Bulk Mailing

Bulk Mailing Through Whitman College

This document provides step-by-step directions and background information on the college’s bulk mailing process. If you have questions or need further assistance contact:
Amber Dobbs, communications operations manager – dobbsar@whitman.edu or x5160.

Four Basic Steps to Discount-Rate Bulk Mailing

STEP 1          
Determine the quantity of your mailing. To bulk mail at the discount rate, the minimum quantity is 200 addresses that pass through certification.

STEP 2          
Contact Amber two weeks in advance to discuss the mailing. She then will request the permit and launch the process. At this time, please notify her whether or not the mailing includes a Business Reply Mail (BRM).

STEP 3          
Send your mailing list in an Excel spreadsheet to Amber for address verification via the USPS approved software one week prior to your desired mail date.

STEP 4          
If a vendor is doing the printing/mailing – Determine if you want Amber to work directly with the vendor, who needs to provide a PDF of the mailing panel so she can inspect it for compliance with USPS regulations (prior to printing). Determine who will provide the mail list and certification paperwork to the vendor.

If the Whitman Printing/Mailing Services staff is executing the project, Amber will inspect the mailing panel art as a matter of course.

Background and Process Information about USPS Bulk Mailings:

  • Support and Assistance
  • Business Reply Mail (BRM)
  • Non-Profit Rates
  • Mailing Through Outside Vendors
  • Verifying Mailing Lists
  • Support and Assistance

Support and Assistance
Help is always available through Whitman’s Mailing Services operation. Amber Dobbs has gained expertise in and keeps current with USPS regulations and processes. She plays a central role in managing the bulk mailing processes, and she should be your first point of contact when considering a bulk mailing.

Non-Profit Rates
As a non-profit organization, Whitman is eligible for discounted USPS rates. To receive these rates, mailings must fully comply with several USPS regulations, related to:

  • Business Reply Mail (BRM) artwork – this refers to the barcode assigned and provided by USPS. The same artwork can be used for annual mailings of the same piece.
  • Configuration of the piece – size, shape, weight and barcode location.
  • Status of permits and fees – must be current.
  • Verified address list – all addresses must be checked via USPS software; only those addresses that pass through the software can be mailed to at a discounted rate. For addresses that do not pass, first-class postage rates apply.
  • Certification paperwork – must be submitted with every discounted-rate mailing.

Failure to comply with all regulations means that the USPS can refuse the mailing and can withdraw the college’s discounted rate privileges.

Business Reply Mail
In order to qualify for a BRM postcard or envelope, paperwork must be submitted to the USPS two weeks prior to desired printing. Through this process, the USPS will provide the required artwork for the printing of the piece.  

If your mailing will include a new (not previously existing) BRM envelope or postcard, Amber will need to obtain the artwork and approval from the USPS.  Amber can provide this artwork directly to you to provide to the vendor, or she can provide it directly to the vendor for you. Amber will need to approve the final draft of the BRM piece, prior to printing, to ensure the piece is correct and compliant.  For this approval process, the vendor can email a PDF of the final draft to you or directly to Amber.

Mailing Through an Outside Vendor
An outside vendor can’t use the Whitman College permit, unless Whitman submits special paperwork to the specific post office that the vendor uses. Our permits are assigned to Whitman exclusively, and use requires an authorized signature from Whitman. The Mailing Services staff members have this authority.

To complete the process, you will need to provide Amber with:
– A budget number to charge the required $380 USPS processing fee.
– Post Office location that the vendor will be using.
– Vendor name and contact information.

Verifying Mailing Lists
Please send your mail list to Amber to certify the addresses through the USPS approved software.  She can provide the approved list along with the certification paperwork back to you to submit to the vendor, or can provide it directly to your vendor for you.  This step provides Whitman with the back-up paperwork needed in case of an error, to maintain our eligibility to mail at discounted rates.


November 2012