Making sure that your direct mailers reach your target addresses on the dates you want includes more than simply printing pieces and dropping them in a blue USPS box. Agents and organizations that utilize our direct mail services need to take into consideration not only design and print time but also time spent being verified and actually entering the mail stream. This process can be broken down into three important phases: processing time, drop date, and delivery date.
Processing Time covers the amount of time from approval to the time that your mail service request is delivered to the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU). After we have received any and all necessary materials, finalized mailing parameters, and final print approval a request is considered to be in it's processing phase. Most mail service request only require a processing time of two business days. Though processing time can vary based on order size and complexity of the mail piece. As well as the complexity of the mailing parameters. From there, we go to the drop date.
A request is not considered approved and ready for processing until the following requirements are met:
- Print piece approved
- Mailing parameters and any mailing list have been submitted and finalized
- Preliminary Counts, if requested, approved
- Cost Estimates, if requested, approved
Any requests approved, and ready for processing before 3 PM will be processed same day. Any requests approved, and ready for processing after 3 PM will be processed the next business day.
The Drop Date is the day we drop the completed pieces at the BMEU for verification and processing, and from there they enter the mail stream. Verification is a relatively quick process where USPS scans the order in, weighs the mail, and preps it for processing. Processing involves verification against the standards set in the Domestic Mail Manual. Once a piece enters the mail stream it’s on the way to its delivery date.
The Delivery Date is the day that individual mail pieces arrive at their designated mailbox. Hit Dates will vary based on mail class chosen and proximity to the mail's originating facility.