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Marketing Mail Return Label
May 03, 2023

When Does Marketing Mail Require a Return Address?

Marketing mail pieces can be an effective way to reach customers and prospects. When sending out these mail pieces, there are specific rules and best practices that marketers need to follow. These rules ensure that their campaigns receive a positive open rate and response while remaining compliant with USPS regulations. 

One question that often arises when sending out direct mail marketing pieces is if you need to include a return address. There are certain instances when a return address is necessary on marketing mail. Keep reading to learn more.

Three Scenarios Requiring a Return Address

Darwill has found three scenarios where direct mail campaigns should have a return address.  These scenarios include precanceled stamps, ancillary service endorsements, and priority mail. 

  1. Precanceled Stamps. Precanceled stamps are specifically for Presorted and Automated First-Class Mail and all USPS Marketing Mail mailings. Darwill uses precanceled stamps in direct response marketing campaigns. It also adds a personal touch, evoking the sentiment that an individual sent it rather than a company. We have seen that a precanceled stamp increases the chance that the recipient will open the piece of mail.
  2. Ancillary Service Endorsements. An ancillary service endorsement is a special service offered by the USPS. It allows the marketer to get more information about undeliverable mail. For example, when there has been a change of address, the USPS can give the marketer the recipient's new forwarding address. To take advantage of this service, you must include a return address on the mail piece. This return address is important. It allows the USPS to return the mail piece to the sender if they cannot deliver it to the intended recipient. Including a return address for this type of mail can ensure that the correct person receives it. It also ensures that you can return any undeliverable items can to the sender.
  3. Priority Mail. Priority mail provides a fast and affordable way to deliver mail and packages to every address in the U.S. within 1-3 days. Including a return address for Priority Mail ensures that any mail that cannot be delivered is returned to the sender, This lets them update their mailing list and ensure a successful delivery in the future.

For more information on when you need a return address on marketing mail, please see USPS’ full list here.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Include a Return Address

There are a few reasons why including a return address on your marketing mail piece is a good idea. First, it helps you follow USPS regulations. It also allows USPS to return your mail piece when it is undeliverable or rejected. 

A return address can also help build trust with recipients. Your business can build credibility by using a local return address. When the recipient sees a return address on the envelope from their town or city, they are more likely to open the mail and look at what is inside. Using a local return address and remaining USPS compliant will lead to higher open rates. Personalizing your piece to the recipient’s location can go a long way. It can help establish a positive customer relationship and increase brand engagement.

You may also need a return address for campaigns that need a response from the recipient. Examples of this can include a mail-in rebate or a survey. Using one on a mail piece provides the contact with a method of communication with your business. Receiving a returned mail piece also gives you the chance to check the accuracy of your mailing list. Be sure to use this information and clean up the data before deploying your next campaign. Cleaning your mailing list and updating addresses allows you to make the most of your budget. You will find that you will not waste precious marketing dollars on bad addresses. 

Let Darwill Help You Run a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

When deciding if you need a return address on your marketing mail pieces, follow the advice above. If you need help with direct mail campaigns that follow USPS mailing rules and regulations, turn to the experts at Darwill. We are happy to run your direct mail campaign using our 70 years of industry expertise.

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