We all have tools that help make our jobs a little bit easier. Maybe its software or scheduling program, a binder with standing operating procedures, or a troubleshooting guide. Here are four handy tools every mailer should have in their toolbox:
- USPS Quick Service Guides (QSGs)
A list of the QSGs can be found on the Postal Pro website. The QSGs provide a high-level summary of mailing standards for a variety of Retail, Commercial and Basic Standards for all mailings services. QSGs are also available for Additional Services such as Business and Courtesy Reply Mail, Ancillary Service Endorsements, Certified Mail, Adult Signature Services, Registered Mail and Restricted Delivery along with other services.
The guides are categorized using a three-digit number starting with 100 for Retail Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels. The guides that start with 200 are for Commercial Letters, Cards, Flats, and Parcels. Have a question on Additional Services? Look for a guide that starts with 500, or 600 for Basic Standards for all Mailing Services.
- Local Mailing Requirements Clerks
Make sure you have these clerks on speed dial, as they have a great understanding of the Domestic Mail Manual and postal regulations. In Madison, Wisconsin we are lucky to have two very knowledgeable clerks who are happy to assist. You can locate the phone number and address of your District Business Mail clerk by visiting the District Business Mail Entry Locator on the Postal Pro Website.
- USPS Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA) Customer Service Help Desk
The MDA Help Desk is a centralized call center that connects customers directly with analysts who specialize in mailpiece design. They are knowledgeable in Reply Mail Evaluations, Enhanced Mailpiece Automation Compatibility, Intelligent Mail Suite of Barcodes and Tests, and are a good resource to review your mailpiece design for compatibility. They can be reached at MDA.usps.gov or by calling 855-593-6093.
- Postal Customer Council (PCC)
A PCC is a group of industry and postal representatives who work together to educate and promote cooperation to foster a close working relationship between the USPS and all businesses that use the mail to communicate and interact with their customers. The Greater Madison Area Postal Customer Council’s website is madisonpcc.com. Check it out as it contains helpful information and postal points of contact.
In addition, your printer can be a valued partner in designing, printing, and distribution of mail campaigns. Add their business card to your toolbox and reach out for advice when you need it.
P.S. We're hosting a free webinar later this month on "15 Proven Ways to Boost Your Direct Mail Response." You'll get to see market-tested campaigns -- straight from the mailbox -- that you can learn from to boost your direct mail efforts. Register here.