Bulk Mailing

This information provides an overview of the requirements for bulk mailings and suggestions to help you get the best service at the lowest cost.

Digital Printing & Design Services processes automation rate, Non-Profit Standard Presort and First Class Presort mailings as a service for Hagerstown Community College offices, departments and college affiliated organizations.

Presorted Mail is a form of mail preparation, required to bypass certain postal operations, in which the mailer groups pieces in a mailing by ZIP Code or by carrier route or carrier walk sequence (or other USPS recommended separations).

There are two ways to mail utilizing the bulk mail system:

  • Non-Profit Standard Presort: the most cost effective way to send mail. Standard presort can reduce the cost of mailing brochures, postcards, and letters to as low as 13¢ per piece, as opposed to 42¢ for First Class regular mail. This type of mailing may take up to ten days for delivery. With advance planning and depending on your delivery needs, it is recommended that you schedule your mailings to make use of Standard Presort. A minimum of 200 addressed mail pieces is required to utilize this method of mailing.
  • First Class Presort: Takes up to five business days for delivery. The price break for presorted first class mailing is approximately 10¢ per piece. Only use First Class Presort when high priority delivery service is necessary. A minimum of 500 addressed mail pieces is required to utilize First Class Presort.

These discount mailings can reduce postage costs and generate considerable savings for the College and, in many situations, give you faster, more accurate delivery. Digital Printing & Design Services provides hardware, software, trained staff, and support enabling you to take full advantage of automated discounts.

Non-Profit Bulk Mail

Non-Profit Standard bulk mail generates the best discount!

USPS requirements for a Presort Bulk mailing include:

  1. Minimum piece count for Standard Presort Bulk mailing is 200. First Class Presort has a minimum of 500.
  2. All mail pieces must be identical (same size, weight, content, and texture).
  3. May not have personal notes.
  4. Only domestic mail may be sent at Non-Profit/Bulk rate.
  5. Hagerstown Community College involvement must be stated in the piece.
  6. Because the mailing permit is under Hagerstown Community College’s name, the USPS requires that the first line of the sender’s address on each piece of mail to read “Hagerstown Community College.”
       HAGERSTOWN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
       (Your Department’s name here)
       11400 ROBINWOOD DR
       HAGERSTOWN MD 21742-6514
  7. HCC’s indicia (permit imprint) is required in the upper right corner on the envelope or mail piece. The imprint will be facing the same direction as the return address and recipient’s address.
  8. Only college material is to be mailed using the permit. The permit is not to be shared, rented, delegated or lent to any other organization. Joint ventures or advertising for “For-profit” entities (e.g., travel agents, hotels, etc.) is strictly prohibited.
    • If you request left over pieces from a bulk mail project be returned to you and later decide to mail one or more of the mail pieces and the mail piece is imprinted with the mailing permit, it must be mailed regular First Class and the postage stamp must cover the pre-printed indicia on the mail piece.
  9. If your mailing includes the insertion of a Business Reply Mail (BRM) postcard or envelope, please take note of the following information:
    • Due to strict regulations from the USPS, Digital Printing & Design Services must design, print, and submit samples of the printed BRM postcard or return envelope for approval. Until approval is received from the USPS Design Analyst we can not release the printed piece for distribution.
    • If your mailing includes a BRM envelope or card, it must be automatable. If you plan to send your mailing at the automation rate, contact Digital Printing & Design Services. The college maintains a First Class Business Permit to provide a cost-effective means for departments to receive mail responses for surveys, information requests, etc.
    • A specially formatted pre-addressed card or envelope can be provided at no postage cost to the respondent so they can easily return the request.
    • The College is charged for the number of pieces of returned mail at the applicable first class rate of postage plus a .03¢ USPS accounting fee. The mail is then routed to your department after it is received. BRM is very effective when a high number of responses are necessary.

