Direct Mail

USPS Marketing Mail or Standard Mail

By 1 February 2022April 18th, 2024No Comments
usps marketing mail standards

USPS Marketing Mail or Standard Mail

Mail classes can be quite intimidating, especially when technology is constantly changing. As a business, you will probably be sending a lot of direct mail every month or even every quarter. So, figuring out how to send marketing mail easily and affordably is essential.

usps marketing mail standards

The USPS offers several types of mailing services to suit the needs of every mailer. Hence, individuals, small businesses, etc., can all find something that fits the budget and gets their work done. Some of the most popular options available are

But today, we are going to discuss USPS Marketing Mail—an affordable bulk mailing solution for business mailers.

Keep reading to find out what is Marketing Mail USPS and what are its requirements, costs, etc.

Let's dive in!

What is USPS Marketing Mail?

As the name goes, USPS Marketing Mail is a postal service that allows commercial mailers to send marketing materials to prospects and customers.

This service was earlier known as Standard Mail, but the USPS rebranded it in 2016 to make its purpose clear to the mailers.

However, USPS Marketing Mail has several restrictions regarding the size, weight, items, timing, etc. You also need to apply for a permit to become eligible to send Marketing Mail.

The USPS states that you can only send pieces that aren’t required to be sent as First-Class Mail or periodicals. But, it is all worth it as the USPS Marketing Mail Rates are meager compared to the other mailing classes.

Mailers need to prepare their mail items in bulk to send them via the Marketing Mail option. Thus, you can also refer to it as bulk mail. In exchange, the USPS offers bulk prices that are much lower than single-piece rates.

Hence, Marketing Mail is an ideal choice for marketers to aid their direct mail campaigns. They can use it for anything such as promoting their store openings, discount sales, events, etc.

USPS Marketing Mail matter includes:

  • Circulars, flyers, printed matter, advertising items—inclusive of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)
  • Bulletins, catalogs, newsletters
  • Small packages

It takes up to three to ten business days for the USPS to deliver Marketing Mail pieces. But, there’s a way that can help you speed up delivery—using the ‘Priority Mail Open and Distribute’ service. Using this option, you can mail your sacks or trays to a postal outlet located nearest to your mail destination via Priority Mail to increase mailing speed. Hence, you can distribute your items affordably and speedily.

Please note: Marketing Mail USPS is a domestic mailing service and you cannot use it for sending mail to international destinations.

USPS Marketing Mail Qualifications

Mailers should prepare at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds to become eligible for availing USPS Marketing Mail prices. There are no minimum size requirements, but the maximum limit is 16 ounces.

You can send three types of items via Marketing Mail: letters, large envelopes or flats, and parcels. But, you can also mail postcards under the letters category as there is no separate price range for postcards.

Find below the maximum size restrictions for different envelope types:

  • Letter-sized items: not exceeding 3.5 ounces
  • Nonmachinable and nonautomation letters: not exceeding 4 ounces
  • Flats: not exceeding 3.3 ounces

You can mail small parcels weighing up to 16 ounces. Make sure to follow these specifications to keep your postage rates low.

If your items weigh more than these limits, they are subject to added charges for every extra pound. Remember that all USPS Marketing Mail costs vary because they are based on the weight of your mail items.

Now, let’s talk about the types of items that you can or cannot send as Marketing Mail.

  • You cannot mail handwritten and typewritten pieces through this USPS option. Instead, you can send them via First-Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Priority Mail Express.
  • Invoices, bills, or account statements are also not considered Marketing Mail items.
  • Usually, mailers cannot send items with personal information as Marketing Mail, but there are some exceptions, like:
    • There should be a minimum quantity of 200 items in one mailing with the same personal information.

If not, you can still qualify for sending Marketing Mail by fulfilling all of the following requirements:

  • All the items should consist of explicit advertising for products or services for lease or sale. They could also contain explicit solicitations for donations.
  • All the personal details in the items should be directly related to the solicitation or promotion.
  • The sole motive of adding personal details to the items should be supporting the solicitation or advertising.

If you cannot meet either of the above criteria, you cannot use Marketing Mail to send your items. The USPS advises to send them as First-Class Mail instead.

So, how to use USPS Marketing Mail once you fulfill the requirements? Well, you can get started by first applying for a Marketing Mail permit from the USPS.

