If you’re familiar with direct mail and mailshots, then you will probably have heard of the term bulk mail. However, do you really know what it means? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about bulk mail so you can be more informed and decide if it’s something your organisation could benefit from.
What is Bulk Mail?
In the realm of direct mail and postal services, the term "bulk mail" is defined as the large-scale mailing of identical or nearly identical mailpieces, usually of a commercial nature. Mailers are prepared in large volumes and then mailed at a reduced cost. This method of mailing offers businesses and organisations a cost-effective way to reach a wide audience while streamlining the postage process as they are sending high volumes of mailers in one go, compared to individually sending each item.
What’s the Difference Between Bulk Mail & Direct Mail?
Direct mail offers a highly targeted marketing method of reaching a particular audience with personalised mailers. Volumes tend to be much lower than those in bulk mail and it allows organisations to send a targeted and relevant message to their audience to spark engagement, an actionable response and improve the customer relationship.
On the other hand, bulk mail is a marketing strategy that aims to target the masses. This involves sending a large volume of identical mailers to a broader, less targeted audience. The aim of bulk mail is to get an organisation’s message in front of as many people as possible and therefore can be a cost-effective way of widely distributing information. Many organisations may do this on a national or county level.
What Types of Mailers Can be Sent as Bulk Mail?
A variety of mailer types can be sent as bulk mail, as long as they meet the requirements of your chosen postage or delivery provider. You can send the following mailer types as bulk mail:
- Dimensional Mailers
What are the Key Characteristics of Bulk Mail
When it comes to bulk mail, it holds key characteristics and criteria that need to be met.
Bulk mailings typically involve a substantial volume of identical pieces, such as brochures, catalogues, promotional flyers or letters. The minimum quantity required to qualify for bulk mail rates varies by postal service, but it is generally higher than standard postage rates. For example, Royal Mail states bulk mail must have a minimum of 250-1000 units.
To qualify for bulk mail rates, the pieces in a mailing must be similar in size, weight, and content. This uniformity allows postal services to process and deliver bulk mail more efficiently.
Bulk mail must be presorted by the mailer before it reaches the postal facility, to help with efficiency. Presorting helps optimise the postal service's handling and delivery processes, due to the high volume, resulting in lower postage costs for the mailer. When you work with a mailing house that specialises in bulk mail, they will be able to assist in making sure your mail meets the required criteria.
Benefits of Bulk Mail
One of the main advantages of bulk mail is the reduced postage cost. Bulk mail rates are often significantly lower than standard rates, making it an attractive option for businesses looking to save on mailing expenses when sending out large volumes. If carrying out a direct mail campaign, bulk mail can help reduce costs and keep them within budget whilst targeting a mass audience.
Bulk mail allows businesses to reach a large audience with a consistent message. This is particularly beneficial for marketing campaigns, promotions, and informational mailings on a national or county level.
Many postal services offer discounts and incentives for businesses that utilise bulk mail services. These discounts can further contribute to overall cost savings for the mailer. At Direct Mail Services, we receive great postage rates for bulk mail that we directly pass on to our customers.
Cons of Bulk Mail
Lower Response Rate
Although cost-effective, bulk mail tends to receive lower response rates than more targeted direct mail. As the same mailers are sent to each recipient, there is no aspect of personalisation which can lessen recipient engagement. Bulk mail therefore tends to be discarded and thrown away without much thought, compared to personalised direct mail which can be 35% more likely to drive a purchase than unaddressed mail. Royal Mail also found that personalised direct mail tends to be read and re-read 4.5 times on average.
Less Targeted Approach
Due to sending to a large volume of recipients, bulk mail doesn’t allow for a targeted approach when it comes to reaching potential consumers. Mailers are likely to reach recipients who may not relate to your messaging or for whom it is not relevant, therefore driving lower response rates.
Who Can Use Bulk Mail Services?
Any business, organisation or individual who meets the requirements of their chosen postal service can use bulk mail services. Whether it be for marketing activity, charity or political promotion, bulk mail can help optimise mailing strategies and provide great advantages both logistically and financially, whilst reaching a large audience.
What are the Bulk Mail Postage Rates?
When sending bulk mail, the biggest savings come from postage costs. With most postal services, you will save on postage rates for volumes over 500 units, making the cost per mailer incredibly low compared to smaller direct mail send outs.
Working with a reputable mailing house that offers bulk mail services can reduce bulk postage rates further for organisations, and even be more cost-effective overall if they hand over the entire fulfilment process to them, such as printing, enclosing and postage, rather than franking their own mail in-house.
Bulk Mail Services at DMS
At DMS, we offer an unbeatable bulk postage rate service that creates more cost-effective direct mail campaigns and improves ROI for our customers. We are experts in bulk mail across various industries and are experienced in delivering successful bulk mail campaigns both nationally and internationally. Find out more here, or contact us to get a free quote.