Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive. If you have questions that aren’t answered on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Working With Mail Shark
- What is your minimum print quantity?
Our minimum print quantity for most products is 500, however some of our products require a minimum print quantity of 5,000. For the most accurate information regarding the minimum print quantity, please refer to the product page for the item you are interested in.
We do not enforce a minimum mailing quantity. For example we could print 5,000 menus, mail 4,000, and send you the remaining 1,000 for use in your business.
- What industries do you service?
- There is no industry that we cannot service. Contact us for industry-specific direct mail marketing solutions.
- Do you require a contract?
- Yes, we require a contract for all printing and/or mailing projects. Our contract protects you and holds us accountable to fulfill our end of the job.
- How can I get started?
- The best way to get started is to call us at (610) 621-2994. Our first step is determining the product and/or mailing service you would like to use for your business. From there, we determine the quantity of pieces that you want to print and/or mail. Once we have a true understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish, we will have you complete our standard contract and payment form. Upon approval of the contract and payment form our team will reach out to you so we can get started on your artwork.
- Do you have someone that can come see me?
- Mail Shark does not have an outside sales force. We service all our customers from our Mohnton, PA location. We have customers in just about every state in the country and have developed a seamless process to ensure that all projects are completed in the timeliest manner possible with 100% customer satisfaction.
Design and Artwork
- Is the design included in the price?
- Yes, graphic design is included with all of our print projects and mailing programs.
- Do you have a template that I can choose for the design of my mail piece?
- We do not have a template based system where you can choose a pre-existing design. Our team of over 40 graphic designers create a custom design for you so your direct mail piece doesn’t end up looking like your competitors.
- How does the art process work?
- Once you approve your contract you will be assigned to an account specialist. They will collect your business information, logos, photos, content, etc. Once your first design proof is ready, we will contact you to review. If you are happy with the first proof, we go to print. If you wish to make changes, our design team will make your changes and provide you with a second proof. We continue with this review process until you are completely satisfied with the design. All of the art and design costs are included in the print and mailing pricing that we quote you, so regardless of how many revisions it takes, you will never see additional art expenses.
- Can I pay with credit card?
Print Only: A credit card is the only method of payment that we accept for print only projects.
Print & Mail: If you are printing and mailing with us, we only accept payments directly from our customers bank accounts via an ACH debit transaction each week of the mailing on a day of your choice. If you would like to pay with a check, bank wire transfer, etc. this is not a problem. Simply contact our sales team and we would be glad to discuss alternative payment options.
- How much is required up front?
Print Only: On print only jobs we require 50% of the entire contract amount upon the approval of your contract. We take the remaining 50% when you approve your artwork. Your pieces are printed and then shipped as soon as they are ready.
Print & Mail: There is no money required up front.
- When is my first payment due?
Print Only: For print only jobs we require 50% of the entire contract amount to be paid for on your credit card when you approve the contract. The remaining 50% is due when you approve your artwork.
Print & Mail: Your first payment is due once we pay the postage the week we mail out your pieces.
Mailing and Shipping
- What is the difference between EDDM® & Full-Service Direct Mail?
- Please see our EDDM® Comparison Chart for an in-depth explanation.
- What is bulk mail?
- The term is generally used to describe commercial saturation mail. The term “bulk mail” refers to specific minimum quantities of mail that are prepared as a specific class of mail at reduced postage. For instance, First-Class Mail requires a minimum of 500 pieces for each mailing. Standard mail requires 200 pieces or 50 pounds for each mailing. The term “bulk mail” is synonymous with business direct mail advertising.
- What is a carrier route?
- A postal carrier route is a group of addresses that receive the same USPS code to aid in efficient mail delivery. Essentially carrier routes are further breakdowns of zip codes. Within each zip code there are many carrier routes. Carrier routes are the routes that each postal carrier delivers to daily on their mail delivery route. Carrier routes, on average, have around 500 addresses in them. However, some have much less and some have more. Mailing by carrier route allows you to strategically choose the areas that you would like to target without having to mail to an entire zip code.
- What is a demographic mailing?
- A demographic mailing is a type of targeted mailing in which you identify specific demographic information and mail only to those who match that information. For example, we recently completed a mailer for a doctor who provides thermal imaging. He wanted to target women between the ages of 45 and 60 who had income levels of $50,000+. This would differ from a saturation mailer where everyone in a specific area is targeted.
- What does frequency vs reach mean?
- Reach is the number of people that you target with your direct mail piece and frequency is the number of times that you plan on targeting each person with your message. It is important to have a well-balanced program that has the right amount of frequency and reach. Mailing to the same people repeatedly is when you will see your response rates increase. Therefore, you should not begin reaching out to more customers until you have determined the right amount of frequency with your initial target audience. Contact us today or read our blog post, Reach vs. Frequency, for more information.
- What type of return can I expect from direct mail?
- There are too many variables involved to provide an exact response rate. If any other marketing or direct mail company tries to give you exact response rates without first understanding your business and your goals, they are doing you a disservice. To learn more about the potential return you can expect, please contact us today for a more in-depth explanation.
- How long does it take for the mailings to be delivered to mailboxes?
- It’s about 3½ to 4 weeks until your pieces are in mailboxes for the first drop. The exact in-home week is determined based on the date that you approve your artwork. Once your artwork is approved, we will then produce your pieces at the next available print window. At that point we can give you a more accurate in-home date estimate.
- Why does it take so long for mailings?
- It typically takes 3-5 days for our graphic artists to produce your design depending upon the scope of the project. Once your artwork is approved, your pieces go to print. From there, your pieces will be addressed, sorted for mailing, and then verified by our in-house USPS agent. After your pieces have been verified, it takes the post office about 7-10 days to deliver your mail to your target area.
- How long does it take to receive printed material?
We go to print every single week. If your order is submitted by Tuesday of any given week, we will try to have your pieces to you by the following Friday*.
*Allow 2-4 days extra for printed material that requires EDDM Paperwork.
*Allow 2-4 days extra for customers on the West Coast.
- For print jobs how will you ship me my pieces?
- The way we ship your pieces depends on the destination and total weight of the shipment. We have multiple carriers that we use to ship our material across the United States. Once we determine the exact quantity and weight of the project, we will run a quote across multiple providers to determine the most cost-effective way to ship your material to you.
- How can I be sure you are mailing my pieces accurately?
- Mail Shark employs a full-time official USPS agent that verifies all our mail before it is delivered to the post office. We would be happy to provide you with postal receipts upon request. In addition, if you are doing a saturation mailing program, you can log on to our web-based system and see exactly where your pieces are being mailed and the exact quantity that is being sent. Once the phone calls start coming in, you will definitely know where and when your pieces are being delivered!
If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be glad to help you find the answers you’re looking for.