Direct Mail

Why should I consider a direct mail marketing campaign?

Direct Mail is one of the oldest and most effective means of reaching a specific demographic. In many instances, it is a less expensive means of reaching your customer and can be targeted with your message on your time schedule within your budget.

What is Personalization?

Personalization, also known as Variable Messaging or Customization, is a method of printing portions of the direct mail offer in such a way that it is unique to each recipient. By speaking directly to each recipient by name and addressing their specific needs, you can increase the response to your mailer. Make the most of direct mails ability to deliver a mass audience message in a way that feels personal and confidential.

What’s the difference between First Class and Standard mail delivery?

First Class mail is more expensive than standard, but usually has a faster delivery. A presorted first class letter weighing over 2 ounces requires additional postage. Standard mail, if prepared to meet automation specifications, can be mailed for about half the cost of first class. Standard letters can weigh up to 3 oz without increasing postage. While delivery is not as fast as first class, in most cases, depending on destination it is still efficient.

What are the size/dimension qualifications for a First Class Postcard Rate?

Postcards up to 4.25” x 6” with a thickness of .007 require $0.32 stamp with discounts for Presorted First Class available for quantities of 500 or more. There is no Postcard Rate for standard class. A standard mail piece that is larger than 4.25 x 6 is considered a letter.

What is CASS? What is NCOA?

The Coding Accuracy Support System examines each address in your mailing list for proper formatting to standardize spelling, abbreviations, addresses and adds +4 Zip to improve the accuracy of delivery. At Comstock Marketing Services all database(s) are CASS certified; and processed through delivery point verification. We NCOA update every mailing even though it is only required every 95 days. We are able to return undeliverable addresses for your review and/or correction.

What’s the difference between Presorted and Automated?

Presorting is defined as preparing your mailing so that it is sorted to the lowest level available for the type of mailing whether First Class, Standard or Non-Profit. In automating your mailing, a barcode is applied in the address area to assist in processing at the Post Office. Discounts off regular postage rates are applied to Presorted and Automated mailings. Comstock Marketing’s direct mail services uses the latest software technology to maximize any postage discounts for which your mailing may qualify.

Can I purchase a mailing list through Comstock Marketing Services?

Yes. We work with a number of list brokers/compilers and can assist you in researching and acquiring the list that is best suited to reach your target. It is important that you have a clear picture of your client. We can assist you in developing a strategy to identify your best prospects.

How do I know all of my direct mail was actually sent out?

The USPS has transitioned from paper forms to electronic documentation.  Mailing details are uploaded to the USPS before a job is delivered to the USPS. This electronic documentation contains details such as how a job is sorted, how many pieces, trays and pallets will be brought as well as who is the mail owner and who is the mailing agent.  When the mailing is delivered to the USPS it must have a scannable confirmation page that corresponds to the electronic documentation previously uploaded.  As a full service mailing agent Comstock Marketing Services has quality control procedures in place to ensure all of the physical mail matches the electronic documentation so there will be no acceptance issues at the Post Office.

How long does it take to get a direct mail project mailed out?

Depending on your volume, your mail could be processed and out in as little as two days. With printing and mailing our turnaround time is usually a 3 to 5 business days. More complex jobs could take a little longer.

What size direct mail jobs do you accept for processing?

We take jobs from 1,000 pieces all the way up to 250,000 pieces with no problems. Jobs that are larger than that should probably be broken up between several mailing companies.

Do you do manual direct mail work also?

Yes, we do all kinds of different manual work. Sometimes referred to as “kitting” or “assembly” work, these projects can’t be done by an automated machine.


Why do the printed colors look different from the colors on my screen?

Printers and monitors produce colors in different ways.

Monitors use RGB (red, green, blue), which usually supports a wider spectrum of colors. Printers use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black), which can reproduce most-but not all-of the colors in the RGB color model. Depending on the equipment used, CMYK generally matches 85-90% of the colors in the RGB model.

When a color is selected from the RGB model that is out of the range of the CMYK model, the application chooses what it thinks is the closest color that will match. Programs like Adobe Photoshop will allow you to choose which color will be replaced. Others may not.

What is the Pantone Matching System?

The Pantone Matching System (PMS) is a color reproduction standard in which colors all across the spectrum are each identified by a unique, independent number. The use of PMS allows us to precisely match colors and maintain color and brand consistency throughout the printing process.

What file format should I use when submitting my electronic document for printing?

