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List Wednesday - Getting the most out of your mailing list

The general rule in direct mail states that 60% of your campaign’s success relies on your mailing list. Because of this, Modern Postcard takes several steps to optimize your list for maximum deliverability, the deepest postage discounts and a prompt arrival in mailboxes.

We give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to your house mailing list, allowing you to submit a variety of list types and formats. Your list is then subject to quality control measures such as validation, which projects 90% (or more) of your addresses are deliverable according to USPS mailing standards. To reduce spending money on postage for “bad” addresses, records the USPS doesn’t recognize are removed.

If you choose, we can also run your list through NCOALink, which identifies anyone on your mailing list who has moved in the last four years. Using change of address information provided by the recipient, your mailer is sent along to their current address. Lastly, we check your list for drop shipping capability, yet another USPS service that saves you time and money!

What You Can Do
There are a couple of things you can do and should be aware of when it comes to your list. Knowing these few simple things will help keep you on schedule, reduce costs and optimize deliverability.


  1. List format is key. Yes, Modern Postcard will take almost anything but there are some types we cannot convert. For example, label format lists are difficult to adapt, thus making them a highly impractical option. More info

  2. If you choose NCOALink, there’s a USPS Process Acknowledgement Form that you must return as soon as possible – in fact, we cannot move forward without it! This form is valid for one year and can be used on as many mailings as you want throughout year. More info

  3. We allow a lot of room on the mail piece for addressing. The USPS suggests between 40 and 50 characters per line – we allow 50. Anything over that limit will be cut off by USPS processing. So, if you have a long business or association name in your mailing list, please abbreviate! More info

  4. While we offer Canadian and International mailing, these records do not mail through the USPS the same way as domestic mail and will obviously not be recognized as valid USPS addresses. To avoid having them flagged and removed as “bad” addresses, make sure your list has a country field and these records are labeled correctly with the full country name, no abbreviations. For even better results, submit these records in a separate list at no extra charge. More info

  5. Try to give as much detail ahead of time to your account representative. This includes deduping instructions, move update instructions, special trim/split/suppression instructions and more. If your list has multiple tabs, please give us instructions as to what to do with them!

All of these things will ensure a smooth transition of your mailing, from list submittal to inkjetting, to the mail stream and – mere days after your job was started – into the hands of your customers.

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Modern Postcard is very easy to work with and provides beautiful products.
Bethany Frasco
Development Associates