Direct mail question...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by allstar, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I recently had some flyers printed up and hired a mailing company to distribute them.Since I'm doing it this way I don't need a permit from the USPS.The area being covered by the mailing company is only a fraction of the total area I want to market.
    Is there any legal way to put flyers into mailboxes?If I had a permit could I do it?There are many neighborhoods I would like to market outside of the area being covered by the mailing company and I can't afford to pay them for all of it.I was thinking about door hangers,too.Thanks in advance. Jim
  2. sodzilla

    sodzilla LawnSite Member
    Posts: 219

    Buy a mailing list from a mailing list service and mail them yourself. The can get you a list narrowed down to what ever area you want. They can search by zip code, property owners( so you wont be mailing to renters), property value, sub division, street name ect.
  3. allstar

    allstar LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    That's a good idea and thanks.I have a very good knowledge of the area and know most of the subvisions'names and main roads, so I could probably select the zones I'm interested in then determine by address if it's a home I want to target.
    Wouldn't I need a USPS permit,though?If I mail them myself how would I know how much postage to use?The cost of the permit is $150.I went to the post office the other day and,just out of curiosity,asked the lady what it would cost to mail 2000 pieces.I believe the cost was around $360 or approximately .18/piece.Thanks for the help. Jim
  4. Rob Spread & Spray

    Rob Spread & Spray LawnSite Member
    Posts: 205

    Your best bet would be to narow the market you are sending to ad increase the number of times you mail to the same people. You will have better results with repetition and targeted marketing.
  5. dlyn

    dlyn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    There is no legal way to use USPS mailboxes for your fliers. The carriers will take them from the boxes. The Postmaster will contact you for the violation and you lose your money. The least expensive way of covering a larger area is to use doorhangers...or possibly marriage mail marketing. It may be worth looking into.
  6. dlyn

    dlyn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3 other thing. The Post Office could charge you first class postage on each of the fliers they pick up out of the boxes...even though you have a "bulk mailing permit". Don't chance the bulk postage and let the USPS deliver for you....IF that's the least expensive way to go.
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi Allstar,

    You should be able to get a bulk rate manual from your local post master. It will explain to you the process of sorting your mail for bulk rate delivery. Once you have it printed and sorted you can take it to the P.O. and they will charge you based on the number of units being mailed.

    Instead of doing flyers you could also consider postcards. They would be cheaper to mail and may look nicer.
  8. mike48114

    mike48114 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    ya you can put them in mail boxes by putting a stamp on them and droping them off at the post office. Or if you have more than 500 and you know the zip +4 number you can use bulk mailing rates. Putting anything in or on a mail box is a federal offense and they do prosicute. I hired a co. to mail flyers once and they drove around putting them in boxes and I got a nasty warning letter from the postmaser!

    good luck
  9. dlyn

    dlyn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    To mail anything at a reduced bulk rate, you must have a permit. It cost $150 for the one time application fee and $150 for the annual fee. If you want to mail "standard rate" must have 200 identical pieces. If you want to mail first class, you must have 500 pieces. You can use metered postage, stamps or permit imprint provided by your printer. Your local Post Office can provide you with a manual that explains the rates and requirements. If you are located near a metro area, the USPS provides mailing classes at no charge. You can also contact the USPS Business Center (telephone nos. available by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS). The Business Center is there to provide detailed mailing assistance to all small to medium size businesses. They also have a walk-in service where you can receive immediate attention from a representative. However, it's best to call for an appointment. The USPS also has certified vendors that they will refer you to for assistance if you are overwhelmed by all the information which can be quite confusing. How do I know all this? I am a Postmaster with 22 yrs. service. I also worked as a Business Center Rep for 4 yrs. and gave direct mail seminars for businesses. I am establishing a lawn business this year (mainly for my son) and I'm thrilled to find such a helpful site as this. I will be glad to help with all your direct mail questions.
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    If you are going to buy the mailing list from a company, ask them what they will charge you to mail them. In my case, they are mailing them for less than what I could mail them myself, plus I don't have to touch a thing. They are doing the printing also.

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