You can deliver a mailing piece up to 3.3 ounces for between 11.6 and 12.9 cents each. You probably receive “junk mail” delivered at this rate. I get postcards, self-mailers, brochures, flyers, coupon books and local store catalogs on a regular basis delivered using the US postal service's Enhanced Carrier Route (ECR) rates.
As a real estate investor, you can get more sellers calling you and sell your houses fast using the lowest postage rates available. It works when you want to concentrate a mailing to all homes in a certain neighborhood or area.
We already mailed an oversized postcard to sell 6 of our houses and next week will deliver my famous “advertorial” to homeowners convincing them to call if they want to sell their house quickly and easily.
After showing other investors how to use this low cost, direct mail approach, I have figured out the best way for you to research it and use it yourself. Look in your phonebook under “mailing services.” You'll also find print shops and letter shops that can help. Tell them you want to saturate several neighborhoods with a postcard. You want to use their “standard Mail” permit or you can get your own. The cost for your own is $125 to setup and $125 a year. But the mailing house may prefer or require you use theirs. That's good.
Tell the vendor you want to mail to all residents. This is also known as a SATURATION mailing. In some areas, instead of an address label, you can have POSTAL CUSTOMER or BOXHOLDER or RESIDENT preprinted on your postcard. In other areas you'll need to buy a RESIDENT LIST which includes all the addresses in a certain zip code or carrier route, but not names. We checked several sources for lists and were quoted 1 cent to 3 cents each. Do pay more than 1 cent each. If you can't get it locally then you can get it from a national company. In fact, it's possible to do the entire job (print, address and mail) with a national company.
If addresses are required, one source you can look into is www.melissadata.com. In fact, if you go to their site, you can get a count of the number of addresses and carrier routes for any zip code you enter. Their cost is about 1 cent each for online download, CD-ROM or labels.
The key postal term to mention is Enhanced Carrier Route Walk Sequence Saturation (ECRWSS). When prepared properly, the mail carrier will deliver one mail piece to each address on the route. That is a minimum requirement, all addresses on a route.
My next mailing will be to an entire zip code has 17 carrier routes, and about 8,000 addresses. If I wanted to I could further target my project to selected carrier routes only.
The cost on my last mailing was 11.6 cent postage each. To get that rate we delivered (to each respective post office) presorted stacks of cards, one for each carrier route with the number of cards needed for each route.
If you do not deliver the cards to each individual post office, then the rate is 12.1 or 12.6 cents. I have found that the easiest way to do it is to let the mailing houses do it all. Tell them what you want and let them figure it out. Get several bids.
I suggest you put your marketing message on a double-sided 4.25″ x 8.5″ (half sheet) postcard. That way your printing cost will only be 3 or 4 cents each. Use yellow or bright yellow card stock. Your “message” should be filled with reasons why they should respond…what's in it for them.
My first mailing was to a rural area so no labels were required. We just put POSTAL CUSTOMER below the permit imprint. That saved us from buying a list and addressing the cards. Our next mailing to a city area which requires addressing. A mailing to rural routes or postal box holders only should not require labels. Your local mailing house or letter shop should have experience with these types of mailings and can help you plan your campaign and design your postcard (i.e. the position of the permit and address info).
For more info you can search http://pe.usps.gov/ for “enhanced carrier route walk sequence saturation.”