While most direct mailers recognize the importance of getting multiple printing bids for a mailing, they may not put the same emphasis on getting bids from a variety of mail shops.  Yet it is possible to save just as much money by selecting the perfect mail shop for a job as it is by finding the best printer.

Mail shops tend to specialize on a particular industry and type of mailing.  To find the best mail shop for a specific job, pay attention to the following:

  • Mail shop size:  You want to match the size of the mailing to the size of the mail shop.  If you’re mailing 2 million pieces, you’ll likely get the lowest price and reasonable turn-around times from a mail shop that has invested in high-speed equipment because they specialize in large mailings. If you’re only mailing 1,000 pieces, however, a larger shop will likely charge an exorbitant amount due to their need to cover high set-up costs.
  • Level of automation:  It is also important to find a mail shop offering the appropriate amount of automation for your mailing.  If your mailing requires inserting a personalized letter into a matching envelope, using a mail shop with camera match capabilities will save the cost of paying someone to continually check that letters are being inserted correctly.  Additionally, the presence of high speed insertion equipment will likely reduce your costs on a larger mailing.
  • Ability to comply with low-cost postal strategies:  As the postal logistics world continues to evolve, mail shops need to be adaptable.  At a minimum, they need to keep up with the latest postal regulations to ensure your mailing is prepared correctly.  However, the mail shop also should be open to using any new strategies that your postal logistics firm recommends without charging extra for them.

We recommend getting bids from a minimum of three different mail shops who specialize in the type of mailing you are doing.   This should allow you to identify and take advantage of the mail shop who is anxious to fill a hole in their schedule by submitting a very competitive bid.

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