Frequently Asked Direct Mail Questions
General Direct Mail Questions
We offer a variety of sizes: 4.25x6, 4x6, 4x9, 5x7, 5.5x8.5, 6x9, 6x11 as well as an 8.5x11 foldover postcard. Please call our Sales team to find out what is the best size for your business.
YES! We can offer some custom sizes for mailing. We do not offer printing and mailing for envelope mailers, snap-paks, bindery, die-cuts or magnets. Please contact your Account Executive to receive a custom quote.
A self-mailer is a single sheet brochure style mailer that is folded, tabbed closed for mailing and addressed on the outer panel for mailing – allowing the recipient to see your marketing message upfront rather than needing to open an envelope.
We offer an 8.5x11 tri-fold, 10.5x17 tri-fold and a 11x17 Quarter-fold.
Typical response rates for a prospect list is 2-5% and for Client Lists, response rates are even higher at 8-10%.
Our postcards are printed on a sturdy 14pt cardstock – with a high-gloss UV coating on the non-address side and a semi-gloss on the address side. Our brochures are printed on a 100# gloss text paper with an aqueous coating.
YES! We will keep the design and list files for up to 2 years from your last mailing. So reordering is easy!
YES! Just give us a call at 866-443-1442 to request your sample pack.
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover – as well as payment via Wire Transfer.
No – we only require a 30% down payment to get your order started. The balance of your invoice is then due 5-6 business days prior to your mailings.
No – all campaigns are on an order-by-order basis.
The minimum print quantity is 500 pieces.
YES! With every mailing you do, you will receive a copy of the USPS postal receipt as proof of mailing. AND we will also let you know once your mailing is 90% or more delivered into mailboxes!
YES! We can print your postcard & brochure mailers with variable text (having a text field that is unique to each recipient) – giving your mailers that personalized touch.
YES! We can print your postcard & brochure mailers with variable image (having an image that is unique to each recipient) – giving your mailers that personalized touch.
We are available to assist you by phone, email and online chat Monday thru Friday, 7:30 am – 4:00 pm Arizona Time.
YES! We offer a custom designed mailer created specific for you and your needs by our Design Team.
YES! Your graphic designer can upload print-ready artwork thru our FTP portal. To ensure no delays, please refer to our design specifications located at: https://www.cactusmailing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Design-File-Requirements-2020.pdf
YES! We have an easy-to-use online proof system that allows you to approve your proof 24/7 as well as submit change requests to the Design Team if Cactus Mailing is handling your design.
CMYK: The CMYK color model, is used in color printing, and is also used to describe the printing process itself. CMYK refers to the four ink plates used in color printing: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. This is what we use.
RGB: The name comes from the initials of the three additive primary colors, red, green, and blue. The main purpose of the RGB color model is for displaying of images on electronic screens, such as televisions and computers. The RGB color mode doesn’t translate well to print, which uses the CMYK system, resulting in colors that change/shift when printed.
PMS: The Pantone Management System is a color matching system based on proprietary color codes. They can look very dull when printed and most printers do not use this anymore.
Rich black combines black with cyan, magenta and yellow to provide richness and depth to the color. Flat black which is made up of only black is much duller.
We accept high resolution (300dpi or greater) PDF or JPG files.
If there are graphics or color that you want to extend to the edge of the piece, they should extend past the finished edge by 1/8”. This is necessary to accommodate any variance from sheet to sheet during printing and finishing.
The safety zone is 1/8” inside the piece from the edge. We do not recommend any text or graphics to be closer than 1/8 to the edge to prevent them from being cut off during printing and finishing.
YES! We offer full color, 2-sided at no additional charge.
We print using CMYK colors in an offset environment where your project is gang run with other jobs. Gang run printing refers to the production process of combining multiple jobs to print on the same press sheet. Due this and other factors we cannot guarantee color.
Our FTP upload system has a limit of 30MB in each upload. If your combined files are more than that – please upload them separately. If you have a file larger that 30MB, please give us a call to assist you in uploading your files.
NO – we will add in the postal indicia – just include a blank area for it.
If there are no other discrepancies to your file we will gladly convert RGB to CMYK for you. We will always ask first though as there usually is a slight color shift when converting.
