Volume 1, Issue V Fall 2012

Alert: Top Mailing Mistakes

Whether you are a mailing novice or veteran, the numerous mailing classifications, pricing options, and preparation requirements frequently contribute to the production of erroneous mailings. In order to better serve and educate our customers, our certified Mailpiece Design Professionals (MDP) here at ODMS have compiled a list of the most common mail piece issues they encounter. Awareness of these common mishaps can prevent future issues such as delayed mailing processing and delivery, or paying thousands of dollars in additional postage. Our experts offer three pitfalls to avoid:

Size Matters

We all know that the maximum dimensions for a letter is 6 1/8 inches x 11 ½ inches, right? So, why do designers come up with designs that are 6 ¼ inches high? Why do people design mail that is postcard size (4 ½ inches by 6 inches) and want to send it via Standard Mail? Remember to cut 1/8 inch off the height if you are sending a booklet as a letter. In any of these cases, you must realize that size does matter, or you are in for a big surprise…EXTRA POSTAGE.

Location, Location, Location…of the Barcode

Mailers who have been burned before by having a barcode less than 5/8 inch from the bottom of the mail piece now place their barcode on the top of the address block. Don’t forget that your barcode must be fully contained within 4 inches from the bottom of the mail piece. IMB’s are longer than the POSTNET barcodes you have been creating for years. This is causing many mail pieces to fail the regulation of keeping the barcode greater than ½ inch from the right edge of the piece. We also see mailers use a new, larger window design. Unfortunately, some of the larger windows on new envelopes dip below the 5/8 inch requirement from the bottom of the mail piece. Even when the mailer maintains proper barcode clearance in the window (1/25 inch), the barcode still falls within 5/8inch from the bottom causing… EXTRA POSTAGE.


As you retune into the world of IMB, it is best to invest in some type of IMB reader solution–even if it is as simple as a smart phone app. An error in an IMB is not as easy to visually spot as it was with a POSTNET barcode. Issues such as missing delivery points or incorrect Service Type ID’s can cause a mailing to fail, and you won’t even know until your friendly postal clerk issues the Merlin penalty, costing you…EXTRA POSTAGE.

Feel free to give us a call at (888) 954-MAIL if you have any questions. Our Sales Staff members are prepared to guide any of your inquiries involving how to best prepare your mail in order to avoid…you guessed it…EXTRA POSTAGE.

New ODMS Service: Mail Tracking System

On September 17th, 2012 On-Demand Mail Services launched its mail tracking service entitled, Trail-The-Mail (TTM). Trail-The-Mail uses the combination of Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) and USPS Confirm services to show you the progress of your mail through the USPS delivery system. You as a mailer can use your own Mailer ID to apply a Full Service IMB as long as you already subscribe to Confirm.

The cost of TTM varies by mail volume. If you are unable to comply with any of the requirements for IMB Full Service yet, you could also use the ODMS Mailer ID. We would supply you with the correct Service Type ID (STID), and a range of unique serial numbers for your use. You must be able to apply the unique serial number to each piece, or have a clear zone for ODMS to apply a Full Service IMB for TTM to work. To learn more about Trail-The-Mail please call us at 888-954-6245.

Political Mail Season May Affect Your Mailings

With Election Day quickly approaching, it is important to be aware of how election mail affects the mail stream and the delivery of your mailings. The USPS is expecting a heavy influx of mail volume during this fall election season due to not only interest groups and political action committees pushing to get their messages across, but the logistics of voting materials including mail-in ballots, voter registration cards, absentee applications, ballot materials, and polling location notifications as well. The Post Office handles political mailings differently than normal mailings. Although political mail is classified as standard mail, it is processed with preferential treatment ahead of other standard mail. Often, it is handled like first class mail, arriving in homes the next day, or with two or three business days depending on mail volumes. With this preferential treatment, the delivery of your regular standard mail will likely be delayed by at least a day or two. To prevent or decrease the potential of delayed delivery, mailers can be proactive by having their mail ready for processing earlier than they would during non-election periods.


Employee Profile: Mike Curran 

Mike Curran, Account Manager, joined the ODMS sales team in September 2012. He is responsible for new customer acquisition and retention in our Indianapolis market.  Mike is happy to answer customer questions regarding issues such as postage rates, mail piece classifications, as well as mail piece standards and qualifications. He possesses eight years of experiences in mailing industry and has worked with customers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Mike resides in Beech Grove, Indiana with his wife, Natalie, and three children. Aside from the mailing industry, Mike enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending Indy sporting events, golfing, as well as coaching softball. If you would like to contact Mike, you may do so by calling (888) 954-6245 or emailing him directly at mikecurran@odmailservices.com

On October 24, 2012, posted in: Newsletters by
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