Pre-Bar Coding |
Mail Preparation | Postal Verification |
Mail Distribution | PostalOne!
Preparing your direct mail pieces for distribution
is another important part of your project. You could sort and prepare the mail
yourself and deliver it to the post office but you must be aware of all the
regulations that must be followed to receive the discounts you are claiming.
Using a mailing service that specializes in the mail preparation and distribution
area will probably save you money in the long run. They will have the expertise
to prepare your mailing to obtain the best discount applicable. Saving a few
cents per piece can result in a substantial savings to you. Shown below are
some of the services that can be provided by a mail house that will result in
your receiving the best possible postal discounts.
Pre-bar coding is the process in which the POSTNET
Bar Code is printed on the mail package. Each package has a different
code. There are different ways of accomplishing the pre-bar coding. The bar
code can be created and added to the mailing list by importing the data from
the mailing list into CASS & USPS Certified software. The CASS (Coding Accuracy
Support System) software is certified by the USPS for verifying address accuracy.
This software will remove duplicate and undeliverable addresses.
After the software removes duplicates and undeliverable
address, it will then add the Zip+4 code to the mailing list and presort it
to get you the lowest postage rate available for your mailing. Then when the
labels are printed or the address is printed directly on the mail package, the
presorted bar code will be printed also. The address may be printed on the letter
when it is personalized and the bar code could be printed along with it. The
letter is then folded so that the address and bar code will show through the
The bar code can also be added after the mailing
has been addressed. The mail runs through an OCR (Optical Character Reader),
which is an optical scanner that scans the address and then prints the correct
POSTNET bar code on the mail package. The package then goes through a bar code
sorter that reads the bar code and automatically sorts them.
Presorted bar coding will result in postage savings
and improves the efficiency of the mail process which should result in quicker
delivery of your direct mail package. The delivery accuracy of your mail package
will also improve with the addition of the bar code.
POSTNET Bar Code
The POSNET bar code represents the actual address on the mail
package, including the Zip code and street address.
There are specific guidelines that must be followed when preparing
your mail to be delivered by the USPS. There are different guidelines for the
different mail classes, for different presort levels, for different types of
packages (letters, cards, flats, parcels, etc.), for pre-bar coding, for upgradeable
mail, and for automated mail. The guidelines deal with packaging, putting in
trays and sacks, markings on individual pieces, and supporting documentation
that must accompany your mailing. If you have a mailing house prepare your mail,
they should be knowledgeable in what the guidelines are for your particular
mailing. The guidelines can be found on the USPS Web site at www.usps.gov.
All mailings must go through a verification process to be
accepted by the USPS as mail. The mailing is verified for classification, preparation,
presort and rate eligibility. The verification can be performed at an USPS facility
or in a DMU located at the mailer's facility. The verification must be performed
by an USPS employee.
A DMU is a detached mail unit. It is an area located at the
mailer's facility where USPS employees perform postal duties, such as verification,
acceptance, postage payment and other postal processing functions. Having a
DMU in your mailers facility eliminates a step at the post office and allows
the mailer to deliver the mail directly to the destination delivery unit, bulk
mail center or sectional center facility sooner. A DMU allows your mailing to
get into the mailstream faster and offers you additional rate savings.
If your mailing does not go through verification and acceptance
in a DMU located at the mailer's facility, it will have to go to the local post
office serving your mailer's area. There the mailing will go through the USPS
Once the mail has been verified it is ready for distribution.
Arrangements can be made to have postal trailers pick up the mail or it can
be delivered by the mailer's trucks to the proper postal facility. The mail
could be delivered to the local post office that services the area where the
mailer is located, or it could be delivered to one of the destination postal
facilities to receive a destination entry discount. Standard Mail and Periodicals
are the only mailings that are eligible for these discounts. There are three
destination entry discounts available for Standard Mail. They are explained
DBMC (Destination Bulk Mail Center) Discount
The DBMC discount is obtained when the mailing is
properly prepared and delivered by the mailer to the BMC (Bulk Mail
Center) that is designated to service the delivery address (Zip code
range) on the mail. A bulk mail center is a highly mechanized postal
processing facility that distributes Standard Mail (Bulk Mail).
DSCF (Destination Sectional Center Facility)
The DSCF discount is obtained when the mailing is
properly prepared and delivered by the mailer to the SCF (Sectional
Center Facility) that is designated to service the delivery address
(Zip code range) on the mail. A sectional center facility is a postal
processing and distribution center that services the post offices
in a designated geographic area. The post offices serviced by each
center are determined by the first three numbers of the Zip codes
the post offices service. The SCF can service more than one 3-digit
Zip code ranges.
DDU (Destination Delivery Unit) Discount
The DDU discount is obtained when the mailing is
properly prepared and delivered by the mailer to the DDU (Destination
Delivery Unit) that is designated to service the delivery address
on the mail (carrier routes). The destination delivery unit is the
postal facility that is designated to deliver the mail to the address
on the mail piece.
To be eligible for the destination discounts, the mail has to be verified and
prepared according to USPS guidelines and have all the proper documentation
PostalOne! is a new electronic interface process
offered by the USPS to its major customers. A company must be certified by the
USPS to be a PostalOne! user. Mailers can have their mailings verified, process
postage statements and mail transportation can be coordinated through electronic
processes, eliminating the paper processes that are currently used. PostalOne!
will increase the mailers efficiency in mail preparation and provide better
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