Usps and Direct Mail

4 Replies

I did a direct mail campaign of about 2,500 post cards to buy property in the Maryland area. It seems like the USPS is refusing to deliver the post cards to the Baltimore City area. I was expecting to get some back stating vacant but instead I am getting UTF or Unable To Forward. I then take a few random sample of the 1,100 (almost half so far) that were returned and I check the property tax website to confirm the address matches what is on the tax website and to make sure the taxes are being paid. When I verify everything checks out meaning the address on my post cards are correct and the taxes are current. I would expect some back with the understanding that there are a lot of vacant properties in Baltimore but I wouldn’t expect half back. I am going on my forth mailing and it seems that I am getting calls from some sellers who appear to be getting the post cards for the first time even though I am mailing to the exact same list. Anyone else seem to have this problem?

Originally posted by @Julian Allen :

I did a direct mail campaign of about 2,500 post cards to buy property in the Maryland area. It seems like the USPS is refusing to deliver the post cards to the Baltimore City area. I was expecting to get some back stating vacant but instead I am getting UTF or Unable To Forward. I then take a few random sample of the 1,100 (almost half so far) that were returned and I check the property tax website to confirm the address matches what is on the tax website and to make sure the taxes are being paid. When I verify everything checks out meaning the address on my post cards are correct and the taxes are current. I would expect some back with the understanding that there are a lot of vacant properties in Baltimore but I wouldn’t expect half back. I am going on my forth mailing and it seems that I am getting calls from some sellers who appear to be getting the post cards for the first time even though I am mailing to the exact same list. Anyone else seem to have this problem?

 Generally, single page letters do better than postcards. You should be getting1%-2% response if the mailer is decent. It could be that the post cards need to be redesigned. I sent out 5,000 post cards and got 1 call from a guy guy asking me why I sent the card. I had a good list and a post card that stunk apparently. Lol As for the UTF. I would go to the Post Office location with the stack of returns and ask the Post Master to verify the deliverability of the addresses. I'd also drive by some of the properties to see if they are vacant or occupied.

@Mike M. it appears the workers at the post office are just putting the UTF stickers on because whoever is at the post office doesn’t want to work or  do the sorting of all the post cards. I got more post cards back today from my second mailing with the mailing list being the same as the first mailing and coincidentally I got a call from a seller who was on one of the returned post cards which means they must have chosen to deliver the post card to the seller on the first mailing. Same name and same address in both mailings. I wonder if they would have done the same if I would’ve mailed the single letter mailing? Maybe the USPS view those differently and feel compelled to actually sort and deliver the single letters versus the post cards. 

Originally posted by @Julian Allen :

@Mike M. it appears the workers at the post office are just putting the UTF stickers on because whoever is at the post office doesn’t want to work or  do the sorting of all the post cards. I got more post cards back today from my second mailing with the mailing list being the same as the first mailing and coincidentally I got a call from a seller who was on one of the returned post cards which means they must have chosen to deliver the post card to the seller on the first mailing. Same name and same address in both mailings. I wonder if they would have done the same if I would’ve mailed the single letter mailing? Maybe the USPS view those differently and feel compelled to actually sort and deliver the single letters versus the post cards. 

 Put the addresses through SmartyStreets com and see if they come up as non-deliverable. If they do, enough said. If they don't come up as non-deliverable there is a problem with the letter carrier and it should be reported to the ombudsman at the general headquarters of the USPS. 

@Mike M. wow smartystreets is a neat tool! I just ran the address through and it says it’s valid. Looks like I am going to have to rat some people out at the post office. Glad that I posted to BiggerPockets! This helps a lot! Thank you!

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