Then, you can start paying your postage using a permit imprint. Also, note that you may need to pay an annual fee to acquire the permit.

USPS Marketing Mail Extra Services

The USPS offers some additional services with Standard Mail, and they are:

  • Mailers get free electronic tracking with all USPS Marketing Mail flats, letters, and parcels. Thus, you can view the status of all your sent mail items and know the estimated delivery dates.
  • You can avail of bulk insurance on Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail irregular and machinable parcels).
  • Mailers can request mail forwarding or return through an ancillary service endorsement. These return and forwarding services can result in extra postage.

Other services like Certified Mail, Registered Mail, etc., are not available for Marketing Mail.

What Is Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail?

As said before, the Marketing Mail rates are very low. But, nonprofit organizations can get even lower rates as long as they fall under the following categories:

  • Agricultural
  • Philanthropic
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Labor
  • Religious
  • Fraternal
  • Qualified political committees
  • Veterans
  • Local or state voter registration officials

All the guidelines and specifications for sending Nonprofit Marketing Mail remain the same as regular Marketing Mail. These organizations also need to acquire a mailing permit from the Post Office.

Moreover, the USPS prohibits permit holders from conducting mailings on behalf of others. Only businesses and nonprofits who get a permit can send bulk mail.

Please note: If a nonprofit wants to deposit its items at more than one Post office, it has to hold a permit at each postal outlet.

Below are the steps to apply for a Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail permit:

  • Fill up PS form 3624 available on the USPS website.
  • Produce evidence that you are an eligible nonprofit.
  • Also, provide documents stating the organization’s primary motive.
  • Get your application signed by the treasurer, president, or someone else who’s in authority in your nonprofit organization.
  • Submit your completed form at the Post Office where you wish to hold a permit.

Differences Between First-Class Mail and USPS Marketing Mail

USPS Marketing Mail is not as flexible as First-Class Mail. You can send many items via First-Class Mail easily but cannot via Marketing Mail.

So, why not send all your items via First-Class Mail? What is the difference between First-Class vs. Standard Mail (a.k.a. Marketing Mail)?

First-Class Mail is much faster than Marketing Mail with a delivery window of only one to five business days. On the other hand, the USPS Marketing Mail delivery time is three to ten days long.

The other prime difference is the look of your envelopes or parcels. In the case of First-Class Mail, mailers usually use postage stamps that make the mail look good and can impact open rates. On the contrary, all Marketing Mail items have a postage imprint.

First-Class Mail is also more trackable than Marketing Mail, but it costs a lot more. Yes, it is an excellent option for sending a few items. But, sending First-Class Mail regularly can burn a hole in your pockets.

However, you can use Presorted First-Class Mail to enjoy the First-Class benefits and still get discounted prices.

USPS Marketing Mail and EDDM

Some people confuse Marketing Mail with EDDM. But, they are different USPS mailing options, though they are both very cost-effective.

Also, both these services allow you to mail in bulk. However, you don’t need a mailing list to conduct an EDDM campaign. All you need to do is select ZIP codes or specific neighborhoods to saturate.

But, it is different with USPS Marketing Mail as you need your own mailing list. You also need to address all the items before depositing.

EDDM postcards, flyers, and other flats are considered USPS Marketing Mail items. The retail rates start at $0.20 per piece, and Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) rates start at only $0.168 per item.

But, what is EDDM BMEU USPS Marketing Mail? There are two types of EDDM options for mailers: retail and BMEU.

The BMEU option has several advantages, like zero volume limit and multiple ZIP code targeting. But, you need to drop off the items at a BMEU and get a permit to pay your postage.

PostGrid’s Direct Mail Services to Help You Send USPS Marketing Mail

Sending USPS Marketing Mail can be challenging for some mailers as they might not have the time or resources to prepare bulk mail. Also, some businesses end up paying more as they cannot meet the prescribed specifications.

However, one way for you to send Marketing Mail conveniently and efficiently is to try using PostGrid’s direct mail API. It can help you get a permit, prepare your items according to the guidelines, and mail in no time.

Moreover, PostGrid can also help you create and print your items, assisting you throughout the process.

Our API is the all-in-one solution to all your offline mailing needs from presorting items to tracking them. Sign up now to see how we excel in helping businesses send USPS Marketing Mail!

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