Welcome To the Long Island PCC Presentation of Bulk Mail Boot Camp I Enlist to Begin Sponsored by WORD PRO GROUP, Inc. Direct Mail Services

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1 Welcome To the Long Island PCC Presentation of Bulk Mail Boot Camp I Enlist to Begin Sponsored by WORD PRO GROUP, Inc. Direct Mail Services

2 Today s Presenters Are: Martin McGrath / Karen Garraffa Bulk Mail- Where Do I Begin? Denise Schwarz- Mailpiece Characteristics 2

3 Agenda Overview of bulk business mail Opening a permit Payment options Classification Mailability Address lists Preparing your mailing Entering your mailing Choosing a mailing service 3

4 What is Bulk Mail? Definition: bulk mail or Business Mail refers to mail prepared for mailing at reduced rates of postage. The Postal Service uses the terms Business Mail and presorted interchangeably. 4

5 What is Business Mail? Overview of Business Mail A mailing in which postage is paid by permit imprint, postage meter, or precanceled stamps at discounted rates. Minimum of 500 pieces for First Class Mail and 200 Pieces for Standard Mail or 50lbs. Minimum of 50 pieces of Parcel Post 5

6 Minimum Quantities for a Business Discounted Mailing 500 pieces for First-Class Presort Mail. 200 pieces (or 50 pounds of mail) for Standard Mail. 50 pieces for Parcel Post. (no discount unless over a pound window prices) 300 pieces for Presorted or Carrier Route Bound Printed Matter. 300 pieces for Presorted Library Mail. 300 pieces for Presorted Media Mail (sometimes called "book rate"). 6

7 Overview of Business Mail Benefits Offers a lower price on postage for the work you perform Can accommodate a variety of business needs Gives your business or organization a professional image with customers Have Indicia Preprinted on envelopes instead of applying stamps or meter postage for each mailpiece. 7

8 Is Business Mail Right For You? Business rates are postage rates discounted from First Class single-piece rates. For example, when you put a 44-cent stamp on a letter, you re paying the First Class singlepiece rate. Business rates are offered to you as mailers when you do some of the work that would have to be done by the Postal Service. This is called work sharing. Bottom line YOU SAVE MONEY! 8

9 Advantages of Business Mail Business postage rates are significantly lower than First Class single-piece rates You can target your audiences with direct mailings to specific areas and groups of people The more work sharing you do the more you save 9

10 How To Mail At Business Rates Get a mailing permit and pay an annual mailing fee Pay postage by using precanceled stamps, postage meter, or permit imprint Consider the size, shape, and weight of your mailpiece Ensure that your addresses are correct Presort your mailpieces (sort by Zip Codes) Take your mail to the Post Office where you hold your mailing permit 10

11 Opening a Permit 11

12 Opening a Permit One time application fee of $ (Permit Imprint Only). 12

13 Mailing Permit: Permission To Mail Mailing Permit: A mailing permit is permission to use a certain postage payment method for bulk and discounted mailings. Instructions for applying for a mailing permit are included under each method of payment. There is no application fee to mail with precanceled stamps or a postage meter. There is a $ application fee to apply for a permit to mail with permit imprint. There is an annual fee per class of mail. This one-time only fee pays for setting up your permit imprint account. You must apply at every Post Office where you want to enter and pay for your mail. 13

14 Annual Mailing Fee Annual Mailing Fee: Regardless of the method of postage payment you chose, if you mail in bulk you must pay an annual mailing fee (sometimes called a "bulk mailing fee"). This fee is separate from any other application fees or account deposits. The annual mailing fee is $185. You can pay via cash or check at the Post Office or BMEU. Paying the annual mailing fee gives you permission to mail a certain class of mail from a certain postal facility for 365 days. You cannot mail in bulk until you pay your annual mailing fee. 14

15 Annual Mailing Fee You must pay an annual mailing fee at every post office you intend to mail from TIP -You don t have to pay your annual mailing fee until you bring in your first mailing. The annual mailing fee is good for 365 days from the day you pay it. If you re not doing your first mailing for, say, 5 weeks, wait to pay this fee until you take your first mailing to the Post Office. This buys you five more weeks of mailing on the other end of the 365 days! 15

16 Methods of Postage Payment Postage Meter Pre Canceled Stamps Permit imprint 16

17 Postage Payment Methods Postage Meter Postage meters generate an indicia imprinted on or affixed to a mailpiece as evidence of prepayment of postage. This method of postage payment may be used on any class of mail except Periodicals. 17

18 Methods of Postage Payment Postage meter: A postage meter prints postage directly onto your mailpieces (or onto a meter tape, which you apply to your mailpiece). Postage meters are a very convenient way to pay for postage and track postage costs for your business or organization. A meter manufacturer can help you decide which meter is right for your mailing needs. 18

19 Postage Payment Authorized Meter Providers NEOPOST INC HUNTWOOD AVE HAYWARD CA PITNEY BOWES INC 1 ELMCROFT RD STAMFORD CT All Addresses Above DATA-PAC MAILING SYSTEMS CORP 1217 BAY RD WEBSTER NY FRANCOTYP-POSTALIA INC 140 N MITCHELL CT STE 200 ADDISON IL HASLER INC 19 FOREST PKY SHELTON CT

