Marketing Help

Thinking about doing bulk mail of postcards. Not sure how it all works so I was hoping some of you could give me some insight…

(I tried searching archives and only got more confused)

Do I design, print, address post cards?

Do I need to buy the permit from USPS or is it cheaper to use a company?

Jrock you listed a company…How does it work with them? Do you give them the addresses?


How many do you plan on sending each week? How big is your area of influence? What is the total number of housholds in your area that you want to reach via direct mail? Do you plan on only doing postcards? Or at some point in the future do you envision mailing out some menus or letters?

Not all of this is important for your answer, but answering those questions will help us give you a more specific answer.

For instance, after doing a few different small mailers yourself to test offers, it might be a good idea to print up a shell, and then let a mail house do the work for you. It just depends on what you want to accomplish and on what scale.

I send out 30 day postcards every month. About 400 a month. My POS spits out the list and i print them on labels. Postage $96. I donot have a bulk rate permit. If i did, it really wouldn’t save me any money. Bulk Rate on my postcards runs .20 each. My savings would run me $16 A month equating to $200 a year. Not worth it when the permit is like $150 bucks.

Always wondered how to go about saturation mailings, I got a quote that Saturation of menus to my zip code will run me $2000.

go to and snoop around…very helpful…you can call & buy specific carrier routes…

I went through a local printer and used their bulk mail permit. My last one was about 3,000 and cost me $463. I have a write-up on how to that I prepared for our local Chamber of Commerce if you’d like to see it - just send me your email and forward a copy.

Check with your Chamber of Commerce. If you’re a member most chambers will offer their bulk rate permit for you to use. In the last two counties I’ve worked in, both chambers offered it.

Guest writes:

Thinking about doing bulk mail of postcards. Not sure how it all works so I was hoping some of you could give me some insight…

(I tried searching archives and only got more confused)

Do I design, print, address post cards?

Do I need to buy the permit from USPS or is it cheaper to use a company?

Jrock you listed a company…How does it work with them? Do you give them the addresses?


The company that does my postcard mailing is called Contemporary Communications, Inc.

Here are your steps:

  1. Call Contemporary Communications and ask to speak to Mike Watts or Shelby. Tell them you want to do a zip code saturation mailing at a rate of 2 carrier routes at a time. Also tell them you’re a member at PMQ and you’re kinda new at this but J_r0kk sent you their way. They’ll be more than helpful in helping you with a mailing strategy.

  2. Go to to download the address information (in excel format) for the zip code you want mailed. This is at a cost of about $10/1,000 addresses. You pay by credit card and they send it to you the following day.

  3. Send this file via e-mail to contemporary communications.

  4. Also give them an example of what you’d want your postcard to look like. You’re more than welcome to use the one’s I’ve got on file there.

  5. They’ll print 'em up and send 'em out as per your guidelines.

It would be cheaper to do this yourself. It depends on how much time you’ve got to stick the labels on the postcards you’ve printed. Personally, I just don’t have the time and I’ve selected Contemporary Communications because of their price and turn-key operation. All I do is send them the postcard layout, tell them how many to print, and then when to distribute. I pay the postage (check in the mail) each time a mailing goes out.



Do you have any examples on file you’d be willing to share? I’ve been going the postcard and doing it myself as I save a bit, and have the time. Results have been inconsisent, so I have been grappling with a 'works-don’t work" marketing. Anyway, I downloaded the data from melissadata–great prices and have been using two routes a week for my mailing–unfortunately postcard rates are going up May 15. I’ve tried doorhanging, but the local area have a “no solicitation” policy rigidly enforced, so postcards have been my best recourse. In closing, thanks for all your input here at PMQ.


