A great way to save your department money when sending out large amounts of mail is to send it as bulk (a.k.a. business) mail. Please contact Troy McFarland (email@example.com / 972.883.4941) for help in designing a mail piece that qualifies for USPS bulk mail rates, or for standard non-profit mail rates.
- Download the Estimated Bulk Mail Entry Form (PDF, 35KB)
- Mail Services Requirements for Bulk Mail
- Choosing Between Non-Profit and First Class Rates
- USPS Requirements for First-Class Bulk Mail
Mail Services Requirements for Bulk Mail
In order to help you send out bulk mail, Mail Services will need to know—
- Your cost center.
- Your department name.
- The name of the person in charge of the mailing.
- The estimated cost of mailing (ECOM), to ensure that the University’s USPS account has enough funds to cover that cost. Please see the USPS Requirements for First-Class Bulk Mail below for more information on how to estimate this cost.
Choosing Between Non-Profit and First Class Rates
|Minimum Quantity for Discount Price||200 pieces or 50 lbs||500 pieces|
|Size and Weight Requirements Used||US Standard Mail||US First-Class Mail|
|Design Standard Used||Flat Addressing||Flat Characteristics|
|Relative Price||Cheaper||More Expensive|
USPS Requirements for First-Class Bulk Mail
Your mailing must consist of 500 or more addressed pieces. If you’d like to mail some pieces at card prices and some pieces at letter prices, you must mail at least 500 of each.
You must have a permit indicia imprint on the envelope.
Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method, the most common of which is Return Service Requested. To use this method, the phrase “Return Service Requested” must appear directly under the return address, which itself should appear in the top left corner of your mail piece. Your department will pay the full price of any mail piece that gets returned for an address correction.
Please see USPS Quick Service Guide 230a: Move Update Standard for more information.
The design of your mail piece, in particular its dimensions and weight, will affect postage. The USPS offers a Business Price Calculator to help you estimate how much these factors will cost. Other factors could change the final cost. For example, a design that is not machinable, that is, one that cannot be run through a post office’s automatic sorting machines, will cost more.
To send at the cost of letters, mail pieces must be rectangular (squares cost more) and fit within the following size limits:
|*||The thickness of an index card.|
|If in doubt, ask your USPS Mailpiece Design Analyst to measure your mail piece.|
|Height||3 1/2 inches||6 1/8 inches|
|(perpendicular to address)|
|Length||5 inches||11 1/2 inches|
|(parallel to address)|
|Thickness||0.007 inch *||1/4 inch|
Many mailers fold sheets of paper to form letter-size pieces or newsletters. Folded pieces, or folded self-mailers, can save time and money because you’re not paying for –nor stuffing– envelopes. Folded self-mailers must be sealed to be machinable. We recommend placing the fold on the bottom (the side below the address) and secure the opening at the top with a piece of tape, a tab or a wafer seal.
For more design guidance, please see:
- USPS Quick Service Guide 201: Physical Standards for Commercial Letters and Postcards.
- USPS Quick Service Guide 201b: Using Tabs, Wafer Seals, and Glue Strips.
- USPS Domestic Mail Manual 201.1.0: Physical Standards for Machinable Letters and Cards.
For even greater savings, ask your USPS District Business Mail Entry Office for the special size requirements of letters sent at automation prices.
Each piece must include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP code or ZIP+4 code.
Mail must be sorted in ZIP code order, from the smallest ZIP code to the largest. One good way to sort your mailing is to separate your pieces into several different mail trays. Mail trays are available on request by contacting Mail Services (firstname.lastname@example.org / 972.883.2779.)