A Guide to Mailing forBusinesses and Organizations                               July 2004
Welcome to theUnited States Postal Service
INTRODUCTION               2 What Is Business Mail?                           4 Methods for MailingR E TA I L M A I L I N ...
A Guide to Mailing for                        Businesses and OrganizationsWelcome to the United States Postal Service.This...
What Is Business Mail?               Business mail includes all the ways mail is used to accomplish               the goal...
POSTCARDS      Often the least expensive way to               send advertising, invitations, and               business re...
Methods for Mailing               Depending on your needs and resources, there are three different               approache...
TA S K S R E Q U I R E D F O R E A C H M E T H O D O F M A I L I N G                                                      ...
Headline                                           Subhead                                            7   Retail Mailing S...
Retail Mailing ServicesRetail mailing services provide a fast and easy way to mail. When youuse First-Class Mail postage o...
Retail Mailing Services                                           Retail mailing services let you prepare and send        ...
P L A N N I N G A R E TA I L M A I L I N GTo send a successful mailing, carefully consider the following steps.          1...
Choosing a Mailing Service                                           The six retail mailing services can accommodate      ...
Express MailThis money-back guaranteed overnight to two-day service includestracking, proof of delivery, and insurance up ...
Adding Extra Services                                           Extra services can provide additional protection          ...
E X TR A S E RV ICE S AVA I L A BLE FOR E ACH M A I LI NG S E RV ICE                       PROOF                      PROT...
Choosing a Postage Payment Method                                           You can choose from several forms of postage t...
$0.00                                                                   MONTH DAY YEAR                                    ...
Understanding Your Mailpiece Shape                                           The Postal Service classifies the shape of you...
Flats         DIMENSIONS                                            Parcels       DIMENSIONS                              ...
Preparing Your Mail                                           Careful preparation of your mailpiece helps to ensure       ...
ENVELOPES AND BOXESDelivery AddressPlace the delivery addressparallel to the longest side ofyour mailpiece.City, State, an...
Example                                           Retail mailing services can meet your business                          ...
SCENARIO 1                          SCENARIO 2                           SCENARIO 3He needs a 3-pound rare book        He ...
Retail Postage Rates                                           For complete domestic and international rates, visit       ...
PA R C E L P O S T                   MEDIA MAIL                                     Sending MailRates are based on weight ...
25   Discount Mailing Services                            28   Choosing a Mailing Service                            34   ...
Discount Mailing ServicesDiscount mail, or “bulk mail,” is your best option if you mail in volume.In order to claim these ...
Discount Mailing Services                            Understanding the effort involved with a discount mailing can        ...
PLANNING A DISCOUNT MAILINGSeveral steps are involved in the discount mailing process. A successful discount mailingrequir...
Choosing a Mailing Service                            The shape of your mail can help you determine which mailing         ...
Content                         Qualifiers                      Speed                Postage   First-ClassThe following it...
First-Class Mail                                 Flats      DIMENSIONS                                                    ...
Content                           Qualifiers                          Speed                Postage   First-ClassThe follow...
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  1. 1. A Guide to Mailing forBusinesses and Organizations July 2004
  2. 2. Welcome to theUnited States Postal Service
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION 2 What Is Business Mail? 4 Methods for MailingR E TA I L M A I L I N G 7 Retail Mailing ServicesSERVICES 10 Choosing a Mailing Service 12 Adding Extra Services 14 Choosing a Postage Payment Method 16 Understanding Your Mailpiece Shape 18 Preparing Your Mail 20 Example 22 Retail Postage RatesDISCOUNT MAILING 25 Discount Mailing ServicesSERVICES 28 Choosing a Mailing Service 34 Choosing a Postage Payment Method 36 Preparation Overview 44 Sorting Overview 48 Mail Entry Overview 52 Example 56 Discount Postage Rates 58 Where to Go From HereONLINE MAILING 61 Online Mailing ServicesSERVICES 64 NetPost Mailing Online Service 66 NetPost CardStore Service 68 NetPost Premium Postcard Service 69 Online Shipping LabelsADDITIONAL 72 Mailing for Nonprofit OrganizationsI N F O R M AT I O N 74 Getting Help From Mail Service Providers 76 Encouraging Customers to Reply 78 Reviewing Content EligibilityREFERENCE 81 Glossary 88 Index
  4. 4. A Guide to Mailing for Businesses and OrganizationsWelcome to the United States Postal Service.This guide explains the domestic products and servicesavailable for businesses and organizations. 1
