March 16, 2020
Design Mailings for Automation Processing
If your mailing design is automation compatible you save postage. From mail entry to delivery, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has machines that will process letter-size mail with virtually no manual handling. Those mail pieces that meet the automation guidelines, coupled with automation database processing and mail preparation will qualify for the lowest available postage rates and speed up delivery.
Produce and mail letter-size pieces
The descriptions that the USPS uses to identify communication type mail are letter and flat size. A letter-size mail piece is a minimum 3 ½” length x 5” width and a maximum of 6 1/8” x 11 ½” and under ¼” in thickness. A flat size mail piece is any piece larger than any one of these maximum dimensions. Mailing letter-size pieces usually saves a minimum of $140 to $310 on every thousand pieces mailed!
Clean up your mailing list
Cleaning up your mailing list can save money:
- Delivery point validation/Address element correction – corrects and removes incomplete addresses
- Locatable address correction – converts rural route box addresses to street addresses
- National Deceased Files – removes deceased persons from your list
- Suppression Databases – removes prison addresses, do not mail lists, nursing homes, etc. from your list.
- Removing duplicate names from your mailing list saves postage. Generally, if the majority of names on your lists are individuals at home addresses – most merge/purge programs do a good job of eliminating duplicate records. If your lists are primarily businesses with contact names, although a bit more complex, most duplicates can be removed.
Did you know that 15-20% of the population moves annually? NCOA, National Change of Address, can update your lists with address changes going back as far as four years. Keeping your mailing lists current is a major part of saving postage.
Mail Self-Mailers or Postcards
Producing and mailing self-mailers, such as postcards, is less expensive to process and print than an envelope piece. When envelopes are included you not only add the cost of the envelopes and printing but also the production cost of having the printed pieces inserted into envelopes
Qualify for non-profit postage rates
USPS approved nonprofit organizations can save between 40-50% on postage compared to what profit organizations pay. To determine if an organization qualifies, refer to the US Postal Publication #417.
Presort Standard Mail is based on size, weight and distance the mail travels from its Postal Service entry point. After the mail has been entered into the Postal System it is transported closer to the actual delivery point. This procedure is called Drop Shipping, which will save on postage costs.
Mail with Presort Standard Rates
Presort Standard Mail vs. First-Class Mail: To qualify for Presort Standard Mail you must have over 200 pieces or 50lbs of mail (excluding bills and communication deemed personal in nature). Mailing Presort Standard Mail will save you a minimum of 50% postage as compared to First-Class. As your mailpiece weight goes up an even greater postage saving is achieved.
Plan before designing and printing
Before printing, always do your homework, pre-plan for mailings by checking USPS requirements. Look for the most economical way to mail. Understand what you are trying to accomplish.