bulk mail, standard mail, first class?

2 Replies

Hi, is there a discount on postage if I send say 500-1000 yellow letters?  I did some searching, and found standard mail?  Apparently its bulk mail with a postage discount, with no gtd. delivery date, just kinda when they can.  Does anyone use this, or know about it?  

NOTE: I own a direct mail business, but it's totally separate from my remodeling and real estate businesses. 

Bulk mail and standard mail are the same thing.To use bulk mail, you must have a bulk mail permit that costs about $300 the first year, and less in subsequent years. Or you use a lettershop (mail house) that maintains a permit to use for its clients.

The volume you're looking at isn't enough to get your own permit. And if you're mailing anything but "saturation" - meaning you're mailing the majority of the single family homes on each carrier route - the discounts probably aren't enough to go to the trouble of hiring a lettershop.

You can get a postage meter and do first-class presort, which gets you small discounts. But at the volume you're doing, that may not even be worth it.

I don't keep up with the trends in wholesaling direct mail practices, but there's a general axiom in direct mail saying that it does you no good to save on postage at the expense of getting your pieces opened. The best open rate is going to be on hand-addressed, first-class-stamped pieces. If I were doing 500 pieces that I really wanted to have opened, I'd hire a couple high schoolers with good handwriting and have them hand address & stamp them for me.

As Michael points out, it's not worth trying to set up bulk mailing yourself.  Just use a service like YellowLetters.com or GoBigPrinting.com.  When you send direct mail out, you choose the postage type that meets your needs and budget.  The difference is really PRICE and LEVEL OF SERVICE provided by the post office.

First class mail gets delivered ASAP by the post office, generally in a few days.

Standard Bulk rate gets delivered when the post office feels like it =) generally in about 10 - 14 days.

The other difference is the "stamp" or printed bulk permit in the stamp area.  On letters, we use first class stamps sometimes, but you can also mail with a bulk stamp to get the bulk rate but still have the look of a stamp.  The cheapest option is to use the direct mail houses INDICIA which is their bulk permit info in the stamp area.

We mail all our postcards with Standard Bulk Pre-Sort to get the best price on postage.  As a rule, it makes no sense to send a postcard via First Class.

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