  5. 5. What Is Business Mail? Business mail includes all the ways mail is used to accomplish the goals of your business or organization. Bills, invoices, catalogs, coupons, solicitations, newsletters, magazines, merchandise, and advertisements in any quantity are just some of the items businesses and organizations mail every day. What Can Business Mail What Are the Benefits of Help You Do? Business Mail? Whether you are starting a new Targeted organization or maintaining an You can choose which established company, mail is demographics will receive your an important tool for reaching mailing, so you can be certain that your customers, members, or your message will arrive at the employees. Business mail can home or business of someone who help you: is likely to be interested in it. Acquire Flexible Attract new customers and With mail, you can send a millionINTRODUCTION expand membership. postcards, a single parcel, or anything in between. You can take Retain and Grow advantage of a variety of valuable Strengthen relationships with and cost-effective mailing services customers and members. Sustain to fit your needs and your budget. long-term relationships. Expand the scope of activities through new Measurable products and services. Since you direct your mailings, you know when your message or Fulfill product will be received and can Fulfill orders and complete measure your return on investment. transactions. Strengthen confidence in your organization Universal through ongoing communication. The Postal Service can reach every business and household in the country six days a week. You benefit from the established relationship between the Postal Service and your customers. 2
  6. 6. POSTCARDS Often the least expensive way to send advertising, invitations, and business reply mail.LETTERS Large postcards, envelopes, and folded pieces, such as announcements, bills, and newsletters. You can find moreF L AT S Large or thick envelopes and flat, information about rectangular mailpieces, such as preparing an magazines, newspapers, catalogs, advertising mail circulars, or important documents campaign, obtaining that should not be folded. an address list, and customer success stories at www.usps.com/ directmail.PA R C E L S Items that are not flats, letters, or As a nonprofit postcards, such as thick envelopes, organization, your thick or rigid books, small and large goals may be different boxes, and poster tubes. from those of for-profit businesses, but your mailing benefits and processes are the same. Unlike for-profit businesses, however, you may qualify for special rates. For more information, see page 74. 3
  7. 7. Methods for Mailing Depending on your needs and resources, there are three different approaches to using mail for your business. R E TA I L M A I L I N G DISCOUNT MAILING ONLINE MAILING SERVICES SERVICES SERVICES Page 7 Page 25 Page 61 With retail mailing services, you With discount or “bulk” mailing From desktop to doorstep, online can easily send any quantity of mail services, you can receive significant mailing services let you use your at full postage rates without any postage discounts for larger computer to upload or create special preparation. Address, mailings by preparing and sorting postcards, letters, and newsletters. add postage, and send—it’s fast your mail according to Postal Your mailpieces are printed, and easy. Service guidelines and depositing prepared, and delivered directly to it at designated locations. Discount your customers.INTRODUCTION • Easy mail preparation mailing services involve some • Convenient drop-off options • No permit or mailing fees extra work, but they can help you • Expedited services available • Discounted postage rates save money. available • Reduced postage costs • Mail anytime from your desk • Many options available • Promote your business and create a professional image 4
  8. 8. TA S K S R E Q U I R E D F O R E A C H M E T H O D O F M A I L I N G Retail Discount Online Services Services Services Who are you trying to reach? Establish an address list What are you mailing? Design your mailpiece (size, shape, weight, and content) How will you plan and complete your mailing? Meet minimum volume requirements Choose a mailing service Choose a postage payment method Construct your mailpiece Sort your mail Pay an annual mailing fee Fill out a postage statement Deposit your mail 5
  9. 9. Headline Subhead 7 Retail Mailing Services 10 Choosing a Mailing Service 12 Adding Extra Services 14 Choosing a Postage Payment Method 16 Understanding Your Mailpiece ShapeR E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S 18 Preparing Your Mail 20 Example 22 Retail Postage Rates Tips come here if they are present. 6
  10. 10. Retail Mailing ServicesRetail mailing services provide a fast and easy way to mail. When youuse First-Class Mail postage on a letter or a bill, you are taking advantageof retail rates. You can send any number of mailpieces using retailservices. Even when you have a large quantity of mail, using a retail mailingservice may be your best option for ease and convenience.A D V A N TA G E S COST• Mail any quantity. The postage depends on the• Deposit your mail at any post service you select and the office, collection box, or characteristics of your mailpiece. your business mailbox. Your Some services are based on letter carrier can also collect weight; others are based on your mail. weight and distance; and others• It’s the same kind of service are based on weight, distance, you use for your personal content, and shape. mailing needs.• You do not have to apply for a permit or pay an annual mailing fee to take advantage of retail rates. 7
  11. 11. Retail Mailing Services Retail mailing services let you prepare and send mail quickly and easily.R E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S 8
