Direct Mail

What is Fourth Class Mail?

By 31 October 2022February 1st, 2024No Comments
fourth class mail

What Is Fourth Class Mail?

Today, eCommerce businesses often choose to ship through USPS. Shipping costs with USPS are comparable to those of FedEx and UPS. A popular choice also includes its flat-rate shipping option, which allows you to forecast the prices involved.

fourth class mail

The simplicity of USPS shipping is one of its main benefits. To get started, simply print labels and drop them off at a USPS Post Office or mailbox (depending on your package count). What types of shipping options do you recommend?

You may be acquainted with various types of class mail offered by the USPS. Here, We’ll look over the rare USPS mail types i.e. fourth class mail, delivery options, and more in this guide. It is to ensure that you know when and what to use to reach your audience in a better way.

Let’s get started

What is Fourth Class Mail?

In 2004, USPS redesigned its mail classes and gave them new names. There were several categories of fourth-class mail back then, including Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail, and Parcel Select (a service eventually replaced with Parcel Post).

Generally, fourth-class mail takes a bit longer to arrive and is less expensive than other types of mail; however, this is not always the case.

Whenever you send something via USPS (or any other delivery service), the cost will be affected by its size, measurements, dimensions, weight, and destination, as well as any additional services offered. It also includes delivery & signature confirmation, collection on delivery, returns receipt, and more.

There might not be additional services available for all types of fourth-class mail. USPS (and others) determine the price of a package using a formula, scale, and measurement device (such as a tape measure).

Types of 4th Class Mail

Below are a few types of fourth-class mail that you can use to elevate your direct mail campaign:

  • Library Mail: The Library Mail service allows organizations like educational institutions and museums to exchange items. Library Mail is available to some other organizations if they are approved by the Postal Service. It is only possible to send books, video lectures, academic theses, and certain other items through the US Postal Service. If Library Mail is sent by you, it is possible to add services such as delivery confirmation, return mail, and limited delivery. In addition to the return address, you must include the name of the organization or institution you are affiliated with.
  • Bound Printed Mail: This service is known as Bound Printed Matter and can be used to mail advertising, promotional materials, directories, and informational materials like catalogs or phone books. The USPS allows mailers to send bound printed matter by imprint only, meaning they must have bulk mail accounts with the Postal Service. Rates depend on weight, distance, and size. BPM can weigh up to 15 pounds.
  • Media Mail: A Media Mail service allows customers to send books, ebooks, cassettes, videos, CDs, DVDs, and diskettes along with video recordings. As part of the Media Mail service, you can select additional options, like delivery confirmation and delivery pickup. Depending on the package’s weight, distance, and shape, Media Mail can weigh up to 70 pounds.
  • Parcel Select: A large number of parcels are delivered through the Parcel Select service primarily by large and medium-sized shippers. By sending their mail from closer to their final destination, mailers save money on postage. Using Parcel Select, mailers choose one of three levels of service. From the USPS, you can choose from a variety of parcel delivery options, including Services offered by Parcel Select including delivery or signature confirmation, collections on delivery, return receipts, and limited 4th class mail delivery time.
  • Parcel Post: Postal parcels are the most affordable option for mailers who cannot send Library Mail, Media Mail, or Business Priority Mail. There is a 70-pound maximum weight limit and a 130-inch maximum length and width combined for all packages. Additional services can be added to parcel post shipments, like delivery or signature confirmation, insurance, and delivery pick-up.

Know Your Options: Why it is Important For Your Business?

It is common for your business to ship hundreds or even thousands of packages a month. Shipping costs can greatly impact your profit margins. Even a small difference of $1-$2 can have a big impact. Choosing four-day delivery can save you up to 30% on shipping costs compared to having packages delivered within two days at a premium.

Knowing USPS mail classes is important for this reason. Depending on the different mail classes, you can choose the appropriate speed and cost for each package to offer customers the right shipping options without reducing profits.

Now that you know what is 4th class mail, let us now take a step ahead to see how to choose the perfect options for your business.

Considering Other Class Mail Options For your Business

When you talk about other types of class mail options than fourth class mail– Priority Mail, the most cost-effective delivery method, meets most eCommerce businesses’ standard delivery requirements. You will benefit greatly from using USPS Priority Mail as your default shipping method due to its attractive flat-rate options and moderate delivery speed.

Shipping costs will vary depending on the weight of the package you are shipping, how quickly it must arrive, and how much you are willing to spend. If you ship different types of products and items, you may also be interested in using Priority Mail Express or Marketing Mail.

The Fastest One: Priority Mail Express

Many eCommerce businesses are choosing to offer overnight shipping and 2-day shipping options as consumers want their products delivered faster than ever before. The Priority Mail Express service is a wise choice if you want to offer faster delivery options. You should charge your customers accordingly. Please be aware that it will be much more expensive than Priority Mail.

Cost-Effective: Priority Mail & 4th Class Mail

Compared to Fourth Class Mail, Priority Mail is either a day or two slower, but it is also much less expensive. Using the USPS’s default shipping option is a great way to send items by mail.

For Specific Items: Fourth Class Mail

Marketing-related items are the only items covered by these services. You have come to the right place if you are shipping marketing collateral as PostGrid can help you with everything related to your direct mail services. In order to send promotional materials, consider using 4th Class Mail if you are still using direct mail for your eCommerce business.

Make the Most of 4th Class Mail With PostGrid

PostGrid helps companies automate, address verification, track, and integrate their 4th class mail or other campaigns with digital marketing channels. Whether companies are seasoned veterans of direct mail advertising or this is the first time they are delivering advertisements in this channel, our system makes it easy for them to reap the benefits of direct mail.

To Close It Up

USPS offers a simple cost structure and flexible shipping options that make it an ideal shipping option for your eCommerce business. If you compare USPS with other carriers like UPS and FedEx, you will save money by using USPS, but at the cost of losing out on quicker delivery.

Discover how PostGrid can simplify the fourth class mailing process and help you save money on shipping.

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