Database Preparation

When compiling an address database for a bulk mailing take into account the following to ensure quality data for delivery of your mailings:

  • The most important component of your database is data quality. Ensure each field of a database is accurate, up-to-date, and only one record within the database exists for an individual contact. Establish standards and maintain the quality and integrity of your mailing database.
  • All entries in a column contain identical information, such as first name, last name, organization, address 1, address 2, city, state, zip code. When data types are mixed within a column, inaccuracies may result. Make data entry in your database consistent.
  • Data quality means that the address actually exists, the person or business associated with the address in fact is located at the address. Software utilized for our bulk mailings can provide new addresses for someone that has moved if they have updated their information with the USPS.
  • Avoid using punctuation because of its effect on the post office’s OCR (optical character readers).
  • Do not substitute the letter “O” for the number zero.
  • Do not exceed a 50 character line length (8 pt Arial) in any single address line.
  • Duplicate detection software included in the bulk mailing system helps identify record redundancy. However, data entry is the point at which duplicates need to be prevented.
  • Do not exceed five address lines. For example:
     Name
     Organization
     Address 1
     Address 2
     City State Zip
    • Name: Include title, first name, middle initial, last name and possibly suffix. If desired, an ID number could appear on this line.
    • Organization: This includes a department, organization, or business’ name.
    • Address 1: This is the address to which the post office will deliver the mail piece. All addresses must include an Address 1 address.
    • Address 2: This is the secondary delivery address (may include apartment number, suite number, etc.). Address 2 is a very important part of maintaining data quality. If the person you are mailing the mail piece to, lives in an apartment building or works in an office building, the U.S. Postal Service will not deliver the mail if the apartment number, suite number, etc. is missing.
    • City: Spell the names of the towns and cities out completely (no abbreviations).
    • State: Use the official two-letter state abbreviations.
    • Zip Code: Use the official 5-digit ZIP code. Digital Printing & Design Services mailings are processed through the Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) certification software to insert the plus-4 ZIP code extensions.

Corrected Mailing Lists

Address data will be checked and standardized with the Postal Service’s national address database. Names and addresses that are rejected by the software will be emailed to you electronically in Excel spreadsheets.

  • Addresses that do not match information in the U.S. Postal system’s national address database cannot be mailed at discount rates. Digital Printing & Design Services will attempt to determine why addresses do not match and provide you with this information.
  • Digital Printing & Design Services will delete these addresses from your mailing and provide you with the names and addresses that were deleted so you may remove them from your database or research an accurate address and correct your database for future mailings. Then if you choose, you can mail the piece First Class to the addressee.
  • In addition to the deleted addresses, we will electronically send to you all addresses that have minor corrections and/or new addresses due to Move Update information as provided by the USPS.

Helpful Hints

  • If you purchase a mailing list, be sure to request CASS certification and be provided with USPS Form 3553 (CASS Summary Report).
  • Effective November 23, 2008, all address lists are required to be processed every 95 days through USPS Move Update in order to qualify for the presort discount. Contact Digital Printing & Design Services at ext. 275 if you have any questions regarding proper database preparation.
  • Do not include names containing the zip code 21746. This zip code applies to the Correctional Institutions on Roxbury Road, Hagerstown, MD. The Correctional System will not accept mail that does not contain an inmate’s cell number.

Mail Piece Preparation

The following information is provided to make you aware of the services Digital Printing & Design Services can and does provide in conjunction with bulk mailings:

  • Digital Printing & Design Services provides design and consulting services to help ensure that your mailing will get the fastest delivery at the lowest postage and production cost. We strongly recommend that you have us design and print your mail piece, as well as, all mailing components.
  • Digital Printing & Design Services can do a mail merge with a letter addressed to each addressee, fold, insert into a window envelope, and seal the envelope.
  • Digital Printing & Design Services can fold and tab booklets, double postcards, flyers and brochures, then inkjet the addresses, bar codes, and endorsements onto the mail piece or we can also print addresses with barcodes on labels.
  • Digital Printing & Design Services can import your mailing list into our software that will CASS certify addresses, verify your mailing list for Delivery Point Validation (DPV), search for duplicates, update addresses with Move Update, sort mail for best price, and provide USPS documentation for the mailing.
  • Digital Printing & Design Services can process multiple databases and merge them into one mailing list if all field names contain the same type data in the submitted databases. Our software will eliminate duplications in the merged mailing list thus, reducing postal costs.
  • Digital Printing & Design Services will bundle, tray, bag, tie, sleeve, strap, and complete all necessary documentation according to USPS requirements. Your mailing will be delivered to the post office by Mailroom staff on your desired mailing date.