Saturation mail is a type of mailing that reaches most addresses within a given geographic area. The USPS post offices offers a discount up to $.09 off the Basic Standard Mail rate for properly prepared saturation mail.
With this discount, direct mail becomes an even more attractive way for marketers to reach local communities. For under a quarter each, businesses can mail their promotional offers to counties, Zip Codes, neighborhoods, or even a single carrier route.
For the maximum discount, the Post Office requires that your mailing follow the 90/75 Rule. This means you must be reaching at least 90% of the residential addresses in each Carrier Route you’re targeting, or at least 75% of the combined residential and business addresses available.
Also, your mailing must be sorted in the same order that the postal carrier walks the route — the “Walk Sequence.”
The requirements to mail at the Basic Standard Mail rate also apply. These requirements include: 1) a Standard Bulk Mail permit, 2) mailing piece needs to qualify as a letter, card or flat, 3) addresses need to be accurate and follow the Move Update Standard and 4) the mailing needs to be at least 200 pieces.
Most list brokers offer special mailing lists they call ‘Occupant’, ‘Resident’ or ‘Saturation’ lists that provide all addresses, in Walk Sequence, for any postal carrier route. And typically, the cost to rent these lists is nominal: a couple cents per address. Lists are available addressed either to “Current Resident” or with the head of household named (ie. “Mary Smith”).
Now, if you’re trying to reach a certain demographic audience, for example, retirees or pet owners, you might be better off looking at special consumer or business lists, and mail at the regular Standard Mail rate.
But if you’re making a general announcement — like a Grand Opening — or if your service has a wide appeal — like an Urgent Care provider or a pizza shop — then a saturation mailing could be the best way to help attract new traffic.
For marketers who need to reach a localized audience, saturation mail should be in your marketing toolbox.