Data & Mailing List Questions
Our lists are updated every 30 days – ensuring you get the freshest data.
We mail anywhere within the US and its territories. We do not offer international mailings.
Contact your local US Postal Service to order and set up your BRM. They will give you a PDF of your BRM artwork to use on your mailer.
Sometimes the US Post Office is not able to deliver the mail piece. There could be a variety of reasons but mostly due to the recipient moving. While we run every list through NCOA processing (National Change of Address), some residences do not put through their change of address with the US Post Office.
The National Change of Address is a secure database kept by the USPS. Your list will be run through this database to update these addresses.
Coding Accuracy Support System. All mailing lists are run through this program through the post office to verify the accuracy and standardize addresses to get the best possible delivery results.
When we address your mailers, we include a postal barcode. This barcoding allows us to get a discounted postage rate for you as well as track your mailers through the Postal Stream getting updates when your mailers go out for delivery into mailboxes.
YES! We do not share your files, your order information or your contact information with anyone outside of fulfilling your order. We will even provide you with a confidentiality written agreement upon request.
We prefer Excel (XLS) files but can accept CSV, DBF or TXT files. We do not accept lists in PDF or Label format.
YES! Once your list has been processed, we will adjust your order to your final list count for both printing and postage.
Presort 1st class will get your message to your recipients faster than Standard Mail. All you need is 500 addresses to qualify. With the new card rates you can mail up to a 6 x 9 piece at postcard rates.
YES! All we need is your Non-Profit Authorization Number for your Non-Profit postal permit.
1st Class mail typically delivers in 3-9 days once accepted by the US Post Office Standard Marketing Mail typically delivers in 7-10 days once accepted by the US Post Office. Keep in mind, delivery times by the US Post Office are not guaranteed and can be affected by weather, staffing, holidays, etc…
YES! Just let your marketing rep know the physical address you want to use for shipping. We ship via UPS and FedEx which require a physical US address – sorry, no PO Boxes.
YES! Once your order has been picked up by UPS or FedEx, your marketing rep will email you the tracking number.
Turnaround Time Questions
Your production time begins AFTER you approve your design proof and your mailing list has been processed. For example, if you approve your proof on Monday before 3PM AZ time, Tuesday will be Day 1 of your production time.
YES! We offer expedited services that can get your mailers out within 3 business days once you approve your proof and finalize your mailing list. Expedite services can also cut your design time in half!
Once you approve your design proof, typical turnaround time is 3-4 business days for print production and 2-3 days for shipping.
Smart Marketing Questions
Smart Marketing is the combination of direct mail postcards with online display ads through Google to increase response rates and branding for your business. The same people who receive your postcard will also see your online ads – click on them to be routed to your website. Smart Marketing builds branding and name recognition within your target mailing area, increases web traffic and most importantly increases the response rates of your mailers up to 50% more!
YES! If you do not have a website, we can create a Landing Page to direct your online Display ads to.
NO – our graphic design team will create the online display ads. Google requires several sizes to optimize the viewing of the ads within your targeted area.
Upgrading your postcard mailing to a Smart Marketing campaign costs only a few cents per card and it typically pays for itself in higher response rates and ROI.
EDDM (EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL) Questions
YES! We offer services for both Retail EDDM and BMEU EDDM.
With a Retail EDDM, we can design the mailer and ship it to you. You would then go to the USPS EDDM website to select your postal routes and print your paperwork, bundle the postcards as instructed and deliver them to the local post office responsible for delivery. OR let us do all the work with a BMEU EDDM. We handle everything for you – including delivery to the local Post Office!
The EDDM program has strict requirements – from having to send out an over-sized mail piece to requiring to mail to an entire postal route. Our neighborhood mailing offers more flexibility in your mailing campaign. You can choose to mail to only single-family homes, no apartment units (with EDDM, you must mail to all). You can also create a custom mailing area with the neighborhood mailing – avoiding having to mail to exact carrier routes. PLUS our neighborhood mailing also gives you the lower postage rate!
We offer several size cards that conform with the US Post Office specifications. 6.5x8, 6.5x12 and 8.5x11. Our EDDM cards are full color, 2-sided and printed on a sturdy 14pt card stock.