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The cost of postage can be one of the most expensive components of any mailing campaign and could have significant effects on your open rate and your delivery times. The two most important factors about postage is:

  1. Postage class: The class will decide your cost and delivery time.
  2. Postage appearance: How your postage looks on your mail piece could affect your open rate. This is independent of your postage class; therefore you can choose any of the 'postage appearance' options regardless of the class of postage you choose.

Postage class

First class

All time sensitive material must be mailed first class; this usually delivers in 2-4 business days. First class is more expensive than Standard class. When using first class postage your undeliverable mail will be returned back to you by the Post Office. There are two types of first class postage:

  1. Regular first class: This is the normal first class postage that most consumers use. Orders using this type of postage can be shipped to you so that you can mail locally.
  2. Presort first class:This postage class has the same delivery time as 'regular first class’, but it has a lower rate, since iti Direct Mail does some of the sorting work for the USPS. Following are the different features of using presort first class postage versus regular first class postage.
        1. Your mailers will be barcoded.  See this article for the printing locations of the barcodes.
        2. Your mail is trackable.
        3. Your postage is not canceledif you choose to use precanceled postage stamps. But we do have authorization form the USPS to cancel your postage for a nominal fee.
        4. Your postage stamp has a different design than regular first class. There is usually only one style available at a time from the USPS.
        5. We will NCOA your list free of charge.
        6. Must be mailed by us and can not be shipped to you to be mailed locally.

Standard and nonprofit class

This class of mail delivers slower; see average delivery times. Your undeliverable mail will NOT be returned back to you and is recycled by the USPS.   We highly discourage mailing time sensitive material at standard or nonprofit class rates. The USPS offers no guarantees on delivery time with these classes of mail.  This class is only available as a presort class. Following are the characteristics of this class of mail.

  • Your mailers will be barcoded.  See this article for the printing locations of the barcodes.
  • Your mail is trackable.
  • Your postage is not canceled if you choose to use precanceled postage stamps. But we do have authorization form the USPS to cancel your postage for a nominal fee.
  • There is usually only one style available at a time from the USPS.
  • We will NCOA your list free of charge.
  • Must be mailed by us and cannot be shipped to you to be mailed locally.

 

 

Using handwritten fonts

You can use most handwritten fonts with presort postage; see them on this list. There are no restrictions with regular first class postage so all handwritten fonts can be used with regular first class.

Postage appearance

Your postage can be applied to your mailers using three different methods, regardless of the class of postage you choose. The appearance of your postage is a very important factor when your mailers are being sent in an envelope.  The appearance of your envelope can affect your response rate, which in turn can affect your revenue and profitability.  A higher percentage of your envelopes could be thrown away, unopened, if your envelope appears to be part of a mass mailing or junk mail campaign. Therefore, we highly recommend using real peel and stick postage stamps for letter mailing campaigns versus using a metered or indicia postage. A real peel and stick stamp is called 'precanceled' postage, when mailing using any of the presort classes.  The appearance of your postage is not that important when mailing pieces such as postcards or self-mailers that are obviously used for advertising. Using a real peel and stick stamp will not add any additional value to these types of mailings.


The table below shows the three different methods of postage that can be applied to your mailers.
Postage methodAppearance

Real peel & stick postage stamps

 [more info.]

An actual peel & stick postage stamp. This type of postage is called "precanceled" if you are using presort class.

Metered postage

 [more info.]

This is a red meter printed on your mail piece. This option is only available for envelopes. This is a common postage used by businesses. We discourage this type of postage due to "mass mailing" appearance. But in certain instance a metered envelope may generate more response, if you think it would help your open rate if the recipient clearly sees the mailer is being sent by a business organization.

Postage imprint/indicia

 [more info.]

This is our permit number printed in your mail piece. We discourage using this type of postage on envelopes since it makes it look like a junk mail. But in certain instance an envelope with a permit imprint may generate more response. We only use this type of postage on all postcards and self mailers.


Mailing fee

The USPS requires that we NCOA your lists and sort and segregate your presort mailing jobs. We charge a nominal 'mailing fee' for presort jobs that have fewer than 500 pieces. NO fee is charged if your presort job is larger than 500 pieces or if you are using regular first class postage. NCOA is included free of charge with all presort jobs. If your mailing job only includes a few hundred pieces, using 1st class presort postage can sometimes cost you more than using regular first class postage. Since standard postage rates are significantly less expensive, it will always cost you less to use standard class rather than first class or presort first class postage.


info More info.