Direct Mail

Postcard and Bulk Mail Delivery Time

By 24 January 2022February 14th, 2022No Comments
delivery time for postcards and bulk mail

Delivery Time for Postcards and Bulk Mail Delivery Time

Direct mail marketing is a time-proven method that still remains one of the most effective marketing strategies employed by leading marketers around the world. Even among direct mail, postcards are usually held on a high pedestal because of their ability to form an emotional connection with the recipients. Although all direct mails have a similar effect on their recipients, it is particularly true for postcards because they have attractive images that grab attention. They are short and convenient. Furthermore, postcards can be personalized to each target to enhance the effect it has on the recipients.

delivery time for postcards and bulk mail

Many companies still send out postcards as part of their marketing efforts because they know, unlike an email or text message, the recipients will not leave them unread in their inbox. When it comes to direct mail, especially postcards, upon receiving it, the recipient is struck by curiosity, and you can be sure that they will at least glance through the mail they just received. This is the biggest reason why companies and businesses still employ direct mail as their major marketing strategies. Postcards can also be an effective tool for nurturing your relationship with existing customers.

You can send out postcards during special occasions such as your customer’s birthday or during holidays or festivities that your customer celebrates. Sending such postcards shows your customers that your company or business genuinely cares about them, and this contributes greatly to establishing trust in your brand. If you are a marketer that has dabbled with postcard direct mail marketing, then you would have noticed that it is, for the most part, time-sensitive. Sending out postcards as part of a direct mail campaign is typically time-sensitive because, as mentioned above, they may be related to some special occasion.

This article discusses postcard delivery time and how it can have an effect on businesses and companies that employ direct mail campaigns. In this article, we answer questions like “how long does snail mail take to be delivered?” and “what is the bulk mail delivery time?

We also discuss how your business/company can track your direct mail, including postcards. Additionally, we talk about bulk mail delivery time to give you a comprehensive idea of how direct mail campaigns can work for your unique business.

How Long Does it Take to Mail a Card?

Direct mail, also called snail mail, takes time to be processed and mailed to its destination, unlike its digital counterpart, email. Unlike digital communication channels like email or text message, direct mail, including postcards, are not so easily prepared unless you are using a smart, automated direct mail system like PostGrid. Using advanced, automated systems like PostGrid, you can speed up the process of creating and mailing personalized postcards to your target audience.

Mailing a postcard will inevitably cost you more time than an email, and there’s no way around it. However, what you CAN do is optimize your direct mail campaign for maximum efficiency to ensure that your postcard reaches its destination as soon as possible. Typically, a postcard you send out via USPS will reach its recipient in one to three business days, but that’s not necessarily true in every case. So long as you have a verified address and a full ZIP+4 code, your postcard is more than likely to reach its destination within one to three days. If not, it can take up to seven days to deliver your postcard.

You should also note that the timeframe for the delivery of your postcard mentioned above does not apply during and close to the holiday season, starting from mid-November and continuing till the first of January. Another scenario where the mail may take a slightly longer time to be delivered is if the address is an outlier. Although such cases are relatively rare, they do happen every now and then. You can make use of an advanced address verification tool like PostGrid to ensure that your postcards reach their destination without any unnecessary delay.

How Long Does a Card Take to Mail During The Holidays?

As we have mentioned above, a typical snail mail normally takes one to three business days to be delivered to its respective destination, but the same mail sent during the holiday rush is a completely different story altogether. There is a holiday rush during this period, and USPS is busy with all the holiday mails and postcards. If you want to send out postcards as part of a holiday offer you are giving to your customers/prospective customers, it is best that you take this timeframe into account.

Additionally, if you are still going ahead and placing your mail during holidays, it is safer to be prepared for an extended delivery time, just in case. This is particularly important because most companies give holiday offers to their customers to entice them into buying a new product or service from them. Holiday offers are also ideal for attracting new customers by pitching them with an enticing holiday offer. Timing can prove crucial at times like this. You can not pitch your direct mail campaign too early because then it may seem irrelevant, and being late may mean that you lose to your competition.

