Mailing, however crucial to a marketing strategy, can be intimidating! Understanding the different types of mailings and postage options is challenging, and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of advertising. But with your AlphaGraphics Kansas City Team, you have a personal guide to walk you through the world of direct marketing!
The AGKC Mailing Process:
✔ Step 1.) Design your mailing piece based on your target audience, the purpose of your mailing, and your postage size requirements. Incorporate unique sizes, fun envelopes, and personalization. Your customers want to know that you recognize them as the loyal customers that they are.
✔ Step 2.) Choose your postage based on your delivery requirements, the purpose of your mailing, and your budget. (see below for the different types of postage explained)
✔ Step 3.) Locate a mailing list. If you do not have one, your AGKC Team can acquire one for you based on your target audience, demographics, and the purpose of your mailer.
*Side Note: You will need to fill out a Processing Acknowledgement Form from the U.S. Postal Service to verify that you are the owners of your mailing list.
(Don’t worry–we make this step easy by sending you an emailed link to approve!)
✔ Step 4.) Your AGKC Team validates your list, removes any duplicate names or addresses, and runs your list through NCOA (the National Change of Address Database). Undeliverables that the NCOA database locates can be removed and reprocessed.
✔ Step 5.) Your artwork and final mailing list are sent to you for your final revisions and approval.
✔ Step 6.) Once approved, your AGKC Team will contact you to collect your postage costs. Postage and a 50% deposit are required prior to printing.
✔ Step 7.) AlphaGraphics prints, sorts, trays, and delivers your mailing to the U.S. Postal Service.
✔ Step 8.) This step is often overlooked but still crucial!
You will receive a few undeliverables due to your customers moving or having old contact information in your mailing list. It is important to make note of these customers so that when it’s time to do your next mailer, you can update your list to reflect those changes.
✔ Step 9.) Also commonly overlooked is tracking the Return on Investment (ROI) of your mailer. Keep track of the responses that you receive, offers accepted or clicks on your website. If you need help developing trackable options, just call and ask us!
Types of Postage:
1.) First Class Stamp: Since this type of postage is the most expensive, it is the top priority for USPS and is delivered 1-3 days after being delivered to the Post Office. Best used for time-sensitive pieces such as event invitations, bills and personal correspondence. The postal service is responsible for the sorting of stamped mail before delivery.
*Side Note: Individual stamping is considered a best practice for business mailings. Your customer is far more likely to open a piece of mail if it has a physical stamp on it, as it looks more personable and less like a piece of “junk” mail.
2.) First Class Presort: This postage type has a 500 piece minimum and requires that we run your mailing list through NCOA and Cass certification. Mailing processors, like AlphaGraphics, must presort and appropriately tray your mailing before delivering it to the post office. Doing this allows for almost 20% in postage savings due to all the time we are saving the U.S. Postal Service. All first-class postage includes free address forwarding and returns.
3.) Marketing Mail: Previously known as Standard Postage, this type is best used for bulk mail weighing under 3.3oz per piece. Typically delivered within 10-14 days, however, there is no guaranteed delivery. There is also no forwarding or returning included.
3A.) Standard Non-Profit: If you are a non-profit and choose this type of postage, you are eligible for up to 70% off normal standard postage rates using form 3624. Contact your AGKC Mailing Team for more details.
4.) Postcard: This postage is typically around $0.35/a piece and is only for mailers that are 4” x 6” postcard or smaller. Bulk options also exist for postcards and require a minimum of 200 pieces.
3 Final Things to Consider When Planning a Mailing:
1.) How consistent you are with your brand standards will affect how people view your company. Consistency lets your customers know that they can trust you to be dependable.
2.) You have 3 seconds or less to grab your client’s attention, so personalization is key. Your customers are more likely to open something that has their name written on it than something generic.
3.) Your mailer will get better results after the 3rd or 4th delivery. There are a couple reasons why, so don’t give up!
a.) Your prospect or customer may not need your product or service at the exact time that you mail to them, but they may in the future.
b.) We live in an oversaturated advertising world, so consumers block out most of the advertising they see and hear because of overstimulation. Exceptional designs and repetition will increase your chances of getting their attention.
Any questions about mailing with AlphaGraphics Kansas City? Give your team a call today!
(Need more guidance in designing your next mailer? Coming Soon – Designing for Mailers.)