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Automated (Bulk) Mail Postage Rates Explained

It really amazes me how often I run across businesses that are doing their own mailings and sending them out at the full $0.44 first class letter rate, or even worse the full price flat rate of $0.61 or more for larger envelopes. They spend hours and hours stuffing, sealing, applying labels and applying stamps – which takes them away from their core business functions.

Save time and money by automating your mail!

You can receive significant discounts if mail is properly addessed, sorted and bar-coded, paperwork filled out (it’s like filling out a tax return), and then delivered to a Post Office BMC (Bulk Mail Center), for Central Florida, the BMC is in south Orlando (and we take it there for you!). Often, the biggest cost of a direct mail campaign can be the postage itself! Knowing the difference between rates can help you budget and choose the type of mailing you send. And then, if you use a company like ours, we have the equipment to speed up the whole preparation process, and often, the money you save on postage will pay for us doing all the hard work!

Direct mail falls into 3 classes; First Class Mail, Standard Mail, and Non-Profit Mail. The rates and differences between them are explained below, the range of prices reflect the discount levels based on how “clustered” or close together the mail pieces are to each other. If your mailing is all in one zip code, you will most likely see the lower range.

FIRST CLASS MAIL: The advantage of First-Class Mail over standard is that the post office has to process it quickly, and they have to attempt delivery if at all possible or return it to you. It is best used for time-sensitive, or must deliver mailings. If your mailing qualifies for automated rates you can save off of the $0.44 first class rate as follows:
Letters:  $0.34 to $0.38 per piece   (6.125″ x 11.5″ max)
Post Cards:  $0.21 to $0.23 per piece    (4″ x 6″)
Flats:   $0.38 to $0.73 per piece    (12″ x 15″ max, over-sized envelopes or postcards)
 

STANDARD MAIL: Standard rate mail can save you significant money! The trade off is that the post office will give priority to delivering 1st Class mail and standard can sit up to a week before processing (it usually doesn’t). So it is good for general marketing materials, but not time sensitive things like statements or invitations. The post office also does not have to attempt delivery, if a piece is mangled in equipment, it can be thrown away. Regardless, the savings are significant and most marketing direct mail goes Standard. The rates are as follows:
Letters:  $0.23 to $0.27 per piece   (6.125″ x 11.5″ max)
Post Cards:  Not available for Standard Rate Mail
Flats:   $0.35 to $0.50 per piece    (12″ x 15″ max, over-sized envelopes or postcards)

NON-PROFIT MAIL:If you qualify for non-profit rates, you can save a great deal! However, non-profit mailers must pre-qualify with the post office before a mailer can send a mailing at the non-profit rate for you. The rates are as follows:
Letters:  $0.13 to $0.17 per piece   (6.125″ x 11.5″ max)
Post Cards:  Not available for Non-Profit
Flats:   $0.21 to $0.36 per piece    (12″ x 15″ max, over-sized envelopes or postcards)

Generally your mailer will quote you for the processing and postage separately. It is common industry practice to get a check made out to the postmaster for the exact postage, unless the customer has their own automation rate permit. There are separate permits required for First-Class or Standard Rates.

Here at PIP we can help you with all of your mailing needs and answer your questions about how you can be more successful with accurately targeted direct mail!

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