When direct mail is a critical part of your marketing communications program, getting it delivered is a key to your success. Here are some ideas to help you improve delivery, reduce mailing costs, and increase response.

  1. Make your mail compatible with automation. Use a high-contrast sans-serif type. Be sure the address is not obscured by the envelope window.
  2. Use U.S. Postal Service standard abbreviations.
  3. Use address correction and standardization programs. Run your list through a National Change of Address program to add address standardization and ZIP+4. Make your list compatible with CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) software.
  4. Append your list with ZIP+4 and sort by carrier route. Consult the USPS Domestic Mail Manual for specific requirements.
  5. Consider the delivery-point bar code. Because the bar code is read instead of the printed address, prebar-coded mail doesn't have to meet OCR requirements -- a bonus if you need more leeway in envelope design.
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