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January 2013 USPS® Proposed Price Change Highlights for Mailing Services Products
  Weight Current Proposed % Increase
First-Class Mail® Retail Letters 1 Ounce $0.450 $0.460 2%
Maximum size 11.5" L X 6.125" H X 1/4" thickness 2 Ounce $0.650 $0.660 2%
3 Ounce $0.850 $0.860 1%
Maximum weight FCM retail and automation letter 3.5 Ounce $1.050 $1.060 1%
Surcharge for Nonmachinable Letters $0.200 $0.200 0%
Postcard $0.320 $0.330 3%
Maximum size 6" L X 4.25" H X .016" thickness
  Weight Current Proposed % Increase
First-Class Mail® Retail Flats 1 Ounce $0.900 $0.920 2%
  Flats exceed one or more dimensions of a letter and must be uniform in thickness, rectangular, and flexible. 2 Ounce $1.100 $1.120 2%
3 Ounce $1.300 $1.320 2%
4 Ounce $1.500 $1.520 1%
5 Ounce $1.700 $1.720 1%
6 Ounce $1.900 $1.920 1%
7 Ounce $2.100 $2.120 1%
8 Ounce $2.300 $2.320 1%
9 Ounce $2.500 $2.520 1%
10 Ounce $2.700 $2.720 1%
11 Ounce $2.900 $2.920 1%
12 Ounce $3.100 $3.120 1%
13 Ounce $3.300 $3.320 1%
  Weight Current Proposed % Increase
First-Class Mail® Retail Parcels 1 Ounce $1.950 $2.070 6%
2 Ounce $1.950 $2.070 6%
3 Ounce $1.950 $2.070 6%
4 Ounce $2.120 $2.240 5%
5 Ounce $2.290 $2.410 5%
6 Ounce $2.460 $2.580 5%
7 Ounce $2.630 $2.750 4%
8 Ounce $2.800 $2.920 4%
9 Ounce $2.970 $3.090 4%
10 Ounce $3.140 $3.260 4%
11 Ounce $3.310 $3.430 3%
12 Ounce $3.480 $3.600 3%
13 Ounce $3.650 $3.770 3%
  USPS, First-Class Mail, First-Class, Standard Mail, Certified Mail, Delivery Confirmation, Signature Confirmation are trademarks owned by the United States Postal Service.

Marketing Strategies and Direct Mail

Marketing Strategies & Direct Mail

A recent scientific study indicates that direct mail makes a deeper and longer lasting impression on people’s brains than digital advertising.  Researchers used neuroscience technology to see which areas of the brain became active when participants viewed the same marketing message as a physical piece of direct mail and digitally on a computer screen; findings suggested the brain is more emotionally engaged and is potentially reflecting more on a response when viewing direct mail.  Simply said,  mail connects on a personal level by capturing the reader’s attention, interest and emotion.

Marketing strategists know that direct mail supplies the strongest leads and conversions.  While other channels are used in marketing campaigns, direct mail is often the primary vehicle. 

Remember the following points when designing a direct mail marketing campaign:

  1. Turn static print into an interactive call to action using a QR code, Snap Tag, or digital watermark
  2. Get personal with your message on a direct mail piece
  3. Direct mail offers limitless creative possibilities from postcards to dimensional mailers
  4. Target your audience with demographic aspects
  5. Direct mail can be used to communicate complete information about a product or service, or create awareness and interest in a new product
  6. Use incentives and offers (special introductory price, bill me later, coupon)

What Makes Consumers Open/Read Direct Mail?

55% - from a brand or company they know

51% - personally addressed to them

50% - interested in product or service

40% - interesting packaging, design, color, etc.

39% - can clearly see it contains a free sample/voucher

27% - local services or events

21% - because it’s a competition

Elements of Direct Mail

  1. The Offer
    • Special introductory price
    • Bill me later
    • Sale or coupon
  2. Mailing Lists and Databases
    • In house lists
    • External lists
    • Thousands of different lists available that classify consumers.
  3. The Direct Mail Package
    • Envelope
    • Self mailer
    • Postcard

Direct Mail Piece Specifications

Three most popular designs:

-          Postcard

-          Folded self mailer

-          Envelope

Popular design size restrictions:

-          Minimum size 3.5” x 5”

-          Maximum size 6.125” x 11.5”

-          Maximum size weight 3.3 oz

-          Maximum thickness ¼”


-          Presort standard (bulk)

Addressing standards:

-          A clear space must be available on all mail for the address (ideal 2 x 4)

-          A clear space must be available on all mail for the postage (minimum postage stamp size)

Barcoding 101

Barcoded Mail Receives United States Postal Service Discounts

It takes the United States Postal Service (USPS) a lot more time, labor and money to sort mail manually than it does to scan barcodes electronically. Therefore, the USPS offers discounts on mail that carries a barcode and can be processed automatically. Barcoded mail (whether standard or first class) costs the USPS less to process, so they charge less.

Most recently, the USPS introduced the intelligent mail barcode making sorting, mailing and tracking more efficient than ever before. Two service levels are available with the IMB – basic and full. MailCo USA sprays a full service IMB using the most technologically advanced system available.

Barcoding mail is critical in moving today's mail. Experience the added discounts, increased visibility, and enhanced tracking available with MailCo USA's barcoding service.

Ways to save and Improve ROI

Ways to Save on Postage & Improve ROI

Consider the following tips when preparing pieces for mailing to obtain the best value for your money:

- Make sure your mail is automation compatible

Mail that is able to be processed on our automated equipment costs less.  "Nonmachinable" mail will cost you more time and money.  To qualify for the lowest postage rates, your letter size piece must be:

Length: minimum – 5 inches; maximum – 11.5 inches

Height: minimum – 3.5 inches; maximum – 6.125 inches

Thickness – Maximum .25 inch

AVOID the following nonmachinable characteristics:

-          Enclosing items such as pens, pencils, or keys that create an uneven thickness

-          Envelopes with clasps, strings, buttons, or similar closure devices

-          Enclosures that cause the envelope to be too rigid

-          Envelopes with an aspect ratio (length divided by height) less than 1.3 or greater than 2.5

-          Enclosing anything in plastic

-          Addressing parallel to the shorter side of the mailpiece

-          Pieces with a thickness less than 0.009" if the envelope is larger than 4.5" x 6

- Insert more information into a single envelope

In January 22, 2012, the USPS (United States Postal Service) ruled that the second ounce is free for a first class automation or presorted letter, so TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS while remembering the maximum thickness is .25 inch.

- Convert from a flat to a letter size envelope

A considerable savings can be realized by converting from a flat size envelope to a letter size envelope.  Consider the following:

-          Duplex pages when possible

-          Narrow margins on each page

-          Decrease the size of your font

- Redesign parcels to flats

Save up to 30% in postage by redesigning parcels to flats.  Flats must be rectangular in shape, uniform in thickness and flexible.

- Mail class

When mailing non-personal letters and flats, consider standard (bulk) mail instead of first class mail.  If your time frame allows, these rates are much less expensive. Especially mailing locally, delivery time is excellent for standard mail.

- Utilize NCOA (National Change of Address) service

Don't waste time and money mailing to people that have moved.  Postage, material, and labor costs are wasted.  Let us run your mailing list through the USPS system and update your addresses.  This also insures that your message is delivered correctly and on time.

Be sure that all your mailings are able to be processed at the lowest possible postage rates.  Call us and let us review your mailpiece design and criteria prior to mailing.  Sometimes a slight alteration of the mailpiece can lower postage costs and mail processing fees.