A Little Secret to Increase Mail Delivery Time with Little Extra Cost

Are you familiar with USPS Priority Mail Open and Distribute or PMOD??? For some  mailers, Priority Mail Drop Shipping is a well kept secret that they are not  aware of, and as a result they are missing out on some great opportunities to  improve delivery and reduce costs.

For those of you not familiar with this service, it is technically termed  Priority Mail Open and Distribute (PMOD) by the United States Postal Service (R)  (USPS). It is a method of drop shipping mail to additional postal entry points  using Priority Mail as the shipping method rather than more traditional methods  such as truckload, less-than-load (LTL) or air freight. The same service is  available using Express Mail Open and Distribute (EMOD), although it is more  expensive due to the quicker delivery time (next day service).

Regardless of which level of service is used, Open and Distribute is a pretty  smart way to drop ship to entry points with smaller volumes of mail which make  the more traditional shipping methods cost prohibitive. It works by entering the  mailpieces at their normal postage prices (e.g. Periodicals, Standard, etc.) and  then placing those trays or sacks of mail into Priority Mail sacks for delivery  to the postal entry point.

By using special sack tags, these Priority Mail sacks are identified to the  USPS as containing drop shipped mail, which the USPS then opens and distributes  the sacks inside as they would normally be routed. The Priority Mail postage is  paid on the weight of the mail inside the PM sack (and tare weight of the  sacks/trays inside the PM sack), and essentially replaces the shipping charges  that would have been charged by freight carriers if the more traditional  shipping methods had been used.

Automate PMOD

In the past, this process was very tedious because this mail had to be  manually separated, manually tagged with the PMOD tags, and postage statements  were manually generated. Now, however, there are software solutions that allow  these functions to be automated to the point that it is much more time and cost  effective to use PMOD.

How can mailers take advantage of PMOD? There are three major benefits to  using PMOD:

1) If you are experiencing delivery delays to remote or distant locations  (e.g. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico), or any location for that matter, PMOD  can be a great way to shorten the delivery time. Priority Mail has delivery  standards of 2-3 days, so the mail gets entered into the postal entry points  much more quickly than if the mail was locally entered at the printing plant or  letter shop.

2) You can take advantage of drop ship discounts even for entry points with  low mailing densities, such as Butte, MT or Fargo, ND.

3) You can mail at the less expensive Standard rates, but get very close to  First-Class delivery standards if you use PMOD to drop ship to additional entry  points.

Your mailings can be easily analyzed to determine whether PMOD will be  beneficial for you to use. Using a Mail.dat file, you can process this file  through post-presort Mail.dat management software in a “quick plan” mode. This  will allow you to see all the possible drop ship entry points for which your  mailing would qualify. You can then go a step further by applying freight  charges to the entry points with significant mail volumes. Any entry points with  small volumes can then be exported into PMOD software to determine the estimated  cost of PMOD shipping.

If you do not have post-presort mail.dat management software, you can ask  your printer/mailer to perform these analyses for you, or you can contact a  provider of this type of software to request a demo or trial of the software. If  you have been hesitant to use PMOD in the past due to implementation concerns,  or if you are completely new to PMOD, you owe it to yourself and your company to  check out the possibilities of this great USPS program.

For some mailers, Priority Mail Drop Shipping is a well kept secret that they  are not aware of, and as a result they are missing out on some great  opportunities to improve delivery and reduce costs.

Contact Becky Gould at becky@snappackmail.com for more information

Post Office Mailing 101- Everything you need to know about postage rates and delivery time!

Post Office 101- Mailing Classifications and what it means for delivery time and money!
There are basically 4 classes of mail and here is an explanation of methods, cost, and delivery time:
1) First Class mail- first class is priority over everything else and is usually transported via air unless it is local. It is full rate, however, if it is pre-sorted by a mail house it qualifies for the same discounts as listed for 3rd class mail, but 10-11 cents higher. Mail time is guaranteed 2-6 days AND undelivered mail is returned to the sender.
2) Second Class mail- this is the mail that is periodicals or thing like the Pennysaver or coupon books that have a bulk deal with the post office and mail regularly: shopwise, pennysaver, mailed newspapers, magazines- This mail qualifies only with a special permit and regular mailing-
3) 3rd Class Mail- OR “Standard “Bulk” mail”- is everything else, but there are several ways to mail out in order to qualify for lower postal rates. Mail delivery time is not guaranteed, but usually arrives 5-25 days(increased time due to USPS cutbacks and closures). Mail is NOT RETURNED TO SENDER if it is undelivered. It is recycled.

