.
Q: WHAT IS NCOA (NATIONAL CHANGE OF ADDRESS)?
A: While over 40 Million people in the United States alone change their address every year, it is very important to keep your list up to date with the new location of your contacts. The National Change of Address system (NCOA) uses the USPS database of all people and businesses to match against your list and returns the new address at which the intended recipient has moved. An NCOA update can save you money by eliminating contacts no longer at the address specified on your list and updating to the most current address. FYI – the post office recycles Standard Class mail if the address is incorrect, it will not be forwarded; NCOA has the ability to correct the address prior to the mail being sent so your contact will receive your mailer at their new address.
Q: HOW DOES NCOA WORK?
A: We run your list against the NCOA database which will then automatically update your list with the new address. We can provide you with this new list of the changes (new address and old address) so you can make changes to your files, if you so desire.
Q: WHAT ARE THE CURRENT POSTAL RATES AND WHERE CAN I FIND THEM?
A: Please see the Postage Rates Guide on the USPS website https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm for current postage rates. This is where our expert knowledge of the industry, and state-of-the-art equipment pays off for you. Allow us to use our expertise to advise you how to save money by designing your mail piece or tailoring your list so as to qualify for the lowest possible postage rates.
Q: WHAT MAILING LIST FILE FORMATS DO YOU ACCEPT?
A: In the early days of mail house processing it was difficult to accept all the different types of tapes, cartridges, disks, operating systems and so forth from a wide variety of computers, from mainframes to mini-computers. Now days this isn’t much of an issue and any modern mail house, such as ours, can work with just about any type of list format. Some of the most common file-types are Microsoft Excel (.xls), Microsoft Access (.mdb), dBase (.dbf), and delimited (.txt) files. If you don’t see your file type here, don’t panic, give us a call and we can probably find a way to work with it. You can email us your files, give us your file on a CD, flash drive, or we can share a DropBox folder for larger files. Just call your Account Manager and they will create a DropBox folder just for you!
Q: CAN YOU ELIMINATE DUPLICATE RECORDS ON MY FILE(S)?
A: A “duplicate record” means one might accidentally have two John Doe’s at 123 Main St in Belmont, California within one’s database. Yes, we can. We can take the duplicates out of a single file, called an internal de-dupe, or from multiple files, called an external de-dupe. Files can be de-duped by an exact match of any field or combination of fields in your database. Our standard duping methods are CNA, NA, and ADDR that is “One per Company, per Name, per Address”, “One per Name, per Address”, and “One per Address” respectively. By de-duping your files you will save money on your printing and postage by eliminating unneeded records.
Q: CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY PRINTING TOO?
A: Yes but not directly. We are strictly a bulk mailer. We focus on one thing and do it well all the time. We do, however, work with many fine printers and can put you in contact with a number of different printers locally or across the country.
Q: DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS?
A: Yes, we gladly accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express for mailing services. Paying postage with a credit card has some fees involved but just contact our office and we will walk you through that process.
Q: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO PREPARE MY PROJECT FOR MAILING?
A: We normally request 2 to 3 business days to complete an average job but can often finish it sooner. The quantity and complexity of your job may affect the actual turn times. The process can be expedited if we receive your address files and a sample of your mail piece in advance. Many jobs are completed within 24 hours.
Q: HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SERVICES?
A: You can call us directly at 1-260-489-4381 and our live receptionist will be happy to direct your call. Feel free to continue browsing our website, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for more information.