  12. 12. P L A N N I N G A R E TA I L M A I L I N GTo send a successful mailing, carefully consider the following steps. 1 CHOOSING A MAILING SERVICE The six retail services can accommodate any mailing situation. 2 ADDING EXTRA SERVICES Extra services can provide additional protection and delivery information. 3 C H O O S I N G A P O S TA G E PAY M E N T M E T H O D Postage for retail services can be paid in four ways. 4 P R E PA R I N G A N D A D D R E S S I N G YO U R M A I L Careful preparation of your mailpiece, including a complete address, helps to ensure accurate and timely delivery. 5 D E P O S ITI N G YOU R M A I L You can deposit most stamped or metered mail in any blue collection box, at your office mailbox, or give it to your letter carrier. For security reasons, Priority Mail paid with postage stamps and weighing 16 ounces or more must be deposited at a post office retail counter or handed to your letter carrier. 9
  13. 13. Choosing a Mailing Service The six retail mailing services can accommodate any mailing situation. SHAPE CONTENT SPEED COST SERVICE Any mailable 1–2 days $$$ Express Mail item* money-back based on guarantee weight 70 lbs or less Any mailable 2–3 days $$ Priority Mail item* (average) based on weight and distance if 70 lbs or less over 1 lb Any mailable 1–3 days $$ First-ClassR E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S item* based on Mail weight 13 oz or less Merchandise 2–9 days** $ Parcel Post and gifts based on weight, distance, and shape 70 lbs or less Permanently 2–9 days** $ Bound Printed bound printed based on Matter material weight, distance, and shape 15 lbs or less Media 2–9 days** $ Media Mail based on weight 70 lbs or less * Certain hazardous ** Except Alaska and materials are excluded. Hawaii. See page 80 for more detailed content restrictions for each service. 10
  14. 14. Express MailThis money-back guaranteed overnight to two-day service includestracking, proof of delivery, and insurance up to $100. Delivery to mostdestinations is available 365 days a year with no extra charge forSaturday, Sunday, and holiday delivery. Express Mail envelopes andboxes are available at many post offices.Priority MailThis service is typically used to send documents, gifts, andmerchandise. Priority Mail envelopes and boxes are available at many Express Mail andpost offices. Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes let you sendFirst-Class Mail your item for one lowThis service (or Express Mail or Priority Mail) is required for personal rate, regardless ofcorrespondence, handwritten or typewritten letters, and bills or weight. The distinctivestatements of account. It also may be used for any mailable item, packaging has impact.including advertisements and lightweight merchandise.Parcel PostItems such as gifts and merchandise can be sent using Parcel Post.Bound Printed Matter You can mail letters,Contents are limited to permanently bound sheets of directory, flats, and parcels fromadvertising, or editorial matter, such as catalogs or phone books. the United States toBound Printed Matter is less expensive than Parcel Post. other countries. AsMedia Mail with domestic mail,Contents are limited to books, manuscripts, sound recordings, recorded you can choose thevideotapes, and computer-readable media (not blank). Formerly called best service based on“Book Rate,” Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible speed, cost, and extra services. To learnbooks may contain incidental announcements of books. Media Mail is more about options forless expensive than Parcel Post. international mail and to calculate postage, visit www.usps.com/ global or call 1·800·ASK·USPS. Your post office can also help you send mail internationally. 11
  15. 15. Adding Extra Services Extra services can provide additional protection and delivery information. Certificate of Mailing Registered Mail Provides evidence of mailing. Provides maximum security. Return Receipt Discounts are available Includes proof of mailing at time of Provides a postcard with the date for four or more pieces. mailing and the date and time of of delivery and recipient signature. $0.90 delivery or attempted delivery. It is Must be combined with another the most secure service the Postal extra service. Return Receipt for Certified Mail Service offers. It incorporates a Merchandise service also is Provides proof of mailing at time system of receipts to monitor the available. of mailing and the date and time movement of the mail from the of delivery or attempted delivery. Restricted Delivery point of acceptance to delivery. $2.30 Confirms that only a specified Insurance can be added up to person (or authorized agent) will Return Receipt can be added to $25,000. Fee based on value of receive a piece of mail. This service confirm delivery. item. Starts at $7.50 costs $3.50 and is available only $1.75 extra at time of mailing. Return Receipt can be added to if you also purchase Certified Mail, $3.25 when requested confirm delivery. Insured Mail (more than $50),R E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S after mailing. $1.75 extra at time of mailing. Registered Mail, or COD. Insured Mail $3.25 when requested Special Handling Provides coverage against loss after mailing. Provides preferential handling for or damage up to $5,000. Delivery Confirmation fragile or perishable items. It must Fee based on value of item. Provides the date and time of be used when mailing items such Starts at $1.30 delivery or attempted delivery. as honeybees and day-old poultry Proof of mailing is provided for $0.45-$0.55 sent as Parcel Post. insured items. Return Receipt can Free when you print Priority