When doing direct mail, it is vital to understand the different postal options and the transit times associated with each option. The USPS (United States Postal Service) has a way of making everything ultra-complicated and hard to understand. This article will simplify this topic down to the most important issues.
In most cases, there are two basic types of postage that you will be using in your direct mail. Those are first-class mail, and marketing mail (formerly called standard mail, and bulk mail).
There are many subcategories associated with these two main categories, but we do not need to discuss that when it comes to transit times. No matter what the subcategory, all first-class mail travels at the same speed, and all marketing mail travels at the same speed. It is critical to understand that those speeds are not the same.
As compared to first-class, in exchange for allowing them to take more time to deliver the mail. Delivery time is directly related to the distance from where the mail is dropped to its final destination. We are located in St. Louis Missouri, which is right in the middle of the USA. That puts us in the ideal position to distribute national mail relatively evenly. If you do business with us, the closer you are to St. Louis, the faster the mail gets to the end user.
Below is what you can expect in terms of delivery time from St. Louis.
It will take anywhere from one day to seven days to arrive from the day it actually hits the post office.
Roughly speaking, within about 300 miles of St. Louis, it will get there in 1 to 2 days.
300 to 1,000 miles will take roughly 2 to 3 days.
East and West Coast will take roughly 3-4 days.
Average mail time nationally from St. Louis is 3 to 10 days.
But realistically the range is from 7 to 14 days in most cases. It could take longer, but that is rare.
Never use marketing mail if time is of the essence, or a specific arrival date is required.
The only way to really know, is to do a couple of test mailings to a given location and track how long it takes. Once you have that data, you have a better feel for when something will arrive. But there are still no guarantees.