Pizza Bob,

That name’s got a good ring to it: Pizzaaaaa Bobbbbb. I understand your problem with the “no solicitation” thing. I’d be happy to send you a file or two. Just PM me with your e-mail addy and I’ll shoot it out there to you. It’s in Publisher format so if you don’t have Microsoft Publisher let me know so I can send you a JPeg. -J_r0kk

You might want to look at different mailing companies, one comes into mind right of way an that is smartleads usa from florida


I am having a hard time getting re-registered here. Anyway, my e-mail is being blocked out by the site. Geez. Is it possible I can get your e-mail to send you my e-mail, and get the the files in JPeg format? I don’t have MS Publisher. LOL. I love PMQ but the admnin can be frustrating. Thanks again.



As far as your registration problems are concerned, here are a couple of contacts for you:

Tom Boyles (662) 234-5481 ext 122 or email

Hunter Thomas (662) 234-5481 ext. 130


Okay so I’m about to blow a gasket…I really am not an idiot but for some reason this whole direct marketing is not making sense to me.
Or perhaps I just don’t like the cost of it.

Here is what I have so far:
Yes our chamber will let us use their bulk mail permit.

I tried to get the addresses from melissa data but do not have excel…checked into getting it too expensive. Called Melissa and asked the guy how I could download without excel. He said in adobe. I said so I can print and reprint the labels off adobe? He said Huh??? No it is a one time use on the list. Argghhh…

There were 7000 addresses…I figure one mailing to be around 1400 is that correct? I guess I just didn’t think it would be that high.

Thanks for all the responses they at least gave me some direction, but I am still at a road block.

Jrock I tried to pm you as well and I can’t get signed in so I am sending you an email with my email. (I sent a email hunter.)

I am just hoping this is one of those time where I will get a light bulb moment and it will all make sense…as for now I am confused!

want more bad news? after may 15th the cost per postcard goes up
also you print the names and address on adobe and you will have them for further use
AND PLEASE PLEASE have your pizza person put them in your POS durring down time.
also have you considered doing in 4 stages

1750 the first week should pay for your printing and extra cost for melissa data and some of the postage(depending on the offer). may I also make a suggestion
send them a bounce back when they order (so you get 2 orders with one mailing) in other words when they redeam this coupon you pass on another so you can get them to establish a pattern with you
your next 1750 pays for all your postage for the project
the next 2 mailings of the mailings should be your profit
AND theres not the "shock to you and the employees when everything comes in at once

There are a few free office suites that have an excel clone…

Having a spread sheet program is an absolute must to be in business…In addition to using it for marketing you can use it for food costing, catering planning, payroll, etc. etc…

Hi j_rOkk,

Can you provide a few examples of the postcards you have used? Again, in JPEG format would be great. I used some of your ideas back in February when I was struggling with sales from a two-month closure due to illness. Sales really increased in March, but have been horrendous in April. I think my mailings were flat and ill-targeted, but I am learning. I was one of those idiots who thought a good product and location would bode me over even after the closure. However, the marketing has to be there, and consistent. If I knew then what I have learned since soaking up ideas from the PMQ would have save me headaches and cash. Oh well. BTW, been through Ft. Riley a few times, although I spent most of my time down south in too many small posts and bases to recount. I miss those days, especially as the old 60 hour weeks seem much more pleasant that what I am doing now. LOL. See you on the boards. This is amazing–got a new name and password mailed to me this morning, but now won’t let me sign in to give you my e-mail. FFS.

Best wishes,

Pizza Bob

Ive been doing the same had my record week in March and sales now slipped in the last 2 weeks, might be weather, or gas price cant answer y. Same here!!!

I use openoffice and am very happy with it. It will even let me save files in an excel or word format so that I can send it out to people. I have excel on a few other computers at the house, but my primary pc is openoffice. I’ve got openoffice, mozilla thunderbird, and firefox on this pc. All of which ROCK.

Okay so light bulb has been turned on…

Called Contemp Communications and talked with Shelby, certainly cleared up the questions I had. Thanks for your help everyone.

Hopefully I will be off and mailing soon.

Is there any free accounting software around? Something similar to ‘Quickbooks small business’ or ‘Microsoft money small business management’?
Punjabi guy.