Mail $5.95-$8.25 be added to confirm delivery. labels from www.usps.com. Collect on Delivery (COD) $1.75 extra at time of mailing. Signature Confirmation Allows the Postal Service to collect $3.25 when requested Provides the date and time of the postage and price of an item after mailing. delivery or attempted delivery from the recipient and give it to the and the name of the person mailer. The Postal Service maintains who signed for the item. You the delivery record. The goods can request a hard copy of must be ordered by the addressee. the signature. $1.80 Fee starts at $4.50 $1.30 when you print Priority Mail labels from www.usps.com. Delivery information is available: Most indemnity claims Many of these extra You can use an by hard copy for insured, COD, services are available endorsement, such registered, or Express for international mail. as “Return Service at www.usps.com Mail can be filed at any Requested,” to have a by calling 1·800·222·1811 post office. For more mailpiece returned if it information, go to your cannot be delivered. local post office or visit See page 41 for more www.usps.com. information. 12
  16. 16. E X TR A S E RV ICE S AVA I L A BLE FOR E ACH M A I LI NG S E RV ICE PROOF PROTECTION C O N F I R M AT I O N of deposit in transit of deliveryExpress Mail Receipt provided at time Insured Mail Date and time of delivery of mailing provided, and signature ($100 coverage already of recipient available included, more can be upon request added)Priority Mail Certificate of Mailing Insured Mail Certified Mail Registered Mail Delivery Confirmation Signature Confirmation Registered MailFirst-Class Mail Certificate of Mailing Insured Mail Certified Mail Registered Mail Delivery Confirmation* Signature Confirmation* Registered MailParcel Post Certificate of Mailing Insured Mail Delivery Confirmation*Media Mail Signature Confirmation*Bound Printed Matter * for parcels only Most extra services Forms and labels for provide proof of extra services are deposit. available in your post office lobby or from your rural letter carrier. 13
  17. 17. Choosing a Postage Payment Method You can choose from several forms of postage that make it easy to mail right from your office. .00 37USA S TA M P S M E T E R E D P O S TA G E Stamps are available in various You can use a meter to affix exact denominations and designs. There postage to your mailpieces. The is no need to obtain a permit or pay meter stamp shows the amount fees, no matter how many stamped of postage paid. Using a postage pieces you send. meter is fast, efficient, and secure and enhances the professional look For security reasons, Where Can I Get Stamps? Priority Mail paid withR E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S of your mailpieces. • Post offices postage stamps and How Do I Get a Postage Meter? weighing 16 ounces • ATMs You lease a meter from an or more must be • Select grocery and retail stores authorized provider. To find out deposited at a post • Select banks more about postage meters, office retail counter • By phone at 1·800·STAMP·24 including authorized meter or handed to your • By mail with Form 3227 letter carrier. providers, visit www.usps.com/ • Online at http://shop.usps.com postagesolutions. To use a postage To find a location near you, visit meter, you must obtain a license. www.usps.com/locator. How Do I Apply for a Meter You can use any What Are My Payment Options? License? of these postage Your post office accepts cash, You file an application (Form payment methods for checks, major credit cards, and 3601) for a meter license through international mail. debit cards. If you pay by check, your meter provider. There is no you must show a photo ID. You application fee. can pay for your online and phone How Do I Pay for Postage? stamp orders with a major credit All postage meters are remotely card. You can pay for your stamp reset by your meter provider— orders by mail with a check or you do not need to go to the post money order. office. Your meter provider will give you information about the payment options currently authorized by the Postal Service. 14
  18. 18. $0.00 MONTH DAY YEAR US POSTAGE FIRST-CLASS MAIL FIRST-CLASS MAIL CITY STATE ZIP CODE U.S. POSTAGE PAID NEW YORK NY PERMIT NO. 1 10161981RW0012BPERMIT IMPRINT P C P O S TA G E T E C H N O L O G YThis postage payment method You can use PC Postageinvolves the use of a printed or technology to purchase and printhand-stamped permit imprint. You postage from your computer at anymust have a mailing of at least 200 time. PC Postage is easy to usepieces or 50 pounds to be eligible for all mailing needs, from lettersfor this method. Mailings must be to labels for packages. It enablesprepared in specified containers you to print the exact postageand deposited at the postal facility needed and to keep track of mailingwhere your mail will be verified. All expenses.pieces in your mailing must weigh How Do I Get It?the same amount unless authorized PC Postage software and servicesby the Postal Service. are leased from authorizedHow Do I Apply? providers. To find out moreYou must file an application and to see a list of authorized(Form 3615) for a permit and pay a providers, visit www.usps.com/one-time application fee at the post postagesolutions. To useoffice where your mailings will be PC Postage technology you For Priority Maildeposited and where your postage must obtain a license. and Express Mail,will be paid. use Click-N-Ship How Do I Apply for a License? to pay for postageYou pay the application fee at each PC Postage providers prompt you and print labels atpostal facility where you deposit through the application process www.usps.com/your mail. You must use your (Form 3601) online. There is no clicknship. Usingpermit imprint at least once application fee. Click-N-Ship addsevery 24 months or you will have Delivery Confirmation How Do I Pay for Postage? to Priority Mail at noto apply again and pay a new Pay for postage through your additional charge.application fee. PC Postage provider. See page 71 forHow Do I Pay for Postage? more information.Postage is paid from an accountyou set up at the post office whereyou will enter your mail. 15
