Bulk Mailing 101
Direct mail lets you effectively reach your customers with a targeted and tangible
message. By taking advantage of discounts that the USPS® offers for sorted bulk mail,
you can contact your customers without spending excessive amounts of money on postage.
Your mailings may already qualify for bulk mailing discounts. This guide will help
you understand what you need to do to achieve these discounts.
What is Bulk Mail?
USPS offers a bulk mail service to businesses that prepare mail for the Post Office™
before they deposit it. Mailers who qualify can receive discounted postage for sorting
their mail pieces by ZIP Code™ — called presorting — and depositing it in special
containers. Presort specifics and minimum quantities vary for each mailing class
and piece type. Depending on the level of presorting you do, you can save a great
deal on postage.
USPS offers these discounted rates because you are doing some of their work for
them. The less work they have to do to deliver your mailing, the less they charge
you. You can earn additional discounts by creating mail pieces that are compatible
with the USPS automated sorting machines and by depositing mail at a facility that
serves the delivery location.
To qualify for bulk mailing discounts, your mailing must have at least the minimum
quantity for its mailing class. The minimums for each mailing class are as follows:
- First-Class Mail® - 500 pieces
- Standard Mail® - 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail
- Bound Printed Matter - 300 pieces
- Media Mail® - 300 pieces
- Library Mail - 300 pieces
Once you meet the minimum piece counts or weight, you will need to prepare your
mailing. The following checklist summarizes the steps involved in bulk mailing:
- Obtain a mailing list and improve address quality
- Determine your mailing class
- Design your mail piece
- Presort mail for discounts
- Get a mailing permit and determine your payment method
- Assemble your mailing in containers
- Deposit your mailing at a Business Mail Unit
For full details on USPS rules and regulations, consult the Domestic Mail Manual
or the Quick Service Guides at http://pe.usps.com.