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Printing Services

Centralized Mail


What is Bulk Mail?

Centralized Mail provides bulk mailing services for the University. The term “bulk mail” is used in reference to quantities of mail that are prepared for mailing at reduced postal rates. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offers discounted “bulk” rates because the sender does some of the work which would otherwise have to be done by the USPS; i.e., USPS approved sorting, taking the mailing to a designated facility, etc. By utilizing bulk mailing services, customers reduce their mail expense, and the USPS reduces its cost of operation.

In order to qualify for bulk mail, your job must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 200 pieces
  • The return address printed in the upper left corner of the material
  • University Permit #28 qualifed; i.e., the material must pertain to Virginia Tech, have a Virginia Tech return address, and have 200 pieces or more.
  • The bulk permit endorsement printed in the upper right corner of material
  • Envelopes sealed, or its flaps tucked in
  • Mailing sorted according to U.S. Postal Service rules
  • Meet bulk mail size and weight restrictions (see Weight and Size Restrictions below)
  • Accompanied by a correctly completed ISR

Submitting Your Job

An Interdepartmental Service Request (ISR) is needed to procure Centralized Mail services. The ISR should accompany the job and include the following information:

  • Department number
  • Account number
  • Number of pieces in mailing
  • Authorized signature

In addition, you will need to provide:

  • List of mail recipient addresses
  • Labels in zip code order (if you supply the labels)
  • Exact count of pieces to be mailed
  • Any special job requirements

If you have questions or need additional information, please call 540–231–6104 or

USPS Address Requirements

In order to process properly through the presort vendor's optical character readers and to receive full presort discounts, outgoing mail must be addressed according to the following rules:

  • Machine printed or typewritten (no script)
  • No punctuation marks; i.e., no periods or commas. Instead, use one or two spaces.
  • Uniformly aligned on the left margin
  • Preferably in black ink on a white background
  • Clear and sharp without touching or overlapping characters
  • Parallel to bottom edge of envelope (not slanted)

If the address on your mail is unreadable with the automated equipment, your mail must be worked by hand, which reduces the presort discount (increasing your costs) and slows the delivery process. Therefore, we strongly urge you and your staff to follow the rules above. We appreciate your help and assistance in meeting this requirement. If you have questions or need additional information, please call 540–231–6104 or email

Printing Addresses Directly on Your Material

Address files need to be in Excel or in a comma–delimited format; i.e., comma–separated values (CSV). They may be delivered on disk or via email to

For ink jet labeling, the opening of your material needs to be located on the top with the return address and postage already printed on it. Printing Services should be able to help with those requirements before printing. We can also print labels with an ink jet printer.


A tab is a round adhesive patch used to close folded mail pieces and is required for all ink jet mailing.

Mail pieces that require folding (e.g., certain newsletters and brochures, etc.) must be “tabbed” in order to meet U.S. Postal Service requirements for automated bulk mailing. If you want your job tabbed, you need to request this service on your ISR. Absolutely no staples may be used to close mail pieces.

Stuffing Envelopes

Centralized Mail can provide envelope stuffing service. Though we perform some hand stuffing in–house, larger jobs are typically sent off–campus, which may impact turnaround times. Please discuss any job–related concerns you have with Centralized Mail by phone at 540–231–6104 or by email

Campus Mail Labels

We can provide labels for the following groups:

  • Deans, Directors, and Department Heads
  • Faculty
  • Faculty and Staff

If you need special mailing lists (e.g., graduate students, classified staff only, students, etc.), you will need to provide labels, which need to be in numerical (mail code) order.

Mail List Quantities

Mail List Group Quantity
On–campus faculty and staff 5,800
Off–campus faculty and staff extension 640
On–campus faculty 2,700
Off–campus faculty extension 327
On–campus deans, directors, and department heads 400
Off–campus deans, directors, and department heads 180
Head secretaries 300
Bookkeepers 300

Weight and Size Restrictions

The weight of any single bulk mail piece cannot exceed one pound. Size restrictions for both flats and letters are as follows:

Flat Size
Minimum size 6.5” x 12”
Maximim size 12” x 25”
Minimum thickness 0.009”
Maximum thickness 1.5”

Letter Size
Minimum size 3.5 x 5”
Maximim size 6 1/8 x 11”
Maximum thickness .75”


Questions? Comments?

For questions or comments, please contact


Location and Contact Info

Keith Pattison
Printing Services (0243)
1425 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540–231–6701

General Information
Phone: 540–231–6701
Fax: 540–231–5220

Copier Management Program

Customer Service

Digital Production

Bulk Mail Center