Olley and Associates
740 Bethlehem Pike
Flourtown, PA 19031

Call Us: (215) 544-1115
Email Us: mike@olleyandassociates.com


  

Direct Mail Services Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started with Direct Mail FAQs

Q: I need more customers, how do I get started with direct mail advertising?
Q: How do I save money when I outsource my direct mail project?
Q: How do I know what type of direct mailing to send? What are my options?
Q: What are postcards?
Q: What are current postage rates for direct mail postcards?
Q: What are the benefits of sending postcard mailers?
Q: What are letters?
Q: What are current postage rates for direct mail letters?
Q: What is a flat?
Q: What are the benefits of sending bulk mailers?
Q: What if I'm not sure about my direct mailing piece? What should I do?
Q: What areas do you service?

Direct Mail For Real Estate Agents FAQs

        Q: Why do successful realtors use postcard marketing?

Creative and Design FAQs

Q: What makes a good direct mail piece?
Q: What types of direct mailing offers work best?
Q: How much room do I need to leave for printing the delivery address?
Q: Should I use my business phone number or an 800 number on my direct mail piece?

Mailing List FAQs

Q: Should I mail to my current customers or rent a list?
Q: What does NCOA mean and why do I need it?

Preparing Mail for the USPS FAQs

Q: What is tabbing?  When do I need to tab my direct mail piece?
Q: What are machinable letters?
Q: If I want to mail something bulkier, can it still be mailed as a flat? Do I still receive postage discounts?
Q: What if I have a question about my direct mail project?  Who do I call?



Getting Started with Direct Mail FAQs

Q: I need more customers, how do I get started with direct mail advertising? 
A: Simple.  Give us a call at 215-544-1115 and we'll ask you a series of questions to help recommend the best direct mail solution for your business.  We're direct mail service consultants and we want to help you make your direct mailing a success!

Q: How do I save money when I outsource my direct mail project? 
A: You save money for several reasons.  First, we make sure that your list goes through an address standardization process to meet USPS regulations.  Second, we machine insert your letters and flyers to save the productivity of your staff.  Third, we automate your mail piece utilizing Intelligent Mail Barcoding so that we get better postage rates from the USPS.

Q: How do I know what type of direct mailing to send? What are my options? 
A: Great question!  All direct mail pieces, excluding parcels and packages, fall into 1 of 3 classifications: 1) postcards, 2) letters and 3) flats, which all have different specifications.

Q: What are postcards? 
A: Postcards are rectangular in shape with a height of no more than 4 1/4 inches, a width of no more than 6 inches and a thickness of no more than 0.016 inches.  Postcards also qualify for a special First Class postcard postage price.  If your cards are larger than the size described, keep reading to learn about letters.

Q: What are current postage rates for direct mail postcards? 
A: Postcard rates are $0.33 each, but, with discounts, we can get that rate down.  Call us at 215-544-1115 to find out how.

Q: What are the benefits of sending postcard mailers? 
A: Postcard mailings have many benefits, including tailoring your marketing message down to a succinct call to action since customers today have short attention spans.  Also, postcards will help to reduce your postage costs as long as you have a reputable direct mail services agency preparing your mail.


Q: What are letters? 
A: Letters are any piece of mail shaped like a rectangle or square.  If you draw a rectangle that is 6 1/8 inches by 11 1/2 inches and you can set your mail piece down on the rectangle and not have any of it outside of the rectangle, it is a letter (as long as it's not too small and not more than 1/4 inch thick). If your mail piece is larger than the size described, keep reading to learn about flats.

Q: What are current postage rates for direct mail letters? 
A: Letter rates are $0.46 each, but, with discounts, we can get that rate down.  Call us at 215-544-1115 to find out how.

Q: What is a flat? 
A: A flat is any rectangular or square mail piece that is too large in at least one direction to be a letter.  If you draw a rectangle that is 6 1/8 inches by 11 1/2 inches, which are the maximum dimensions for a letter, and you set your mail piece down on the rectangle and any of it is outside of the rectangle, it is a flat.  Even if your piece still fits within these dimensions, but is thicker than 1/4 inch, your piece is a flat.  There are also maximum dimension the flat cannot exceed, such as no side can be longer than 15 inches, the shorter side must be 12 inches or less, the thickness must be less than 3/4 inch and the weight must be 13 ounces or less. 

