Are you maximizing the discounts on your direct mail? (Part 2)

By TJ Tedesco

Did you know that the USPS will give you discounts on mass mailings if you perform the certain services yourself?

We covered the first two in Part 1 of this blog post. Here is the 3rd service to qualify for the discounts.

3. Mailpiece design.

The USPS will allow you to mail at discounted rates if your mailpiece meets the criteria for mail that may be efficiently processed by USPS automation equipment.

Mail cannot be too large or too small, but there are weight limitations, specifically on letter-size mail. Basically this limit is 3.3 ounces. Letters between 3.3 and 3.5 ounces, called “heavy letters,” may be mailed but must be in an envelope.

The most typical designations are “letter mail” and “flat mail.” Letter mail measures up to 6 1/8 inches high by 11½ inches long and no thicker than ¼ inch. Flat mail extends beyond these parameters. Not surprisingly, letter mail is less expensive to mail than flat mail.

In terms of weight, First-Class mail postage rates are increased by whole ounce increments and the price can escalate quickly, especially with flats. The most common breakpoint for standard mail is approximately 3.3 oz. (93.6 g). Mail weighing above this point costs more than mail weighing below it.

An additional discount, known as destination delivery discounts or “drop shipping,” is offered for Standard Mail. Simply put, the USPS offers discounts to mailers that deliver their mail to USPS destination processing facilities instead of entering it all at a nearby or “origin” facility. Mailers taking advantage of drop shipping save time and money for their clients, the USPS, and themselves.

Additionally, it’s important to note that to be able to obtain postal automation discounts, mass First-Class and Standard mailers are required to run their addresses through a change of- address program to match their file against the USPS recorded address changes, or use USPS Address Change Services every 95 days. This assures that the mail is sent to the intended person at the correct address in a format defined by the Postal Service. This significantly reduces Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) mail, which costs the USPS more than a billion dollars a year.

To learn more about Heeter’s direct mail capabilities, please contact me at or give me a call at 724-746-8900.

Some of the content for this post was originally published in the newly released Direct Mail Pal 2014, authored by T.J. Tedesco and Charley Howard (publisher: Printing Industries Press).