PDF (Portable Document Format) is the most common and preferred file format for submitting digital documents. With the installation of a PDF print driver on your computer, virtually any program can generate a PDF file suitable for printing. Both commercial and free PDF print drivers are available online for download from different sources. However, we accept a number of file formats. Let us know what program you used to create the design file, and we will let you know if we can work with it.

At what resolution should I save my photos and graphics?

Resolution should be set to 300 dpi.

Pictures and graphics pulled from the internet are often low resolution, typically 72 dpi or 96 dpi. Avoid these graphics, as they will appear pixilated and blocky when printed.

Also note that you should save all photos in CMYK mode, not RGB mode when possible. Images saved in RGB mode may not print properly. If you are unable to save your image in CYMK mode, please let us know.

Data Services

What data file types can you work with?

The most common files are; .csv (comma separated variable), .txt (comma delimited), and .xls (excel).

How is the list compiled?

Business-to-Consumer Compilation Methodology:
Most recent government records, licensing boards, mail and internet buyer information, membership rosters, attendee registers, telephone directories, county courthouse records, magazine and newspapers, subscriptions, surveys, questionnaires, financial sources, census and voter registration records.

Business-to-Business Compilation Methodology:
Most recent government records, licensing boards, municipal directories, telephone and office machine hookups, internet connections and searches, membership rosters, attendee registers, website registrations, DBAs, Incorporations, yellow page and white page telephone directories, educational directories, industry and specialty directories, religious directories, county courthouse records, Secretary of State data, leading business magazines and newspapers, subscriptions, annual reports, 10Ks and other SEC filings.

How often are compiled lists updated and cleaned?

Compiled lists are updated monthly or quarterly through original source documentation, postal/subscription/credit changes of address, pander files, suppression files, and telemarketing efforts. The lists are also C.A.S.S., D.S.F., and P.A.V.E. certified to ensure maximum postal discounting and deliverability.

What is the accuracy and deliverability of compiled files?

Compiled data is as accurate as the original sources used to gather it. Current information on consumers, businesses, or executives is merely transposed from the most recent sources and is assumed accurate according to those sources. List compilers do not guarantee accuracy of the data or usage results from it. The industry standard for compiled list deliverability (actual pieces of mail that get delivered to the address sent) is ninety percent.

How quick is the order turnaround time in the list industry?

Average turnaround time to receive, process, fulfill, ship, and deliver a list order is one to five business days.

Can lists be sorted geography?

Lists can be sorted nationally, regionally, by state, county, province, metropolitan statistical area, local zip/postal code, and carrier route.

How often can the lists be used?

Lists can be rented for one time use or one-year unlimited use. Some lists automatically require they be purchased for one-year unlimited use.


Do you have any minimums?

Generally no. We can offer a flexible, affordable solution for you, whether you need to fulfill 1 or 1000 orders a month.

Do you have long-term contracts?

No. We offer pay-as-you-go fulfillment services, and you have the option to cancel your service at any time, for any reason, without penalty.

Do you have setup fees?

Many fulfillment houses will charge significant setup fees to prepare their warehouse for your merchandise, and/or to integrate their fulfillment with your needs. There are occasions where setup costs are appropriate.

How do you receive my orders?

There are three ways you can submit orders: Using our web-based order fulfillment software, phone, or email.

How are my products stored?

All items are stored in a climate-controlled warehouse, either in individual bins that measure 1 cubic foot, or on pallets in a designated area of our warehouse. Each of your products (SKUs) will have its own bin or designated area to allow for faster and more accurate order processing, and we will never co-mingle your inventory.

How do I calculate my storage requirements and fees?

Usually by the pallet, but sometimes (for smaller items) we calculate the fee based on cubic feet. Contact us to discuss your storage needs and we will be happy to give you a customized quote.

Do you have long-term storage fees?

No, you pay only for the actual storage space occupied at the end of each week, whether it’s 20 pallets, one half pallet, or one cubic foot.

Who do you use to ship products?

We use multiple shipping carriers to provide clients with the best delivery method for their orders. These carriers include USPS, FedEx and UPS. We also offer a variety of ship methods from each carrier, from overnight delivery, to “last mile” delivery to allow for more cost-effective shipping.

Do you offer tracking on my orders?

Yes. We provide order tracking to our clients and their end customers.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes. We ship to all countries serviced by UPS, FedEx, or USPS.

Do you have any restrictions on the type of products you will fulfill?

We are not currently equipped to handle various items, including:

  • Unpackaged food items
  • Frozen food items
  • Hazardous materials

Where is your fulfillment house located?

We are conveniently located right off the highway in Cromwell, CT, in the I-91 corridor, central to New York City, Boston, and Providence.