Q: What are the benefits of sending bulk mailers? 
A: The advantage of preparing mail for a bulk mail marketing campaign is that businesses benefit from reduced postage costs.  However, in order to prepare your mail according to strict USPS bulk mail standards, you need to hire a direct mail services agency that is familiar with the proper process.

Q: What if I'm not sure about my direct mailing piece? What should I do? 
A: No problem.  USPS direct mail rules and regulations are confusing so call us at 215-544-1115.  When you call we'll ask you some questions and help you make the right move.

Q: What areas do you service? 
A: Olley and Associates services the entire greater Philadelphia area, including Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County and Philadelphia.  Not in one of those areas?  No problem.  Call us at 215-544-1115 and let's get started on your direct mail campaign today.



Direct Mail For Real Estate Agents FAQs

Q: Why do successful realtors use postcard marketing? 
A: Real estate agents use postcard mailings for multiple reasons.  The first reason is because postcards are an easy and cost-effective way to keep in touch with current customers.  Staying top-of-mind is important so that when your customers are in the market to buy or sell a property, they call you first.  The second reason is because postcards are a quick way to introduce yourself and your services to a new audience who may have a need for real estate services.



Creative and Design FAQs

Q: What makes a good direct mail piece? 
A: Most experienced direct marketers will tell you that a successful direct mailing depends on 1) getting access to a good list, 2) developing a great offer and 3) designing compelling creative that is relevant to your prospective customer.  Direct mail marketing is more art than science so you may have to test to see what works best.

Q: What types of direct mailing offers work best? 
A: Typically, free offers work best.  Depending on your business model, you may be able to offer a free quote, free trial or free sample.  Call Olley and Associates at 215-544-1115 to explore your options.

Q: How much room do I need to leave for printing the delivery address?  
A: To receive all possible postal discounts, we need a 3 inch x 4 inch area of blank space from the lower right of the card.  Call Olley and Associates to help you design your piece so that we can guide you through the process and make sure you get your piece out the door for the best price possible.  For additional guidance, please read our Dimensions Required for Postal Discounts.

Q: Should I use my business phone number or an 800 number on my direct mail piece? 
A: You should always try to use an 800 phone number on your direct mail.  The customer will know that that call is toll-free and may be more likely to respond to your offer.  In addition, you'll be able to monitor call activity and track the number of calls received.



Mailing List FAQs

Q: Should I mail to my current customers or rent a list? 
A: Both!  You should mail to current customers to keep them abreast of your new offers and promotions. In addition, you should also consider renting a list to get your message in front of a new group of potential customers.

Q: What does NCOA mean and why do I need it? 
A: NCOA stands for National Change of Address and you need it mainly if you already have a house list of customers.  This postal service allows you to validate your customer records to ensure that you're mailing your customers at their current addresses.  About 15% of the population moves annually and NCOA ensures that you don't waste time and money mailing customers at the wrong addresses.



Preparing Mail for the USPS FAQs

Q: What is tabbing?  When do I need to tab my direct mail piece? 
A: Tabbing is a USPS requirement for all direct mail that is folded and not in an envelope.  Tabbing helps you get the lowest possible postage rates when mailing and ensures your piece gets to its intended destination.

Q: What are machinable letters? 
A: Machinable letters are letters that can be sorted on automated equipment and receive better postage rates.  A machinable letter meets the letter requirements above, weighs no more than 3.3 ounces and does not have any out-of-the-ordinary attributes, such as being too rigid or containing odd shaped, items like a pen.  Also, barcoding is another requirement for discounted postage.  If you're considering a direct mail campaign, call Olley and Associates at 215-544-1115 to help guide you through the rules and regulations so that you can receive the best postage rates.

Q: If I want to mail something bulkier, can it still be mailed as a flat? Do I still receive postage discounts? 
A: Great question!  You know your direct mail.  The USPS has many requirements for mail and, according to a new USPS rule, all flats must now be flexible.  Flexible is pretty subjective so we invite you to call us at 215-544-1115 so that we can ask you more questions about your direct mail job in order to give you proper information.  In the best case scenario, we would like to be involved from the beginning and help you with the creative process so that we can offer up suggestions based on our years of experience.  If your piece has already been created, you still might be eligible for postage discounts, call us now to find out.

Q: What if I have a question about my direct mail project?  Who do I call? 
A: You can always reach out to Mike, Jessica or Jimmy at Olley and Associates with any questions about your direct mailing.  You'll always get a real person at Olley and Associates.