Direct Mail FAQ’S

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Q. What Industries use direct mail?

A.  Our clients come from a wide variety of industries including, but not limited to automotive, financial, real estate, insurance, home improvement, health care, higher education, and insurance.

Q. How long does standard mail take to arrive?

A. Pre-sorted STD Class/Bulk rate postage (also called Marketing Mail, Junk   Mail), the mail arrives between 2-5 days locally to Southern California and or 7-14 days mailed from Southern California for national delivery.

Q. How long does first-class mail take to arrive?

A.  First-Class mail arrives between 1-3 days locally to Southern California and or 3-5 days mailed from Southern California for national delivery.

Q. Do you accept large transfer files?

A. We have a Secure FTP (SFTP) site, including client-specific security access.  All of this designed for easy digital file communication between us and our clients, most common usages, receiving art files, data and imaging assets, viewing proofs, data signoffs, etc.

Q. Do you accept both small and large volume requirements?

A.  We have the capability to process any size order, no matter how large or small.

Q. Do you offer presort services?

A.  We provide in-house presort services that support our volume through efficient operations and streamlined workflow, and we also have redundant services with our outside partnerships.

Q. Do you only handwrite on envelopes?

A. No, we can use our real pen handwriting on many different materials, (on Post It Notes, letters, invitations, and more!) including options for different colors of pen ink, including different handwritten styles.

Q. Does personalized direct mail get a better response?

A.  Personalized direct mail outperforms traditional addressed marketing mail which encompasses both inkjet and digital (fake handwriting) addressing formats and fonts. 

Q. How can I get a better ROI from direct mail?

A.  Use hand-addressing for your next direct mail campaign. We have proven data, including case studies for most industries we serve proving real pen direct mail marketing campaigns are opened and read 99.2% of the time.

Q. Can I do direct mail marketing to foreign addresses?

A. If your mailing list includes foreign addresses, we can mail those. The International postal rate will apply, please consult with our mail specialist for more information.

Q. Which class of mail should I use?

A. Use the class that fits your budget and delivery time of your project. If you have a time-sensitive project you may want to use First-Class or First-Class Presorted mail.  With proper planning, we suggest using Standard, Bulk Rate, (this includes Nonprofit permits) where mail stream delivery timeframe ranges from approximately 2 days and up to 14 business days.

Q. How much is postage for direct mail?

A. Postage costs vary based on size, weight and thickness of your printed piece, as well as the class of service you choose (First class, First Class Presorted, Standard/Bulk Rate, or Nonprofit). Please contact our customer service team to get an estimated postage amount for your mailing project.

Q. What is NCOA (National Change of Address)?

A. Over 40 million Americans change their address every year. The National Change of Address (NCOA) system uses the USPS database to check for people and businesses that have filed a change of address with the USPS within the last 48 months. Performing this update on a list saves you money on printing and postage by updating your list. Studies have shown that this service can save users a significant cost of their mailings (in many cases up to 15% or more) plus help increase response rates. NOTE: The post office does not forward bulk mail to the new address — they just recycle it.

Q. What Mailing list files formats do you accept?

A. .CSV Comma Delimited, .ASC ASCII text file, .TXT ASCII text file, .XLSX or .XLS Microsoft Excel

Q. Do you accept pre-printed material?

A. Yes, first and foremost we are a direct mail/lettershop company, but we are also a print management company too. Typical we handle both the printing and all the mailing. Our vendor alliances and buying power provides you with competitive pricing nationwide.


Q. Do you offer mailing lists?

A. Our mailing experts will work with you to find a targeted list that meets your needs. Lists can be rented for single-use, two times use, or unlimited use for one year. We have partnerships with the top data aggregators providing quality addresses to minimize undeliverable pieces and maximize your direct mail campaign results.

Q. Will you insert multiple pieces into my envelope?

A. Yes, we can insert multiple pieces. Please contact us to discuss your needs and mailing class restrictions, and get an accurate price quote.

Q. What’s the best way to break out the address fields or column names when exporting or preparing a mailing list?

A.  The minimum required fields are Name, Address1, City, State, Zip.  Optional ones might be business name, Address2, Dept., etc.  There is a limit of 5 lines for any address which in turn limits the number of different fields we can include. If there is variable data for printed material, we need the name (first name and last name), address, city, state, zip code, and all other data fields that are to be included on the printed material or envelope.  Our data specialist is always available for guidance.

Q. How does mail get qualified as “automated’?

A.  There are several ways. Some of the more basic ways are:

  • Your mailing list must be CASS Certified. This requires a software package that must be approved by the USPS.
  • Barcoding within the specified addressable block.
  • Letter-size self-mailers must be folded at the bottom and one tab must be applied to the opening at the tops. Bottom opening mailers must have two tabs that increase costs.
  • Addresses must be readable and conform to abbreviation standards.

Q.  What are your terms of payment?

A. Company policy requires all jobs are paid up-front before we proceed with any production (stock ordering, printing, lettershop, hand-addressing, etc.).

Q.  What are your payment terms for postage?

A.  Company policy requires the cost of postage to be paid and cleared prior to postage being affixed to envelopes and mail being delivered to the USPS.

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