Effective August 2, 2012 Direct Mail Depot (DMD) was designated as Drew University’s preferred provider for bulk mailings. This means that offices may engage DMD for specific jobs without obtaining three bids as is normally required by university purchasing policies.
Although you are not required to obtain a bid, make sure to request a proposal (RFP) from DMD for each job, including itemized costs (i.e., data scrubs, addressing, collating/inserting, postage) and a production schedule. Following are tips for working with any vendor to ensure your mailing is as effective as possible.
Share this template with your mail house vendor so they understand Drew’s expectations for formatting letters and envelopes. If you are working with a new vendor, you may need to make repeated corrections to achieve these standards. It is worth the effort since the look and feel of a direct mail piece affects the likelihood recipients will respond to your call to action and reflects on the university as a whole.
Our contact at Direct Mail Depot is Migdalia Espinal, who can be reached at 732-469-5900 x279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have questions about mailings or working with DMD, contact Paul Minucci at email@example.com.
Tips for Working with Mail Houses
Make sure your RFP specifies:
- Live not-for-profit stamp on envelopes or non-profit (mail house) indicia on brochures, post cards or other self-mailers, for all mailings of 250 or more pieces.
- Address block text printed in 12 point type in the formatted provided (i.e., initial caps not all caps) and in font that matches the letter.
- UPC bar code printed beneath address block.
- Left /right margins of letter no less than 1″ and 12 point font (if absolutely necessary, you may reduce to 11 point type however this negatively impacts readability).
- If letter is more than one page long, be mindful of where the break is made in the text and print double-sided rather than using two sheets.
- “Z” fold when possible with address block facing the envelope flap- side.
- If match numbers are needed, place in discrete locations and as small as possible.
You will need to:
- If you are using data provided by Advancement Services, acquire an NCOA Screening report and provide to the mail house each time you submit a data file (otherwise you incur an additional charge for screening).
- You may wish to “seed” yourself and/or others in the data file so that you receive the mailing. This allows you to see the finished product and be aware of when it is actually arriving.
- Ask for samples of the entire package (i.e., letter, gift form, carrier envelope, etc.) with actual merged data before the final printing to make sure all formatting is correct.
- Pay postage before mailing can drop.
- Follow up with mail house to verify drop date. You may also want to ask for final samples for your files and make notes about ways to improve the next mailing.