Posts Tagged Standard Mail
Standard Mail Affected by USPS Load Leveling
Implementation of this plan means that Standard Mail, when accepted on Fridays and Saturdays, will change from the standard delivery expectation of 3 days to 4 days. In other words, it will take longer for Standard Mail to arrive at its destination.
The change will level the disproportionate amount of mail now delivered on Mondays to other days of the week. The benefits of this are improved return times, improved processing efficiency, reduced operating costs and a more consistent delivery of mail for customers.
This change does not affect current service standards for First-Class Mail or Periodicals.
Picture Permit Promotion
August 1 – September 30, 2013
Add value to your mailpiece in a creative way using the new Picture Permit Imprint Indicia. Incorporate a company logo, brand image or trademark to the area where a stamp, meter imprint of permit imprint would appear.
Boosting your brand recognition, logos, products and promotions could improve the overall effectiveness of your mailing.
Picture Permit mail is available for presorted First Class mail and Standard letters. Full Service Intelligent Mail barcode is a requirement.
There is an extra fee per piece – for First Class letters and cards the additional fee is $0.01, for Standard letters the fee is $0.02 per piece.
The USPS will begin a promotion of Picture Permit mail beginning August 1, 2013 and running through September 30, 2013. Registration for the promotion begins June 1.
This promotion will eliminate the per piece fees for both First Class and Standard letters and cards. There is a 4 step application process which must be approved by the USPS Program Office prior to promotion registration.
Picture Permit Requirements:
- Logos, brand images or trademarks
- Color images only
- Mailpiece must include Intelligent Mail barcode
- Application, design approval and sampling prior to mailing
- Boost mailpiece visibility, value and potential open rate
- Increase brand awareness
- Promote company products and services
How would you use Picture Permit Imprint Indicia to benefit your company? We would love to hear your ideas and successes!
Have You Stocked Up On Forever Stamps Yet?
Just a reminder that postage rates will increase this Sunday, January 27th. A summary of a few of the changes are detailed in the tables below – a more comprehensive listing can be found with the USPS at http://pe.usps.com/. Business mailing rates will be changing as well during this time. If you work with a business mail provider then they will be able to tell you your new rates and any applicable changes.
Forever stamps are a great way to help combat the rising cost of postage. The USPS has released a handful of new forever stamps in 2013 – a few of the new designs can be seen below. Plan ahead and don’t be caught off guard on Monday!
Have you considered Bulk Mail?
Bulk mail can be used for First Class Mail, Standard Mail and other classes of mail as well.
When you put a stamp on a piece of mail and drop it into your local mailbox, that is “single piece” mail and you are paying full price postage. If you meet minimum qualifications (or choose to utilize a presort mail vendor), you can take advantage of bulk mail rates and save money.
The deciding factor for choosing bulk mail is postage savings.
The USPS offers discounted postage rates for presorting the mail before it comes to them. You are doing a portion of the work for them (such as sorting by ZIP Code), so savings from the Postal Service are passed along to you, the mailer.
Bulk mail may not be the best choice for every mailer.
If you prepare only one or two mailings annually, then it may be best to outsource to a presort vendor. If you mail on a regular basis, but do not meet minimums or elect not to make the time investment in learning to sort and prepare your mail, and a capital investment in permits, mailing fees and possibly software or other equipment, outsourcing to a presort vendor is an ideal solution
Presort vendors are in the business of preparing mail according to USPS rules and regulations. Some vendors will take your mailing from start to finish – design, printing, presorting and USPS presentation.
Should you choose to prepare your own bulk mailing, here are the minimum number of mail pieces that must be met to qualify.
500 pieces for First Class Mail
200 pieces (or 50 pounds of mail) for Standard Mail
50 pieces for Parcel Select
300 pieces for Presorted or Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter
300 pieces for Library Mail
300 pieces for Media Mail
You can learn more about what it takes to prepare your mail and whether or not a presort vendor would be a good alternative for you here: http://pe.usps.com/businessmail101/getstarted/welcome.htm
What’s an Indicia?
If you’ve ever done any sort of bulk business mailing, you’ve probably been asked for or asked if you wanted an indicia. If you’re new to direct mail you’re probably wondering what the heck is an indicia? An indicia (also known as a permit imprint) is a small marking similar in size and shape of a stamp and includes such information as a permit number, post office drop location, and service type. The placement of an indicia on a mail piece must be similar to that of a stamp as well – located in the upper right corner and to the right of the address. The indicia is usually created during the graphic design phase of the outer envelope layout – and because it’s added before the envelope is created it saves time and money by not having an additional fee for metering or applying stamps.
There are many different variations of an indicia – with different verbiage and varying placement of required information. The most common types of indicia formats include first class mail, standard mail, and nonprofit standard mail. Examples of these can be seen below:
Other formats include Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, and Library Mail.
Using an indicia does require a permit number, which acts as an account number where postage funds are withdrawn from when the mailing goes to the post office. Funds to pay the total postage must be deposited prior to submitting a mailing. If you’re using a mail service provider, they should have a permit number that you can use. You can obtain your own permit by submitting Form 3615 and the application fee to the post office where your mailings will be submitted. It is important to note that once you obtain a permit number that you are only authorized to use your permit at the post office for which you applied through.
- Other higher minimum quantities may apply, depending on the price claimed.
- An occasional First-Class Mail mailing may contain fewer than 200 pieces if from a mailer whose total daily mailings are not much more than 200 pieces but who, to cooperate with the Post Office, presents a part of that mail early in the day.
- A mailing may contain fewer than 200 pieces if it is the completion of a large mailing extending over 2 or more consecutive days and the mailer includes an explanation on the accompanying postage statement.
- Single-piece price mailings submitted under the terms of an approved manifest mailing system agreement with a minimum volume reduction provision.
- Bound Printed Matter non-presorted, non-discounted mailings.
Each piece included in the mailing must bear the same indicia, stating that postage has been paid. An indicia most commonly will be printed directly on the mail piece but can also be printed on labels permanently affixed to the mail piece, on a mail piece wrapper, or envelope.
The USPS has begun testing a new concept for indicias – the Picture Permit Imprint Indicia. This indicia will allow mailers to include a picture within the indicia. This new concept provides immediate recognition of a logo, product, or promotion on the outside of the mail piece. The idea behind this innovation is that the image will double the piece’s visual impact to the recipient. While the new picture permit imprint indicia is not yet available to all mailers – a sample of a beta test from Chrysler Automotive Group can be seen here.
There are many different options for applying postage to your mail piece – an indicia being the most frequently used for large business mailings. Next time you’re designing an envelope for a mail campaign consider the benefits of using an indicia!