Below is description of methods within 3rd class mail for delivery and discounts:
a) AUTOMATED mail drop- bundle and sort bulk mail discounts- means that a mailhouse (like we are) does the work of sorting the mail into trays for easier processing. Within those trays if there are 175 pcs going to all the same zip code then it qualifies for a level 3 discount. If there are 175 pcs going to all the same carrier route then it qualifies for even deeper level 5 discounts. If the order is all in one state, it qualifies for a level 2 discount, etc…
b) Saturation Mail- saturation mail is when you decide to mail to at least 75% of a single zip code- if this is the case then the discounts are even deeper then a level 5. Sometimes with this type of saturation mail the address will say “resident” instead of the name of the person, so it is not the best means for variable data
c) Comingling is when one mail house groups with another mail house (such as we partner with a huge comingler, Pitney Bowes) to join their mail together to get the optimal discounts mentioned in A at a level 5.
d) PMOD- 3rd class mail with increased delivery time: Priority Mail Overnight Delivery= this is 3rd class mail costs and treated as 3rd class mail, BUT it is FLOWN and delivered to the main central post office if there are at least 175 pieces in one single batch. This increases delivery time. The price to fly the pieces is approximately .08 cents more than the automated rate after pre-sorting. We see delivery times of 4-8 days and this is a very good option for those that are saturating a entire geographical territory rather than the first class delivery of 11 cents.
e) Drop Shipping: if there are over 175 pcs or more going to one particular zip code it may qualify to be dropped shipped which may give the order overall better delivery time by transporting it to the local post office, therefore creating faster delivery times. We determine what is in the best interest of the client based on the cost of this and delivery times for the particular client-

For more information regarding postal rates or delivery methods or time please contact info@snappackmail.com

The Truth about Mail Lists- They MAKE or BREAK your Marketing Campaign!

A Good Mailing List can MAKE or BREAK your Campaign- DON’T USE RECYCLED LISTS!
Everybody knows that Santa is a big believer in having a good list. But he’s not the only one! For years, direct mail experts have agreed that your list (the people to whom you mail) accounts for 40 percent of your mailing’s success. While the means you use to reach potential customers may now include email and social media, the basic premise still holds true: Who you communicate with plays a huge role in the success of your marketing efforts.
For example, let’s say you sell pool supplies and you’re looking for customers. You want to reach people who have pools! People who don’t own a pool are simply not going to buy anything from you—regardless of how great your product is, how wonderful your offer is, or how beautiful your marketing presentation is.
Identifying the right audience is not always as simple as determining who has a pool and who doesn’t. The more specific you can be about defining your audience, the better chance you’ll have of making them an offer that appeals to them—and the more likely they are to respond.
Once you’ve identified the characteristics of your audience, you can enlist the service mail list provider to get the names and addresses of people who are likely to respond. With a good provider you will have access to an incredible wealth of demographic information available that can help you reach the people who are most likely to respond.
Be aware that the more specific your list is (that is, the more defining characteristics you use) the higher the cost of the list. But the more qualified the list, the higher the probability of response will be. And the goal is not simply getting your message out—it’s getting a positive response to your message.
Let’s look at an example of how the quality of a list can impact the results of a mailing.
Let’s assume our mailer is selling pool supplies. The offer and the creative package are identical. One mailing uses a general (unqualified) mailing list that focuses on a ZIP code with a high average household income (people who might have pools). The other mailing uses a very specific mailing list that includes only people known to own pools.

Even though the cost of the qualified/targeted list was $1,000 more than the generic list, the net result was an increase of $14,000 in net profit-a pretty good return on the investment! While no one will guarantee that your response rates will go from 0.5% to 2% it is indisputable that-all other things being equal-a targeted list will out-pull a generic list every time.
Regardless of whether your marketing efforts include direct mail, email, or social media, a huge factor in your success hinges on talking to the right audience.
For a reputable mail list company contact becky@snappackmail.com

New JUMBO Snap Pack Pressure Seal Mailers- HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Super Large Pressure Seal Mailers that will BLOW YOU AWAY, Plus Discounted postage and Wholesale Production Pricing!

