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Bulk Mail - Save Money!
Your alumni club may qualify for Bulk Mail rates by the United States Postal Service. According to the USPO, Bulk mail is a large quantitty of mail prepared for mailing at reduced postage rates either by your club or by a direct mail processing center. The preparation includes presorting and placing into containers by Zip code. The containers along with a manifest are taken to an area in a post office called a bulk mail entry unit. The presorting and the use of containers allow highly automated processing of the mail, both in bulk and piecewise, in processing facilities called bulk mail centers. Many but not all nonprofits are eligible for reduced postage rates from the U.S. Postal Service. The rates you pay in Nonprofit Standard Mail are approximately 40% lower than the regular rate charged to commercial mailers.
Who Qualifies for Nonprofit Rates?
If your club has non-profit status at the state or federal level (such as a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt group), you may be able to use Nonprofit Rates.
There are restrictions as to what may be mailed at those rates. For instance, there are restrictions on the amount and kind of advertising you can do. It's always best to check with your local business mail entry staff before you design and print your mail piece.
Postage rates can be based on a number of factors:
- Content: What class of mail is it?
- Size: How big is it?
- Shape: Is it a letter, flat, or parcel?
- Weight: How heavy is it?
- Distance the mail travels: How far is it going?
- Quantity: How many pieces do you have?
- Nonprofit Status: Does your organization qualify for nonprofit rates?
In addition to paying postage, bulk mailers are required to obtain a mailing permit and pay an annual mailing fee ($175 a year for each class of mail).
Direct mail marketing remains one of the most powerful and economic ways to reach a target audience. The advantage of direct mail marketing is that it's a medium that works regardless of budget---big or small. Note however that it is important when comparing between several direct marketing agencies that you investigate each company's experience in the direct mail marketing industry. While these direct mail marketing companies may be a little extra money sometime it may be well worth it because of their experience with all types of mail.
Additional Resources for Business Mailers
The Postal Service has many different people and tools that can help you with all aspects of your mailing. All of these services are available, free of charge.