  19. 19. Understanding Your Mailpiece Shape The Postal Service classifies the shape of your mailpiece by its dimensions. Postcards DIMENSIONS Letters DIMENSIONS 6-1/8" max. 4-1/4" max. 3-1/2" min. 3-1/2" min. Height HeightR E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S 6" 5" Length 11-1/2" 5" Length max. min. max. min. maximum thickness 0.016 inch maximum thickness 1/4 inch minimum maximum minimum maximum length 5 inches 6 inches length 5 inches 11-1/2 inches height 3-1/2 inches 4-1/4 inches height 3-1/2 inches 6-1/8 inches thickness 0.007 inch 0.016 inch thickness 0.007 inch 1/4 inch Diagrams not to scale. For letters and postcards, length is the dimension parallel to the address. 16
  20. 20. Flats DIMENSIONS Parcels DIMENSIONS 12" max. 6-1/8" min. Girth Height Length 15" 11-1/2" Length max. min. length the longest side of the parcel girth measurement around the thickest maximum thicknessinch maximum thickness 3/4 part of the parcel minimum* maximum length 11-1/2 inches 15 inches length + girth length + girth cannot exceed 108 inches height 6-1/8 inches 12 inches (Parcel Post cannot exceed 130 inches) thickness 1/4 inch 3/4 inch * Flats exceed at least one of these dimensions.Unusual Shapes and SizesSometimes a mailpiece requires Parcel Post: First-Class Mail Envelopesadditional postage because it is • Parcels larger than 34 inches (1 ounce or less):a certain shape or size that is long, 17 inches wide, or • Square or flat-size envelopesdifficult to process on mail sorting 17 inches high • Envelopes on which themachines. To make sure you’re • Parcels less than 6 inches long, address is written parallel topaying the correct postage, visit or 1/4 inch thick, or 3 inches high the shorter edgewww.usps.com (click on “Calculate • Parcels weighing more thanPostage”) or call 1·800·ASK·USPS. 35 pounds • Parcels weighing less thanThe following are examples of mail 6 ouncesthat will require extra postage, • Books or printed materialknown as a “nonmachinable weighing more than 25 poundssurcharge”: • Tubes and rolls 17
  21. 21. Preparing Your Mail Careful preparation of your mailpiece helps to ensure accurate and safe delivery. ENVELOPES AND BOXES ADDRESSING Letters, Greeting Cards, and Address Quality Military Mail Other Documents Quality addressing is the key to Military addresses must show the These can be sent in standard achieving accurate and speedy full name with middle name or initial white, manila, or recycled delivery. and PSC number, unit number, or paper envelopes. Items needing ship name. Replace the city name Placement extra protection can be sent with “APO” or “FPO,” and the stateR E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S Print the delivery and return in bubble-lined, padded paper, with “AA,” “AE,” or “AP,” and use addresses on the same side of or waterproof envelopes. the ZIP Code designated by the your envelope, card, or parcel. military. Boxes The addresses or address labels Sturdy paperboard boxes may be should be written or placed Address Lists used for weights up to 10 pounds. parallel to the longest side. Address or mailing lists can be Heavier parcels require a sturdy purchased from a mail service Return Address grade corrugated fiberboard. If you provider if you don’t maintain your A return address helps return are reusing a box, cover all previous own. Lists should be checked your mailpiece to you if it is labels and markings with a heavy and certified for address quality undeliverable. Some mailing black marker or adhesive labels. to ensure the highest rate of services require a return address. successful delivery. For more Cushioning ZIP Codes information, see page 42. Boxes should allow enough room Using the correct ZIP Code ensures for cushioning materials around efficient and accurate processing the contents. You can use and delivery. newspaper, foam peanuts, bubble wrap, or shredded paper for Marking cushioning. For more fragile items, If you deposit your mail in a mailbox use foamed plastic or padding, or a collection box, you must placing the cushioning inside hollow write in the postage area of your items as well. mailpiece the name of the service you are using, such as “Priority Sealing Mail,” “Parcel Post,” “Bound Printed Make sure to tape the opening of Matter,” or “Media Mail.” If you go to your box and reinforce all seams your post office, the clerk will make with 2-inch wide tape. Use clear or service markings on your mailpiece brown packaging tape, reinforced for you. packing tape, or paper tape. Do not use cord, string, or twine because they can get caught in mail processing equipment. 18
  22. 22. ENVELOPES AND BOXESDelivery AddressPlace the delivery addressparallel to the longest side ofyour mailpiece.City, State, and ZIP CodeTo find the correct spellingof a city name and stateabbreviation or to find a ZIPCode, visit www.usps.com or call1·800·ASK·USPS. Using the correctZIP Code helps direct your mailmore efficiently and accurately.Return AddressPlace the return address in theupper left corner on the same sideas the delivery address.PostageUse stamps, a postage meter,or a PC Postage system to affixthe correct amount. You cancalculate postage rates online atwww.usps.com.Extra ServicesPlace labels for extra servicesabove the delivery address and tothe right of the return address, orto the left of the delivery address. For Express Mail, you must use the free address labels provided by the Postal Service. 19
