Machine to process bulk mailing

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. By utilizing bulk mailing services, customers reduce their mail expense, and the United States Postal Service reduces its cost of operation.
In order to qualify for bulk mail, a job must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 200 pieces for presort standard, or 500 pieces for presort first class
  • The return address printed in the upper left corner of the material
  • University Permit #28 qualified
    • To be qualified, 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
    • Printing Services is not able to place the permit on materials after they are printed
  • Envelopes sealed, or its flaps tucked in
  • Mailing sorted and barcoded according to United States Postal Service rules
  • Meet bulk mail size and weight restrictions
  • Accompanied by a correctly completed Interdepartmental Service Request

Printing Services provides a three-day turnaround on most bulk mailing jobs. Customers should allow at least two weeks for delivery by the United States Postal Service.

Additional Bulk Mail Guidelines

An Interdepartmental Service Request is needed to procure centralized mail services. The Interdepartmental Service Request should accompany the job and include the following information:

  • Department number
  • Account number
  • Number of pieces in mailing
  • Size of the finished pieces
  • Authorized signature

The following must also be provided:

  • List of mail recipient addresses in a Microsoft Excel file
  • Exact count of pieces to be mailed
  • Any special job requirements

If the addresses on the mail is unreadable with the automated equipment, the mail will need to be processed by hand. This reduces the presort discount, increases the customer's costs, and slows the delivery process. In order to be properly processed and to receive full presort discounts, outgoing mail must be addressed according to the following rules:

  • Machine printed or typewritten (no script)
  • All capital letters
  • No punctuation marks
  • Instead of commas or periods, 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)

The following guidelines are not mandatory, but compliance will reduce mailing costs and expedite the delivery process.

Do Don't
Font style Use sans-serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica, etc.). Do not use serif fonts (Courier, Times New Roman, etc.).
Font size Use 10 to 12 point. Do not use any font smaller than 10 point.
Spacing Make sure lines or letters do not touch. Use proportional or evenly spaced lettering. Do not use font styles defined as bold, extended, or condensed.
Letter case and punctuation Use all capital letters with no punctuation: MR JOHN DOE
Do not use upper and lowercase or punctuation: Mr. John Doe
235 N. Sunset Ave.
Blacksburg, Va.
Address information Ensure the address is accurate and complete: ACME INSURANCE AGENCY
Do not omit any parts of an address: ACME INSURANCE
Return address information Place the return address in the top left third of the envelope covering no more than 1/3 of the height or 1/2 of the length of the envelope. Do not place the return address in any other area or exceed these boundaries.

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

Mail pieces that require folding, certain newsletters and brochures for example, must be tabbed in order to meet United States Postal Service requirements for automated bulk mailing.

A request to tab the job must be included on the Interdepartmental Service Request. Please note that staples may never be used to close mail pieces.

Centralized Mail can provide envelope stuffing service. Though some hand stuffing jobs are performed in-house, larger jobs are typically sent off-campus, which may impact turnaround times.

Labels for the following groups are available:

  • Deans, directors, and department heads
  • Faculty
  • Faculty and staff

Customers must provide labels for special mailing lists (graduate students, classified staff only, students, etc.), which need to be in numerical order by mail code.

Mail List Group
On-campus faculty and staff 6612
Off-campus faculty and staff extension 640
On-campus faculty 3625
Off-campus faculty extension 327
On-campus deans, directors, and department heads 598
Off-campus deans, directors, and department heads 40
Head administrative assistants 300
Fiscal technicians 300

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"
Maximum size 12" x 25"
Minimum thickness 0.009"
Maximum thickness 1.5"
Letter Size
Minimum size 3.5" x 5"
Maximum size 6.126" x 11.5"
Maximum thickness 0.75"