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How To Do a Mailing, Part 2

Posted by Matt Postiff April 6, 2012 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Church 

We tried again--our third iteration. This time, we wanted to try a 8.5 x 11 size on glossy card stock, color printed on both sides. We had an idea for a design that a man in our church turned into a beautiful layout in a high resolution PDF file:

Easter Invitation

Our intended target was the Ann Arbor community. Instead of targeting families with children (our first mailing), or new movers (our second mailing), we elected to send to every residential address on certain routes. Our budget allowed us to mail almost 17,000 pieces to homes in two zip codes that are near the church building. We will have to do three more mailings to reach all of Ann Arbor. We hope to do that eventually.

The design is a basic invitation to our Resurrection Sunday services, but adds a twist--an invitation to a short series on the topic of the resurrection that we hope will be attractive for some people to come and hear our take on it from the Bible, to hear about objections to the resurrection and answers to those objections, and to be able to participate by asking questions.

The back of the card also includes a brief statement of "where we are coming from" in our approach to the question, which effectively presents the core gospel truths in a succinct format. By this means, we intend to put a basic gospel message (a 'tract' if you will) into every home. At least they will have that even if they do not elect to come to the church meetings.

We had a few extra prints that the mail service company sent to us. These we posted around town and handed out as individual invitations.

What was surprising to us was that even with the larger size (8.5x11 versus 9x6 inch), the printing and postage was cheaper than the last time by about 4 cents per piece. The total price for everything (other than our volunteered in-house graphics work) was 18.4 cents per piece. We did not have to purchase a mailing list for this mail because we used the Post Office's Every Door Direct Mail program which delivers mail to every residence on selected postal routes. We also did not have to pay the separate non-profit application and permit fee because we had previously been authorized as a non-profit mailer with the post office. The mailing service company is allowed to use their own permit with our non-profit status to get the non-profit rate of about 7 cents per piece (as opposed to around 14 cents otherwise). Postal people sometimes call this a "ghost" permit. I don't believe in ghosts, but I like what they did for us this time :-).

Now, how about results? Well, the invitation was for Easter services, so I cannot tell you yet. What I can tell you is that we have gotten several positive responses already, and we expect to be seeing at least a few new people on Sunday. We are thankful for that. I hope to report back later on what ends up happening.

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