Are you ready for this? These new GIGANTIC Snap Pac pressure seal mailers will stop people dead in their tracks! Talk about an “attention grabber”! It just doesn’t get any better. Who says, “size doesn’t matter”???
This new Snap Pack is just like a blown up version of the standard 8 ½ x 11”. The oversized snap pack @ .35 cents each is actually 11” x 17” folded in half down to 8.5” x 11”. The jumbo snap pack is official looking and is personalized with variable data mail merge throughout. This pressure seal piece travels as saturation mail due the change in the postal requirements that allow for up to 15” pieces. It is extremely large and OFFICIAL looking. It has perforations on the side for easy tear off. Why not take advantage of a “BIG THING”. These snap packs are bound to be seen in the mail before ANYTHING ELSE. In fact, they might just scare you into opening them by size alone.
Saturation mail can be very large in size now – up to 12” x 15.No consumer has ever received any piece like this, and whoever mails it is going to do really well!!! These snap pack pressure seal envelopes will just stand out like a hot potato!
To get a better understanding of saturation mail, this is being run under the Every Door Direct Mail program. No mailing list is required (another savings), and we can target your campaign by house values and income levels. We can even eliminate apartments, and businesses. Honestly, this is the best program I have ever seen in mail. There is nothing like it.
Any company that serves a defined geographic area can and should use this type of snap pac pressure seal mailer and this type of inexpensive delivery. A year ago I would have told you to spend your money on Google. Today there is absolutely no question – send out a huge SNAP PACK mailer and grab more attention than you ever dreamed possible.
For more information on the Jumbo Snap Pack Pressure Seal Mailer contact Becky G at becky@snappackmail.com

Snap Pack Pressure Seal Mailers- the Perfect Alternative to Folded Self Mailer

In this article we will discuss what a snap pack pressure seal mailer is and how that now meets the new USPS guidelines for self mailers.

Recently, revised mailing standards applicable to Folded Self Mailers (FSM) were presented in a Federal Notice of Final Rules by the Postal Service. These revised standards will become effective on January 5, 2013. Most Folded Self Mailers will need to comply and the perfect alternative to this is to use a “SNAP PACK MAILER” instead. These are pressure seal mailers that meet the new strict requirements of the USPS. The perfect alternative to a letter mailer or brochure.

The initial proposal which was first presented on April of 2011 was intended to improve the design of FSMs for compatibility with the automation process. The final revisions came as a result of a 2 year collaboration between the Postal Service and the mailing industry. A wide variety of letter-sized mailers were tested for automation compatibility and the Postal Service received 51 comments from various mailers. These comments were considered and became influential in modifying the original proposal.

Mailers’ comments range from a total abandonment of the proposed changes due to the economy, the lack of available equipment to handle the changes and the cost already incurred for previously designed and produced mail piece to concerns about the type of tabs used to seal FSMs, the thickness, the number of panels, the weight of the paper, and the size, to name a few.

The following are some important rules that will soon be applied to letter sized automated FSMs
Perforated seals will no longer be allowed to seal FSMs (Snap pack mailers are Ok because of pressure seal)
Quarter fold self-mailers must be sealed with tabs and not glue
The final fold must be on the bottom

For oblong Self Mailers, the final fold must be the leading edge

At least 2 tabs are required to seal letter-sized FSMs

There is also new language that pertains to design elements of the FSM such as attachments, loose enclosures, perforations and die-cuts. The safest alternative will be to pressure seal the mailer using a snap pack design.

The Postal Service is recommending that mailers begin to take necessary steps to make the transition, although they are not expected to comply until the announced date. Failure to meet the new requirements could result to higher postal charges. Here is a link to the United States Postal Service publication regarding the new self mailer rules.

We can assist in making certain that these new requirements are met when designing your FSM. The best alternative mail piece is the snap mailer. The snap mailer can be a letter-sized mailer just like a self-mailer but has 2-3 sealed and perforated sides. The snap mailer is opened by tearing or snapping off the perforated sides, hence the name and eliminating the use of any sealer or glue that could interfere with the Postal Service’s automation machines. Postage will remain the same on snap pack, pressure seal mailers.