  23. 23. Example Retail mailing services can meet your business mailing needs. Darren Bailey, the owner of an online rare and used book business in Pittsburgh, has decided that the speed and ease of retail services provide the best solution for his mailing needs. He usually uses Priority Mail to send merchandise. In addition, Darren insures his mail and adds Signature Confirmation, which lets him know who received the merchandise, to protect both his business and his customers. Choosing a Service A large portion of Darren’s mailing is comic books, which can be mailed as flats, but he also sells bound books, some of which cannot be mailed as flats because of their size and shape. He has the option of sending the books by Express Mail, Priority Mail, First-Class Mail (13 ounces or less), Parcel Post, Bound Printed Matter, or Media Mail.R E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S Things to consider Speed Cost Shape and weight of mailpiece Where the mailpiece is being sent Extra services such as Signature Confirmation and insurance 20
  24. 24. SCENARIO 1 SCENARIO 2 SCENARIO 3He needs a 3-pound rare book He needs a 3-pound book to He has a box of vintage comicthat was ordered two days before arrive in California by the end of books going out to a regularthe holidays to arrive in Iowa on the week so his customer can customer. He wants to addtime. Darren also decides to add write a review for a publication. insurance and get confirmationextra insurance. that they were received by the addressee. Book to Iowa: Book to California: * 3 lbs Vintage comic books * 3 lbs to New York: * make sure that it arrives * should be there by the before the holiday! * 3 lbs end of the week! * rare book – add * should be boxed insurance! * make sure they arrive! * add insurance! Express Mail Priority Mail Bound Printed Matter· Speed · Speed · Cost (less expensive than· No extra charge for Saturday, · Cost (less expensive than other mailing services) Sunday, or holiday delivery Express Mail) · Extra Service can be· Automatic insurance up to $100 · Extra Service can be added to confirm delivery· Free tracking added to confirm delivery For convenience, · Insurance can be added Darren leased a postage meter so he To Iowa To California can purchase postage To New York Postage $ 21.05 Postage $ 8.55 by phone and apply Postage $ 2.26 the exact amount of Insurance up to $100 $0 Delivery Confirmation $ 0.45 Signature Confirmation $ 2.20 postage he needs. Tracking $0 Insurance (for $100 value) $ 1.80 Total Cost $ 9.00 Subtotal $ 21.05 Visit www.usps.com Total Cost $ 6.26 for a Ratefold (Notice 123), which lists all Additional Insurance $ 4.00 postal rates and fees, (for $500 value) or use the Domestic Rate Calculator to Total Cost $ 25.05 automatically calculate postage for the shape, weight, and destination of your mail. 21
  25. 25. Retail Postage Rates For complete domestic and international rates, visit www.usps.com or call 1·800·ASK·USPS. Simplified Rate Chart Effective June 30, 2002 EXPRESS MAIL PRIORITY MAIL F I R S T- C L A S S M A I L Flat-rate envelope..........$13.65 Flat-rate envelope........... $3.85 Postcard ........................ $0.23 1/2 lb............................ $13.65 1 lb................................. $3.85 1 oz *.............................. $0.37R E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S 1 lb............................... $17.85 Other rates are available up 2 oz ................................ $0.60 to 70 pounds and are based 2 lbs ............................. $17.85 3 oz ................................ $0.83 on weight and distance. 3 lbs ............................. $21.05 4 oz .................................$1.06 For example, the postage for 4 lbs ............................. $24.20 a 5-pound parcel would cost 5 oz .................................$1.29 $6–$12. 5 lbs ............................. $27.30 6 oz .................................$1.52 Other rates are available 7 oz ................................. $1.75 up to 70 pounds. 8 oz .................................$1.98 9 oz ................................ $2.21 10 oz .............................. $2.44 11 oz .............................. $2.67 12 oz .............................. $2.90 13 oz .............................. $3.13 For heavier weights, use Priority Mail. * Surcharge for nonmachinable items: $0.12 (see page 17). One ounce is approximately equal to four sheets of paper plus a standard envelope. 22
  26. 26. PA R C E L P O S T MEDIA MAIL Sending MailRates are based on weight You can send mail by: 1 lb...................................$1.42 • dropping it into a blueand distance. For example, thepostage for a 5-pound parcel 2 lbs ................................ $1.84 collection box. • leaving it in your mailbox.would cost $4–$10. 3 lbs ................................ $2.26 • taking it to a post office.Nonmachinable items require 4 lbs ................................ $2.68additional postage (see page 17). For security reasons, Priority 5 lbs ................................ $3.10 Mail paid with postage stamps and weighing 16 ounces orB O U N D P R I N T E D M AT T E R Other rates are available more must be deposited at up to 70 pounds. a post office retail counterRates are based on weight,shape, and distance. or handed to a letter carrier.For example, the postage for Pickup Servicea 5-pound parcel would cost Call 1·800·222·1811 or visit$2–$4. www.usps.com to have your Express Mail, Priority Mail, and Parcel Post items picked up. This service is not available in every area. $12.50 23
