Your list is a gold mine!

Your List—whether it be your customers, clients, donors, prospects… IS your Gold mine

Be sure to create and refine your mailing list to ensure you reach your target audience!

If you have your own list be sure to keep it updated—it’s estimated that 3-4% of the population moves every month.

Run your list through our NCOA—national change of address– and other software to clean it up and remove undeliverable addresses.

DMS will append your records with Return Codes that indicate whether there was a move in the past 18 months, what the new address is if available or whether their address is missing vital information for deliverability.

We can also append information to your list such as emails and phone numbers, where available.

If you are building a list, keep each piece of information such as first name, last name, street address, in separate fields so you can sort the database later. You can add fields such as y/n to receive newsletter or other notations about that record….and remember to back it up/store it safe—it is very valuable!

Identify & target your audience

If you want to reach all in a neighborhood or area….

–Occupant/Resident list for all of the mailing households and/or businesses cost is as little as 1 cent per record

If you wanted to reach specific residents, there are several consumer databases that offer more details such as age, income or presence of children, home value, mortgage loan info and many other details…

For one client to promote Kindergarten registration, the list targeted households in Allegheny County with presence of children ages 4 or 5 years old.

For specific educational offerings, lists of individuals can be selected who have completed high school, college or graduate school. In addition, specific occupations and income levels can be selected.

Or we can reach a very unique and specific set of folks, such as theatre goers. There is a list of those folks—and within that list there were 2400 that identify with the LGBT community

So think about your list! It is worth mining!

Post Card vs. Self Mailing Card

There is always a lot of confusion cards used for mailings.

postcard dimensions for USPSA postcard is treated as first class mail, so delivery is 1-2 business days. Postage for a single postcard is 35 cents each. We can presort your data and prepare postcards to get that postage as low as 26 cents each. Because of the smaller size, the thickness of the card is 7 pts, usually 80 lb cover stock works

Now if you need more room to show pictures and convey your message, you can print a bigger card…as large as 6 x 11. But since it is larger it has to be on thicker paper stock so it doesn’t get caught in the postal machinery, generally we use 100 lb cover.

Gloss coating usually works well for heavy ink coverage…

Self-Mailer Card Dimensions

Now if you were to mail the larger card to a minimum of 200 addresses we can prepare at marketing mail rates which are approx. 22 cents for local addresses. Marketing mail can take longer to reach mail boxes, anywhere from 3-14 business days.

So, it comes down to time (and or space) vs money.

Show Some Class–It Matters in Postal Mail!

I received a piece of mail from my college Alum association

Pitt Alumni mailer

Was surprised to see the permit was originally printed as First Class mail- which would have cost 66 cents ea

Saw they added Presorted, which brings postage down to approx 38 cents ea–that saved them approx $10,000 in postage (approx 100,000 mailed)

But, if they had prepared from the start as Nonprofit bulk mail
Pitt Alumni mailer if prepared as nonprofit mail
postage could have been as low as 9.3 cents ea and a savings of 26 cents ea or $26,000!!

It Pays to  Pay attention to the classification of mail and to properly design the mail piece for optimal postage savings!

Direct Mail Has a Greater Effect on Purchase Than Digital Ads

An in-depth neuroscientific study sponsored by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office (OIG) found direct mail ads to be superior to those viewed online in eight out of nine categories. Digital ads seized the attention of consumers quicker, but physical ads held that attention longer, elicited a greater emotional reaction, and played a more direct role in ultimate purchase decisions.

The MRI scans found that the postcards triggered the ventral striatum of the brain, the center of desirability and value. On that evidence, Temple researchers concluded that physical ads have a deeper and longer-lasting effect than digital ads on instilling desire for products and services.

see full study: OIG & Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making

Postal Rate Increase

Postal rates went up Jan 21st

The cost of a stamp is now 50 cents—it seems costs increase a penny in many categories. Presorting your first-class mail—bundling by zips per postal regulations—can save you over 50% for your letters weighing 3 to 3.5 ounces.

Nonprofit mailers can see a decrease in larger sized mail, mailed in higher densities—so if you want to mail an 8.5 x 11 newsletter to folks in your local vicinity, such as all households in 15217 (Squirrel Hill), you will see a 7% DECREASE—22.7 cents from 24.4 cents each.

The increases are highest for mailing packages weighing 7-15.99 ounces. The USPS is pretty much your only option and a bargain for packages—think padded envelopes—that weigh under 1 pound.

For instance, mailing a 7- ounce package now costs $3.05 up from $2.77—but still way less than using Fed Ex or UPS whose rates start at 1 pound, usually a min of $7 or Priority mail which is now a min of $6.70.

I pulled this information from an article by Adam Lewnberg, who did a wonderful summary in Mailing Systems Technology.

Adding Barcode to reply envelope saves postage

RMU reply env
Reply vehicles must be automation compatible in order to get lowest postage rate in your mailings

A client who was planning an event for prospective PhD students asked me to attain a list of people who had completed graduate school, worked in military or technical/professional professions, and lived in the DC area.

Upon reviewing their invitation package, I noticed the reply envelope did not have an automation barcode (which corresponds to the reply address) or the FIM bars.  I made a visit to the postal service website and obtained the barcode artwork and provided to the printer.

By adding the barcode to the reply envelope helped to save them approx $700 on a 35,000 piece mailing.

The difference is approx 2 cents if your reply envelope or card, is not automation compatible.

Variable Digital Print vs. Offset Print & Ink Jet address

Digital printing–full color is best for short run, i.e. smaller quantity print projects

Adding Variable –personalized or unique for each piece has been a hotbed of print sales recently

But the costs have to be considered…

–My client had a series of 3 cards that he wanted to send to the same list of people:  3 Lots 1000 each

So should I have the cards printed and addressed at the same time–Variable data, digital print–Cost:  $384/card x 3 = $1152

or print 3 lots of cards; then ink jet each card with the addresses–Cost:  $540 print for all 3 cards + $375 for mail prep = $915

Postage –the same for either option