MAILING DO’S & DON’TS
At The Mail Group, we make it our mission to contribute to our customers’ success in every way possible! One way we do this is by sharing insider and industry tips which save our customers time and money and improve the deliverability of anything they mail! We offer the following tips in that spirit! As always, feel free to reach out to one of our professionals who can discuss in more details any project you have coming up by clicking here!
- If possible, call us before the design of your mailing piece! Small differences in size, color and more can have a big impact on deliverability and cost for delivery!
- When sending a data file, simple formats (such as comma delimited with a header row) are best. Please don’t use label format files.
- USPS requires that the final line of any address be the country of destination. Abbreviations are not allowed and country must be in all capital letters. While not all your mail may be delivered via USPS, it’s safer to always follow this requirement for any international mailings which are not 100% direct destination-country injection.
- When sending a publication with a Tip-on, Wrap, or Outsert, please allow for a minimum print area of 3 inches by 4 inches.
- Avoid printing permits on the piece as those will normally need to be covered prior to sending.
For your Canadian Mailings
- For advertising mail into Canada, a return address is not required. However, if there is a return address on the piece, it MUST be a Canadian address.
- Make sure to include a space in the middle of a Canadian postal code (e.g. K1A 0B1). Failing to doing so, can result in delayed delivery or non-delivery!
- Did you know that you could save big if you could qualify your mailings into Canada as Machinable versus Pre-sorted (Special Handling)? Call us today to find out what it takes for your piece to qualify as Machinable!
- To avoid the time and cost of putting your Canada-Destination Publications into a polybag or polywrap for the purpose of containing a carrier sheet, just place a white, rectangular box on the face of the Publication. We will then print the recipients’ addresses directly on the piece!
For your International Mailings
- Print your mail pieces in both country and postal code order. This can result in faster mail processing and better rates!
- Do Not include a domestic permit number on your piece. Domestic permits can cause confusion and could lead to non-delivery! If this is unavoidable, there are solutions but they often come at a higher price!
- For international, direct (country) entry mailings, Do Not include a US domestic return address. In-country addresses are required for international direct-entry mailings.
- For international printed matter material, use only transparent packaging for all items weighing over 1.1 lbs. This could eliminate the need to provide customs data when shipping internationally!
For your Domestic U.S. Mailings
- Always use the proper format for all U.S. mail as follows:
Line 1 Name
Line 2 Suite or Apt #
Line 3 Street
Line 4 City, State, Zip Code
- Don’t include any punctuation in your address and use all appropriate street designators (e.g. BLVD or DR) and directional (e.g. NE or SW).
- When using Zip+4, always use a hyphen (e.g. 98765-4321).
- Make your address (label) legible, with a font big enough to read! Overlapping address lines or more than a few blank spaces between words on your label will cause delivery failure! USPS also recommends a minimum of an 8-point type font. (Exception: If your piece contains a POSTNET or Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB), a 6-point type font IN ALL CAPITAL letters is fine.) Finally, the address placement on your piece MUST be in the top half of envelop/package.
- Make sure to avoid slick (think shiny!), coated pieces when the address is to be applied using Ink Jet printers! These pieces routinely have the addressed smudged to the point of being illegible.
- Be sure to leave a white rectangle where we can inkjet the address for any piece which is dark or red in color. Printing addresses directly onto dark surfaces are often unreadable and will cause delivery failure!
- Make sure your addresses are complete and valid! You will be charged full postal rates for any mail piece that contains an address which does not exist in the US Postal Service database.