  27. 27. 25 Discount Mailing Services 28 Choosing a Mailing Service 34 Choosing a Postage Payment MethodDISCOUNT MAILING SERVICES 36 Preparation Overview 44 Sorting Overview 48 Mail Entry Overview 52 Example 56 Discount Postage Rates 58 Where to Go From Here 24
  28. 28. Discount Mailing ServicesDiscount mail, or “bulk mail,” is your best option if you mail in volume.In order to claim these lower rates, you must have a minimum quantityand do some additional work to make your mail easier for the PostalService to handle.A D V A N TA G E S HOW DOES IT WORK? COST• A proven, cost-effective Your discount depends on the • The postage depends on the business tool mailing service you choose and mailing service you choose• Offers a lower price on postage the work you do. For example, if and the characteristics of your for the work you perform you mail 1,000 letter-sized flyers mailpiece.• Can accommodate a variety to everyone in your ZIP Code • For any discount mailing, you of business needs advertising your businesss sale, must do some of the work the• Gives your business or it would cost $0.37 per piece for Postal Service would otherwise organization a professional retail First-Class postage, or $370. do. The work you do, such as image with customers preparing, sorting, and entering If you mail 1,000 flyers using• Can promote your business or your mailing, can lower your Standard Mail to everyone in your organization name through use postage costs. ZIP Code by adding a barcode, of permit imprint, postage meter, • You must pay an annual mailing sorting them by carrier route, and or PC Postage technology fee at each facility where you depositing them at the post office enter mail. Different mailing that handles their delivery, you services may require separate might pay as little as $0.12 per fees. piece, or $120. • Other optional aspects of a discount mailing, such as using permit imprints, business reply mail, or mailing endorsements, may require additional fees. 25
  29. 29. Discount Mailing Services Understanding the effort involved with a discount mailing can help decide whether it is right for your business or organization. CHOOSING BETWEEN DISCOUNT MAILING SERVICES AND R E TA I L M A I L I N G S E R V I C E S Even if your mailing has the required number of mailpieces to qualify for a discount rate, you still have to perform some of the work the Postal Service would normally do to receive the discount. When deciding whether to undertake a discount mailing, you should consider: • Your technology Your technology and equipment, such as computers and software, will influence the discount services you can use and the time it will take you to complete the work. • Your budget The amount of money you spend on a mailing is more than just the costDISCOUNT MAILING SERVICES of postage. You should also consider the cost of designing and printing your mailpieces and obtaining a mailing list. If you can’t dedicate the technology or time to a discount mailing, consider using a mail service provider or retail mailing services, which let Nonprofit Standard you quickly prepare and send your mailing. As your business grows, your Mail rates are resources may allow you to take advantage of discounts. Discount rates available for are not available for Express Mail or Priority Mail. authorized nonprofit organizations. You must first apply for MAIL SERVICE PROVIDERS authorization to mail at nonprofit rates at You can get help with discount mailing from a business that specializes in your local post office designing, preparing, and sorting mail. These businesses, typically called and adhere to the “mail service providers” (see page 76), can help you with a single part of content restrictions a discount mailing, or you can hire them to handle the entire mailing, from associated with creation to mail entry. Mail service providers can help you with: Nonprofit Standard • purchasing or renting an address list. Mail. See page 74 for • managing your address database. more information. • designing and printing your mailpieces. • sorting your mailpieces. • combining your mailing with other businesses’ mailings to get a better postage rate. Discounts are available • entering your mail into the mailstream. for larger volumes of international mail. Service options include International Priority Airmail, International Surface Air Lift, Publishers’ Periodicals, and Books and Sheet Music. For rates and standards, visit www.usps.com/ global. 26
  30. 30. PLANNING A DISCOUNT MAILINGSeveral steps are involved in the discount mailing process. A successful discount mailingrequires careful consideration of each step. 1 CHOOSING A MAILING SERVICE Which mailing service you choose depends on the shape, weight, and content of your mail, along with speed of delivery. 2 C H O O S I N G A P O S TA G E PAY M E N T M E T H O D The Postal Service offers four ways for you to pay for and apply postage to your mailpieces. 3 P R E PA R I N G YO U R M A I L “Machinable,” “nonmachinable,” and “automation” are the three ways the Postal Service classifies how mailpieces are prepared. These classifications are based on the ability of your mailpiece to be processed on Postal Service equipment. 4 S O R TI N G YOU R M A I L Sort your mail according to Postal Service standards. 5 E NTE R I N G YOU R M A I L The minimum requirement is to enter your mail at the business mail entry unit (BMEU) or post office where you hold a mailing permit. You can receive additional discounts by transporting your mail closer to where it will be delivered. This section explains the steps for completing a discount mailing. First choose a mailing service, then a postage payment method. After these choices have been made, you prepare your mailpieces, then sort them by Postal Service standards. Finally, you enter your mailing at a postal facility. For each step, you will need to complete the minimum level of work required by the Postal Service. You may also choose to complete higher levels of work to receive greater postage discounts. In some cases, the characteristics of your mailpieces will determine which rates and discounts are available to you. 27