We can also provide a variety of self mailers that can be customized to meet your individual direct marketing needs. if you have any questions regarding these new regulations or you would like us to double check your mail piece design before you go to press feel free to give us a call at 209-992-1113. One of our direct mail design consultants will be happy to check over your mail piece to ensure it complies with the latest United States Postal Service regulations.

NEW Brown Kraft Envelope with Inserted Check delivers HUGE Return on Investment!

To those of you who need a brilliant mail piece that drives response rates through the roof, look no farther1

Our custom Brown Kraft envelope with red is delivering excellent results!  Some clients are also adding a “CHECK” that can be seen through the window. We have tested response rates and expect this little number to be opened about 97% of the time!

We also offer similar design in a snap pack pressure seal mailer. Our check snappers with a window are also performing like a champ!

We are a commercial printer that has the capability to print any kind of mailer you need! We have a new envelope converter machine that will make just about any custom style you need. Call us for a free consultation or quote.

Call us at 209-992-1113 to order your next mailer.

Check Snap Pack Mailers with a WINDOW delivering ENORMOUS Response!


A nationwide business to business provider has fast become one of the smartest direct mailers by using a new strategy. Their direct mail program is constantly evolving, contoured by the results of each mailing. In the beginning, their direct mail program received some response, but they weren’t quite reaching their marketing goals. The  provider began a search for the best combination of messaging, data, and format for higher response rates, using multivariate testing and personalized response mechanisms to guide the way. The conclusion? CHECK SNAP PACK SHOWING A CHECK THROUGH A WINDOW!


By starting with a #10 envelope stuffed with non-personalized color brochures and overloaded information sheets, the business to business provider received just a .07% response rate. Next was a simplified standard snap pack with bold messaging on the envelope with a clear sense of urgency and a call-to-action, increasing the response to 1.5%. Respondents called a 1-800 number specific to each test and mailing list, along with a personalized ID number, helping the company to understand what metrics performed better.

After the second round of testing, the business to business provider realized that a more official document worked best for their target audience. By brainstorming and considering our print and mailing capabilities, together we created the Snap Pack mailer and ENCLOSED A CHECK! Not only that, but we added a WINDOW so that the check was visible!

Printed in black and white and with an official layout, the Snap Pack requires that receivers open perforated edges – much like a mailed check – to read the message. The letter contains a specific 1-800 number, a sense of urgency, a trackable Priority ID, and a strong call to action.


The Snap Pack with a check and window has been a winner, generating a HUGE response rate. With simplified messaging, an official appearance, and a clear call to action, this piece has brought more interest to the product offering than any other direct mail piece to date. An added bonus is the cost savings. By removing the need for a return envelope, postage, and extra marketing collateral, the Snap Pack cut their marketing costs in half.

By consistently testing and honing in on their data insights, the business to business provider has a better understanding of how to make direct mail work for them!

CALL US AT 209-992-1113 for more information or

email info@snappackmail.com

Direct mail USPS Discounts 3% month of July-Aug

POSTAL NEWS- Discounts on postage summer 2011

The USPS is running a special promotion to entice mailers to test mobile barcodes on their direct mail. The ultimate goal is to build awareness of mobile technology and demonstrate to mailers how mobile barcodes can increase the value of mail.

At Media Print Solutions we can process and track your barcode for you. This will not only allow you to get a discount, but it will help direct readers to your website! We can add and track a barcode to any direct mail piece including standard envelope mai, snap pack pressure seal mailers, variable data mailers,  postcards, or catalog mailers.

A mobile barcode is a two-dimensional barcode that can be read or scanned by a smart phone and will direct the user to an advertising website. The two most common types of mobile barcodes are QR Codes (Quick Response) and MS (Microsoft) Tags.

Program Details

The program runs from July 1, 2011 through August 31, 2011 and is available for First Class, Standard and Non-Profit Mailers who incorporate a two-dimensional barcode either on the face or inside every piece in the mailing that is designed to direct the user to a promotional website. Mailers will receive an upfront 3% discount on postage for mailings that meet program requirements.

Program Requirements

  • First Class, Standard and Non-Profit mail is eligible.
  • All mail pieces must include a mobile two-dimensional barcode on the face or within the mail piece.
  • The barcode must be used for marketing purposes only.
  • Postage must be paid via permit imprint and all postage documentation must be submitted to the USPS electronically.
  • Co-mailing customers are eligible to participate in this progrom