Help Mailing Postcards

I want to know if anyone can help me. I currently mail rural routes now using my bulk mail permit. The city routes the post office requires that I individually address postcards with barcode- does anyone know where I can buy a city route list for my zip codes. I know how to use microsoft office mail merge with a 5 digit zip barcode but does mail merge work when you have to use a nine digit barcode? :?

The Post Office does not require barcodes but does offer a greater discount if you do. From what I learned, barcodes change and what is available on Word gets outdated. You can buy software to do it but you will have to get it updated (more money).

You can buy your list at melissadata.com. You just need to purchase an “Occupant List”; nothing fancy. If you’re buying an entire zip code it will come out to about 1 cent per address. Buying each carrier route individually is much more expensive, so buy the whole zip at once if you’re going to use it.

The occupant list will come sorted in the order the carrier walks and that’s the order you need to deliver them in to get the best discount. You’re going to put ECRWSS on them above the address along with the route number. That stands for “Enhanced Carrier Route - Walk Sequence Saturation.” Sorting them in the order the carrier walks is a royal PITA if you’re printing them 4-up. You’re going to have some manual labor to sort them. It’s actually easy, for each route you’re just going to put them so all fo the ZIP+4’s are running in numerical order. I usually run a separate merge with sequential numbers and print it small somewhere on the card. It’s easier to follow “1” and then “2” and so on. All of the +4’s start to blend together after a while of sorting.

As for barcodes: ECRWSS mail to city routes does not require them according to the DMM. They’re never going to leave that building; the carriers will take your postcards and just drop them into their sorting boxes in order. That’s why they need to be in the correct order, it makes it much faster for them to do. Now your post office may, for some reason, tell you something different. It seems rare that they’re completely versed in the DMM. I would direct them to the appropriate sections of the DMM. If you’re going to do saturation, I think you’re better off with no barcode as it makes it look like junk mail. Here’s the links that spell out the requirements:

http://pe.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/manuals/qsg300/q340c.pdf - Look at page two for examples of how to address – no barcode present.
http://pe.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/manuals/DMM300/343.pdf - Describes Basic Eligibility for Saturation.
http://pe.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/manuals/DMM300/345.pdf - Describes Walk Sequence Sorting. Be sure to scroll down to 6.9.3 for some important info about having your list certified. Melissa Data’s lists will come with this.

Good Luck! It’s always fun trying to figure out the 2,000 pages of the DMM :shock:

Piper thanks for the info

Gah! Piper has found a cure for insomnia on the usps website.

That is why I take my stuff over to a local mailing house and pay $125 to have them to label, organize and drop. Unless you’re doing something like hand addressing each Million-Dollar Letter, fire-and-forget is King.

No dobut! I should have mentioned this in my previous post, but I now use a direct mail house for saturations to city routes. It costs me an extra 3 cents per piece. Considering I’d have to buy the list anyway, it only costs 2 cents extra. $200 on 10,000 mailers is money well spent to not have to do all that legwork.

I do the rural routes myself as those are very easy, but for those city routes fire-and-forget is the way to go.

Why buy a mailing list at for a saturation mailer? Just send them to “boxholder” you don’t need to pay 3 cents or 1 cent at all it you are trying to reach everyone.

Mailing them to “boxholder” or “Patron” or whatever is called Simplified Addressing. That only works for rural routes. If you’re doing saturation drops to city routes they need to be addressed. You don’t need a name, but you need the full address and they need to be sorted in Walk Sequence Order. That was the whole reason for gapizzaman’s original post.

I would guess, based on your area, that you only have rural routes. I only have one ZIP in my delivery area that are rural routes. The other four ZIPs are all city routes and require the addressing.

Edit, because there’s always an exception with the post office. Government agencies may use Simplified Addressing on city routes, but that is the only exception.