Why should you make it a point to be extra careful when it comes to sending time-sensitive postcards to your customers during the holiday season? During 2020, in the midst of the ranging pandemic, the delivery time slowed down to more than two weeks, and hence it is always better to be prepared for such unprecedented eventualities in the future. So, go ahead and schedule your direct mail campaign a little earlier than you usually do. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

How Long Does a Card Take to Mail Internationally?

International deliveries are always tricky because they’re not entirely under the control of USPS, and hence there is always a question of reliability. However, generally speaking, delays are pretty normal when it comes to international mail. The delivery of international postcards is dependent on the postal service provider of the recipient’s country. Therefore, the delivery time may vary based on how reliable that particular postal service provider is.

For example, suppose you are delivering the postcard to someone who lives in Switzerland, which happens to have one of the leading postal services in the world. In that case, you can safely assume that your mail will reach its destination without any delays. It is safer to calculate two weeks before your postcard is delivered to an international address, even without any delays. The maximum time that an international mail can take to reach its destination can vary astronomically, in the worst-case scenario.

How Long Does Standard/Bulk Mail Take to be delivered?

Standard or Bulk mails are different from snail mails, and it is more likely employed by businesses or companies that send out direct mails in bulk. Interestingly, the bulk mail delivery time is that USPS does not really have a fixed time frame for it. Although the USPS does process them as fast as they can, the trouble is that the delivery of bulk mail is prioritized only after the delivery of first-class mail. This means that regardless of the proximity of the addresses or how early you mailed the bulk post, it will still have second priority when it comes to mail delivery.

To answer the question of how long a card takes to mail in case of bulk or standard mail, it can take anywhere between 1 to 27 days. Yes, that means your bulk mail may take almost a month to reach your customers or prospective customers and sometimes even longer. That being said, typically, the standard or direct mail gets delivered within 3 to 15 days. But, when it comes to postcards that are time-sensitive, you need to consider every factor before deciding on when you will mail them so that you can avoid any unnecessary complications in your campaign.

Various factors determine the delivery time of your mail. Some of the major factors influencing the delivery time include the destination of the mail, the type of mailpiece, the time of the year, and the workload of the postal service provider. This means that similar to first-class mail, the bulk mail you send out during the holiday season can also get abruptly delayed due to the workload at USPS. You can get a broad idea of when the mail will get delivered by looking up its destination online or by referring to delivery time maps.

By the end of the day, it is best to use first-class mail if you are sending time-sensitive mail to your customers, which you can not afford to be late. This is usually necessary when you are sending out important documents like bills or invoices, which come with a deadline for the recipient. However, there is a catch when sending first-class mail instead of standard or bulk mail. The cost of sending mail via first-class mail is significantly higher than that of bulk mail. This difference in price can be even more significant when the sheer quantity of mail you send out is much higher.

Can I Track My Card?

We don’t have the capability to track individual first-class mail yet. When it comes to snail mail, this part of direct mail still remains pretty old school. But, on the other hand, advanced direct mail automation tools like PostGrid combine online and offline marketing methods that enable you to track the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign. There are various different methods you can use to measure the success of your direct mail.

Some of the most popular ways to track direct mail include QR codes, PURLs (Personalized URLs), 1800 numbers, and more. QR codes and PURLs are usually preferred for direct mail campaigns, especially for sending postcards, because they are most convenient for both the recipient and for you. They take up very little space, which is important for postcards because of their dimensional limits.


Several leading industries still employ direct mail campaigns to communicate with their customers and prospective customers. Postcard mail is the most popular choice when it comes to direct mail used by businesses and companies because of its ability to make an emotional appeal to its recipients.

Postcard delivery time is the biggest concern for businesses when employing direct mail. The delivery time of postcards may vary depending on their destination, type of mail, and workload at the postal service provider. Typically first-class mail is prioritized before bulk mails, and hence delivery time for the latter is much higher.

The peak period during the holidays sees the most workload for USPS, and therefore, the delivery time during this period is usually much higher than usual. The best thing you can do to ensure that the postcard gets delivered as soon as possible is to verify the addresses with an advanced address verification tool like PostGrid. Systems like PostGrid come equipped with an easy-to-use bulk address verification capability that allows you to instantly have your addresses verified and get the full ZIP+4 code. An accurate address with a full ZIP+4 code gets delivered without any unnecessary delays, and the bulk address verification is perfect for businesses in all verticals.

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