FAQ

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Do I need my own postage permit?
No. If you use our service you can use our permit for FREE, and you will be able to save the application fee and annual fee at the post office.

What exactly does your mailing service do?
We are an automated mailing service which, means we are going to attempt to get you the best postage rates the post office offers based on your mail piece and list. To accomplish this, we need your data sent to us electronically. We will process your data through our software program which will standardize your addresses, sort it to the best level for the post office and then address your mail piece with barcodes and appropriate paperwork. This is the reason the post office gives us better rates than you can acquire on your own.

Why can’t I do bulk mailing myself?
You could, but why would you? Factor in the cost of your time and delay in getting your mail prepared and you have already saved our fee. Also you can save the application fee and annual fee by using our permit.

Can I mail the extras using your permit?
No, unfortunately even though the permit says “US POSTAGE PAID” it actually isn’t paid until the mail gets to the post office. You can, however, place a first class stamp over the permit and mail them that way.

From what post office will my mailing be mailed?
Your mailing will be mailed from the post office of the permit. In our case, that will be the Valparaiso post office. If you have your own permit from a different post office, the mailing will be presented there.

Do you use labels or inkjet?
We actually offer both services. The preferred method is inkjet, but sometimes the piece design requires us to use labels. Each job is decided on an individual basis.

How long will it take my mail to be delivered?
If you mail First Class Presort, your mail will typically be delivered at about the same speed as a First Class stamp. If you select Standard Rate, it will typically be 3-10 days, depending on how far away your mailing is going. Please remember that in both cases, we have no control over how fast or slow the USPS delivers your mail.

If I stuff my own envelopes and want you to seal, should the flaps be open or closed?
Please leave the flaps down. Our sealing machines need the envelope flap to be down, just like it comes in the original envelope box. Also, be careful to keep them all going in the same direction. We will be putting them in a machine, so they all need to be uniform.

Do I need to tab my mail piece?
We do have wafer tabbing services, so you do not need to do this step by hand. We can do it very quickly with our machine. If you would prefer to do the tabbing yourself, we just request that you get the tabs from us. Many of the tabs purchased at the local office supply store do not stick very well and that will cause problems for us in the printing process.

Do I need a certain amount of pieces to any one zip code?
No, you are only bound by the minimum requirements at the post office.
The minimum for standard mail is 200 pieces and first class mail is 500. There are other weight requirements that can come into play, but this is a simple guideline.

What format do I need my data in?
We can work with many different formats, but the most common are Excel, Access, and comma delimited. If you are in doubt, give us a call.

Can I mail to anywhere in the United States at a discounted rate?
Yes, as long as you meet the minimum requirements of 200 for standard mail and 500 for first class presort.

What is the difference between targeted mailing and saturation mailing?
Targeted mailing is when you are trying to mail to specific people or a specific criteria of people. Saturation mailing is when you are mailing to the address and not necessarily the specific person, like Current Resident or Occupant. You are actually saturating an area, mailing to every deliverable address.

I do not have a list – what do I do next?
We can assist you in purchasing a mailing list. You can create your own list from your current clients or phone book, or you can ask us to do this for you. If saturation mailing is what you need, then you do not have to create that list, as we will do that for you.

What is aqueous or UV coating?
To simplify this, it is like putting a varnish over the ink after your mail piece is printed at the printer. It speeds up their drying time and, in some cases, gives it a high gloss finish. We DO NOT recommend your mail piece come to us coated, because the ink used for addresses has a much harder time adhering to this surface. In some cases we have to apply labels instead of inkjet. Request that the coating be left off on the mail side when you talk to your printer.

Do you print the mail pieces?
No. We are not a commercial printer. We are a lettershop. We do all the steps that it takes to get your piece mailed, after it is printed.

I am a non-profit company. Do I need my own permit?
You do not need to invest in a permit, but you do need to qualify with the USPS, and then you can use our permit. We can help you with that process. Non-profit with the IRS does not necessarily constitute non-profit with the post office.

What is NCOA?
When a person or business moves and fills out a change of address form with the US Postal Service, this information is added to a giant database and kept for 4 years. It takes between 4-6 weeks for new changes to reach this database.

How do I pay for the postage?
After we process your file, we can tell you what your exact postage will be. The postage will be due before the mailing goes out. You can pay by check or cash, or if you prefer you can deposit the funds in our permit account at the post office. We do not accept credit card payments.

What does the post office consider a postcard?
As long as your card it not larger than 6.0″ wide x 4.25″ tall it can go at postcard rate as long as you meet the 500 piece minimum requirement. If your postcard is larger than this, it will go at standard rates.

What is the difference between postcard, standard and flat sizes?
The three mailing categories are determined by size, weight and thickness. Refer to our section on Dimensions.

What is an aspect ratio?
The aspect ratio applies to postcards and standard size mail pieces.
The length divided by height must be more than 1.3 or less than 2.5. If you do not meet the aspect ratio, your mail piece will not qualify for the best postage rates.

What is the minimum number of pieces I need to get postage discounts?
Simplified it is 200 pieces for standard mail and 500 pieces for first class presorted mail.

Can I give you pre-printed address labels?
Yes, but your overall mailing will cost you more. We cannot get the same discounts on pre-printed labels as we can get when we address your piece.

Why is tabbing sometimes required?
Tabbing is required for automation postage rates for a folded self-mailer if the self-mailer “pops open” if left by itself. The tabbing assures the post office that your mail piece can be processed on their machinery.

Why do you want the fold on the bottom and tab on the top for a folded mail piece?
Although your mail piece can still be mailed if you have the opening at the bottom, it will require two tabs to hold it closed instead of one. This will save you money and your mail piece has less chance of getting jammed in the post office equipment.
(see our mailing checklist)

Do all my mail pieces have to be identical?
Yes, a bulk mailing must be identical. That includes color, weight and shape.

Can I mail raffle tickets?
PS-307 (601.12.3)

Raffles that incorporate “prize” , “chance”, or “consideration” are considered lotteries under the statute and postal standards. “Tickets” for such raffles are considered unlawful mail matter and remain nonmailable.

When one or more of the three elements (i.e. price, chance, consideration,) are eliminated from the raffle, the arrangement does not constitute a lottery for postal purposes. For instance, “consideration” is eliminated if persons may enter without payment of a fee. Thus, a non-profit organization that designs a raffle where it is clear that a donation is not required (e.g. via a check box, “Please enter my name in the drawing. I do not with to make a donation at this time”) to participate in the raffle may use the mail to distribute the tickets for that raffle.