Marketing Mail-Bulk Mail Preparation

How to Navigate Through the Postal System

It is often possible to save money by taking advantage of various discounted postal rates when doing a large mailing-the trick is to prepare your mailing to conform to the postal service's automated system!

We hope this quick guide will give you an idea of what can (and can't) be done.

We have a very knowledgeable staff at Reprographic and Mailing Services who will be happy to help you with all the details from concept through printing, folding, stuffing and delivery to the post office. Please take a few minutes to look over this information and let us know how we can help.

Bulk Mail or First Class?

When considering how to direct a mailing, keep in mind the type of event or information, who will receive the mailing, whether there is a time element, how up-to-date your mailing list is, and how you want your mailing to be perceived by the recipient. "Bulk" mail doesn't have to be "junk" mail, especially if the recipient is a member of your group or organization, the presentation is eye appealing and their name and address is current and correct. Careful and well-planned mailings are an effective and inexpensive way to contact students, colleagues or alumni and leave a positive impression of the University.

Bulk or Non-Profit?

Even though Seattle University is a "non-profit" organization, some of the functions within the University are considered to make a profit for the clubs or programs sponsoring them. If you are charging for a cruise that will raise money for your club, for example, and you want to advertise that cruise in your newsletter, you will have to pay "bulk" rate, which is generally slightly higher than "Non-Profit." A "retreat" for which there is a charge, however, may be considered a function of the University and announcing it in a letter to alumni would go at "non-profit" rate. These distinctions can be very confusing, and it's best to check with us before counting on non-profit rates if there's any question about editorial content.

What Type of Mail is Eligible for Discounted Rates?

  • Marketing (bulk) mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces are eligible for a discounted rate if prepared and sorted under specific standards.
  • At least 150 of the pieces must have the first 3 digits of the zip code in common (i.e. 98122).
  • Addresses must be complete, with correct ZIP code or ZIP+4 code. You must use mailing lists that have been updated at least once a year according to a certified process.
  • Maximum weight: 3.3087 oz.
  • Minimum size, letter: postcard.
  • Maximum size, letter: postcard.
  • Each piece must be marked "Non-Profit Organization". The correct permit number must be used on pre-printed indicia.

How Long Will it Take for my Mail to Arrive?

Normally, a bulk mailing that is carrier-route sorted will take two business days from the time it is received at the central Post Office to be delivered in the Seattle area. Outside the local area, add one day per "zone" (i.e. San Francisco is Zone 5 so will take 7 business days). These are not guarantees, so be sure to allow enough time, especially if you are mailing during a busy season for the postal service. Also be sure to allow our department adequate time to check the mailing, prepare paperwork and deliver to the post office. Please call us with any scheduling questions.

Outgoing Mail

Checklist when preparing an outgoing mailing:

  • Number of pieces
  • Target audience
  • Contents of mailing
  • Time of delivery
  • Updated mailing list
  • Correct sizes and layout
  • When stuffing envelopes that will be meter-sealed, please do not nest flaps.

Business Reply Mail

You can obtain the correct template for the SU business reply layout either from Publications or from us. Sizes are similar to outgoing standard mail, and a self-mailer needs to contain instructions for folding and sealing. Be sure to include the department name in the return address. The zip+4 code is different for business reply mail, and space for copy is very limited.

  • TBD, Bulk Mail Supervisor: x6186
  • Winston Wedge, Interim Production Supervisor: x6180
  • Arsenio Roddy-Little, Manager: x2658

Please call us at Reprographic Services with any questions.

Pricing Information

Looking for a bulk mailing quote? Email the Reprographics Team for assistance.