How to Commingle Mail
- Prepare your data first
- Send Samples
- Check dates
- Mail is picked up
- Mail is Combined
- Inducted into USPS
- Mail Tracking
- Analyze Results
Over the past 38 years, Midwest Direct has developed best practices for commingling mail to save our clients on time and postage. Commingling providers, like Midwest Direct, sort and deliver your mail to the destination post office(s) which saves the USPS a lot of work. In return, the post office charges a lower postage rate for your mail. Using our commingle services can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on your mail. Commingling can seem complicated but it doesn’t have to be.
1. Prepare your data first
Commingling involves several steps, but they’re easy and logical to adopt. It’s this simple; contact us and we’ll walk you through what we need from you. You begin by discussing your mailing specifications (mail class, quantity, and in-home dates -- if applicable) with us and send your samples. We’ll take it from there.
If you’re familiar with mailings and are ready to go, you can start by sending us your mailing file called a mail.dat or IMb file. If there is any other information, our commingle professionals have requested be sure to send that over as well. We take this information and turn it into data our machines can read such as IMb codes or addresses.
2. Send Samples
Before you send us your mail piece you should also consider how your mailpiece is designed, and if it is optimized for your audience, as well as our machines. At Midwest Direct, we think about every part of your mailpiece ahead of time, so that if there’s a problem running it through the sorting equipment, we can troubleshoot it together before it is time to send. The production team typically adjusts the feeder settings based on your mailpieces to process them as carefully and rapidly as possible. This includes running quality control on your data and testing your IMb.
3. Check dates
When we set an agreement with you to commingle your mail we take on the responsibility that all your mail will reach its destination in the timeframe agreed upon. We run a tight ship so we can meet your deadlines and the deadlines of the other mailers you pieces are mixed with. So, it’s helpful to contact us with questions or date adjustments, paying close attention to all drop dates and our pickup schedule -- so your mailings stay on time.
4. Mail is picked up
Once your mail and or machines are prepared, and we have come to an agreement on timing, it is time to get started with your physical mail pieces. We have print and lettershop teams in house, so you can work with Midwest Direct every step of the way, data, print, production, and mail. However, if you have your mailpieces ready to go and you just need to mail, this is the step where someone from our transportation team comes to your office to pick up your mail. We have a fleet of semi-trucks and vans that are ready to pick up your mail, no matter the volume.
5. Mail is Combined
Once your mail has made it to our facility it is moved directly into our sort room, or a staging area to be prepared. In our sort room, your mail is checked by a member of our quality control team. It then gets placed on the sorters based on client name and mail type and then sorted by zip code for the fastest delivery.
6. Inducted into USPS
Once your mail is sorted, it is once again checked by our quality control team before being inducted into the USPS mail stream. To ensure the best possible experience and efficiency for you, we regularly adopt recommended USPS programs such as Seamless Acceptance to gain speed into the USPS mail stream. We act as your advocate when needed with the USPS and monitor your USPS Scorecard to ensure you get the best possible postage rates.
7. Mail Tracking
Once your mail is sent off to the USPS, it is not lost in the mail stream. Using the USPS Improved Mail Visibility system, we can track individual pieces of mail, as well as entire trays, sacks, and palettes through the system. No matter what volume of mailings you send, you can track your mail or packages as it moves. This includes the ability to access service performance data so you’ll know what mailed, when, and where it was delivered.
8. Analyze Results
When your campaign is over it’s time to analyze how it went. We help you interpret the findings from your data so you have clear, easy to understand analysis and recommendations for actionable insights. We understand the success of your business depends on your ability to turn data into information for your marketing and sales teams. With our help, you’ll be able to read, interpret, and share data and recommendations. We provide the data back to you in whatever file format you need — anything ranging from an excel doc to a custom API pushing updated data to your server.
When you work with our mailing professionals we can help you with everything from mail piece design to lettershop services through mailing. We even help clients manage data, add digital services that integrate with your mailing, and generate lift across mail/digital channels, and track your response rates. Contact us today to get started with our mailing professionals who can get you and your mail where it needs to go.