Will you mail a letter in an envelope, a small 4x6 postcard, a large 6x11 postcard, or a trifolded self mailer? Will you use black ink on white paper, or a full glossy four-color process? These factors will affect the appearance and cost of your project.
Will you design the piece yourself, using desktop publishing software, or will you utilize a graphic designer? Before deciding, you should probably select a print shop, and consult with them. Complex graphics and photographs will not always correctly transfer to press from certain software programs. Your printer will usually have design professionals who can assist you.
To get the best postage, the mail piece must be made "automation compatible". This means that the piece is prepared so that it can be processed through the automated mail sorting machines at the post office. There are many, many complex rules to comply with. There are rules regarding size, weight and thickness. The piece requires a barcode of a certain size placed in a certain position. There must be sufficient clear space, free of text and graphics, around the barcode and the address block.
Folded self-mailers require tabbing in certain exact positions and must be folded in a certain way. Letters in window envelopes must be designed to allow sufficient space between the barcode and the window edge, and must be folded to avoid shifting in the envelope. The postal indicia (the mailing permit where the stamp normally goes) must be properly placed, sized, and worded. Certain paper colors and thicknesses are problematic.
MOST OF THESE PROBLEMS CAN BE EASILY CORRECTED PRIOR TO PRINTING. ONCE THE PIECE IS PRINTED, IT MAY NOT BE FIXABLE, AND SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONAL COSTS CAN RESULT.
Choose a printer suitable to your project. Larger, more complex projects may be more suitable for certain printers, depending on turn-around time needed, number of colors used, size of mail piece, and the length of the run. We will be happy to help you choose a printer!
This can be the most important aspect of any mailing project.
We can help you obtain a purchased mailing list. We can also clean-up and "dedupe" your existing data. You can email your mailing list to us. It needs to be in a database format. Most people use Microsoft Excel, putting the list in column format. Name in one column, street address in another, city, state, and zip in another.
LISTS ALREADY SET UP IN AVERY LABEL FORMAT CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT INCURRING ADDITIONAL CHARGES TO CONVERT THE DATA TO DATABASE FORMAT.
We can also use a comma or tab delimited text files, or Access. Not sure? Email it to us and we'll look it over at no charge to you. See our Your List page for much more information on preparing your list for mailing.
Generally, you must choose between First Class Presort, and Standard (bulk) mail. For a letter, First Class Presort will generally be 12 cents or more per piece than standard; however, in some cases standard can be as low as 14.6 cents to mail. Generally, the more geographical concentration in your mailing, the lower the postage rate.
First class will result in faster delivery, with forwarding and returns. Standard mail will result in slower delivery, especially during heavy mailing seasons. You must have a minimum of 500 pieces for a presort first class mailing, and 200 pieces for a standard mailing.
You have your mailing list, your piece(s) are printed , you know what postage class you want. Now what? Deliver the pieces and email the mailing list to Personal Touch. We will run your mailing list through our postal software to CASS Certify the list. We will perform any required folding, inserting, sealing, or tabbing.
Then, using our high-speed addressing equipment, we will print the address and barcode directly on the mail piece. We will sort and tray the mail in accordance with postal regulations, and will take the mail to the post office for delivery.
If you have chosen our popular Mail Tracking service, you will receive an email notifying you that your mail has been accepted by the post office, and you will be given a website to track your mail through the postal system.
Our company does a significant amount of marketing through the mail. We have relied on the expertise of The Personal Touch Mail services for over 9 years to handle all our mail-out needs; from sorting, ‘de-duping’, and stuffing envelopes…to running our lists against current databases, Angie and her staff have consistently provided superior and always friendly service. They have given us accurate, totally reliable results in a timely fashion. We will continue to use The Personal Touch and would highly recommend their service to other businesses.
Accounting Broker Acquisition Group, Inc.
I have trusted The Personal Touch with all of my direct mail processing needs for over 10 years, both as a reseller and as a direct customer. Not only do they do good work, they always set realistic expectations and often over deliver. Our pieces always look very professional, and they often offer suggestions on how to achieve lower postage rates. If there was a higher rating than 5 stars, I would give it to Angie and her team!
Jeff Moses - TPS