  31. 31. Choosing a Mailing Service The shape of your mail can help you determine which mailing services are available to you. Postcards DIMENSIONS Letters DIMENSIONS 6-1/8" max. 4-1/4" max. 3-1/2" min. 3-1/2" min. Height HeightDISCOUNT MAILING SERVICES 6" 5" Length 11-1/2" 5" Length max. min. max. min. maximum thickness 0.016 inch maximum thickness 1/4 inch minimum maximum minimum maximum length 5 inches 6 inches length 5 inches 11-1/2 inches height 3-1/2 inches 4-1/4 inches height 3-1/2 inches 6-1/8 inches thickness 0.007 inch 0.016 inch thickness 0.007 inch 1/4 inch For letters and postcards, length is the dimension parallel to the address. First-Class Mail Standard Mail Periodicals Postcards and letters can be Letters containing mailable items This service requires prior sent using First-Class Mail. This not required to be sent using authorization by the Postal Service. service is required for personal First-Class Mail can be sent using Typical Periodicals are newspapers, correspondence, handwritten Standard Mail. Standard Mail is magazines, and newsletters. or typewritten material, and bills typically used for advertisements or statements of account. It may and flyers. There are no postcard also be used for any mailable rates for Standard Mail, but item including advertisements postcards can be mailed at the and lightweight merchandise. letter rates. Additional content This service is typically the fastest restrictions must be met for service offered within discount mail. authorized nonprofit mailers. 28
  32. 32. Content Qualifiers Speed Postage First-ClassThe following items must be • 13 ounces or less 1–3 days $$ Mailmailed as First-Class Mail: • 500 or more pieces• bills and checks per mailing• statements of account• handwritten materials• typewritten materials• personal correspondenceGenerally, Standard Mailcan be mailed at First-ClassMail rates.Content Qualifiers Speed Postage StandardMaterials such as: • less than 16 ounces 2–9 days* $ Mail• circulars • 200 or more pieces or 50• advertisements pounds or more per mailing• solicitations for donation• newsletters• small merchandise• printed matter not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail or Periodicals MailContent Qualifiers Speed Postage PeriodicalsAuthorized periodical •1 or more pieces 1–7 days* $publications such as: per mailing• newspapers• newsletters• magazines * Except Alaska and Hawaii.See page 80 for moredetailed contentrestrictions. 29
  33. 33. First-Class Mail Flats DIMENSIONS Flats can be sent using First-Class Mail. This service is required for personal correspondence, 12" max. handwritten or typewritten material, and bills or statements of account. It may also be used for any mailable item, including advertisements 6-1/8" and lightweight merchandise. min. This service is typically the fastest service offered within discount mail. Standard Mail Height Flats containing mailable itemsDISCOUNT MAILING SERVICES not required to be sent using First-Class Mail can be sent using 15" 11-1/2" Length Standard Mail. Standard Mail is max. min. typically used for advertisements, flyers, and catalogs. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers. Periodicals maximum thickness 3/4 inch This service requires prior authorization by the Postal Service. Typical Periodicals are newspapers, minimum* maximum magazines, and newsletters. length 11-1/2 inches 15 inches Bound Printed Matter height 6-1/8 inches 12 inches Flats can be sent using Bound Printed Matter. Contents are limited thickness 1/4 inch 3/4 inch to permanently bound printed * Flats exceed at least one of these dimensions. sheets of directory, advertising, or editorial matter, such as catalogs or phone books. Media Mail pieces See page 80 for more can also be prepared detailed content as flats. restrictions. 30
  34. 34. Content Qualifiers Speed Postage First-ClassThe following materials must be • 13 ounces or less 1–3 days $$ Mailmailed as First-Class Mail: • 500 or more pieces• bills and checks per mailing• statements of account• handwritten materials• typewritten materials• personal correspondenceGenerally, Standard Mailcan be mailed at First-ClassMail rates.Content Qualifiers Speed Postage StandardMaterials such as: • less than 16 ounces 2–9 days* $ Mail• circulars • 200 or more pieces or 50• advertisements pounds or more per mailing• solicitations for donation• newsletters• merchandise• printed matter not required to be mailed as First-Class Mail or Periodicals MailContent Qualifiers Speed Postage PeriodicalsAuthorized periodical •1 or more pieces 1–7 days* $publications such as: per mailing• newspapers• newsletters• magazinesContent Qualifiers Speed Postage BoundPermanently bound printed • 15 pounds or less 2–9 days* $ Printedmaterials such as: • 300 or more pieces Matter• advertising per mailing (50 or more pieces• promotional material for barcode discount only)• directory material• editorial material * Except Alaska and Hawaii. 31

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