20 Postage Payment Precanceled Stamps Use of precanceled stamps is an optional payment method for mailings at Presorted and automation First-Class Mail and all Standard Mail prices. With precanceled stamps, you affix a lower rate of postage and then pay the difference when you drop off your mailing. Stamps add a personal touch to your envelope and may give your customer an added incentive to open and read your mail. Must have a domestic return address 20

21 Methods of Postage Payment Precanceled stamps: Precanceled stamps are available in four denominations: 25 cents for Presorted First-Class Mail only 15 cents for Presorted First-Class Cards only 10 cents for Regular Standard Mail only 5 cents for Nonprofit Standard Mail only 21

22 Methods of Postage Payment Permit imprint: Permit imprint is the most popular and convenient way to pay for postage, especially for high volume mailings. Instead of using precanceled stamps or a postage meter, the mailer prints postage information in the upper right corner of the mailpiece. This postage block is called an "indicia." 22

23 Methods of Postage Payment Permit imprint: Permit imprint is simple and convenient - you save time because you re not affixing postage to each piece. You print the permit imprint when you print the rest of your mailpiece. If you already have a mailpiece printed without the permit imprint, you can use a rubber stamp. Permit imprint is convenient because you don t have to buy postage in advance, remember to reset your meter, or worry about putting the right amount of postage on each piece. 23

24 Postage Payment Permit Imprint To use permit imprint, you set up a postage account (called an "advance deposit account") at the Post Office where you ll be depositing your mail. When you bring your mailing to the Post Office the total postage is deducted from your account. It s like having a checking account at the Post Office. Each mailpiece sent under this method must bear a permit imprint indicia showing that postage is paid. These are only examples; not all possible variations are shown. QSG 604D 24

25 Methods of Postage Payment Permit imprint: The key to permit imprint is identical weight pieces. All of your mailpieces must weigh exactly the same. Why? Because you don t have postage affixed, the Postal Service has to verify the number of pieces in your mailing. We do this by weighing individual pieces and your entire mailing to check the number of pieces and calculate the postage you owe. To keep your permit imprint account active you must have an activity once in 2 years 25

26 Mailing Permit Tips TIPS --Remember, a permit is "permission to mail," regardless of how you pay for postage. A "permit imprint" is a way of paying postage. Many mailers get a "permit" to mail with "permit imprint." --To keep your permit imprint account active, you must do a bulk mailing at least once every 2 years. Once your account is inactive, you ll have to pay the application fee again to turn it back on. --Applying for a permit is different from applying for nonprofit mailing privileges. If you are a nonprofit mailer, first decide how you want to pay postage. Then apply for your mailing permit. Then apply for nonprofit mailing privileges. A postal employee can help you make sure you're taking the right steps in the right order. 26

27 Mailability Hazardous, Perishable, Restricted Material Some items cannot be mailed, for legal and safety reasons. Some items are mailable but only in limited quantities with special packaging. Hazardous Material Perishables Live Animals Other Restricted Material 27

28 Mailpiece Characteristics Size and Shape The Postal Service separates all mail into one of four size categories: Cards Letters Large Envelopes and Flats" Parcels There are different rates and different standards for preparing your mail depending on the size of the mailpieces. If you have any questions about the size or shape of your mailpiece, contact your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA).Carmelo Marcano

29 Mailability Minimum Size 3 ½ inches in height, 5 inches in length.007 inches in thickness Maximum Size Combined length and girth of 108 inches Parcel Post may be up to 130 inches (oversized fee will apply) Weigh no more than 70 pounds 29

30 Classification Physical Standards for letters and Cards 30

31 Classification Physical Standards For Flats All flats must be flexible, uniformly thick, and rectangular in shape 31

32 Classification Physical Standards For Flats Uniform Thickness: Flat-size mailpieces must be uniformly thick so that any bumps, protrusions, or other irregularities do not cause more than 1/4-inch variance in thickness. 32

33 Classification 33

34 Classification Additional Standards for Automation Flats First Class Standard Periodicals, Bound Printed Matter Minimum / Maximum Thickness.009 Inches /.75 Inches.009 Inches /.75 Inches.009 Inches /.75 Inches Minimum / Maximum Weight 13 Ounces Up to 16 Ounces 20 Ounces 34

35 Classification Physical Standards for Machinable Parcels 35

36 Classification Physical Standards For Irregular Parcels 36

37 Classification Physical Standards: Outside Parcels 37

38 Classification Non-Machinable A mailpiece is nonmachinable if it cannot be sorted by Postal Service equipment. Higher postage prices may apply to mailpieces that do not meet machinable standards Machinable A mailpiece is machinable if it can be sorted on Postal Service processing equipment and meet specific standards, including size, shape, and weight Automation Your mailpiece meets automation standards and qualifies for automation prices if it meets the specific addressing, barcoding, and design standards established for your mailing service and your level of sortation 38

39 Classification First Class Mail Maximum of 13 ounces Bill Handwritten letter Invoice Personal correspondence Presorted and automation rates available Estimated delivery 1-3 days 39

40 Classification Standard Mail Advertisement Catalog Circular Newsletter Non-profit rates available Presort and automation rates available Estimated delivery 3 to 10 days 40

41 Classification Package Services Book Catalog Computer media Directory Educational Merchandise Estimated delivery 2-9 days 41

42 Mailpiece Characteristics Barcodes: A barcode is a series of long and short bars that represent a series of numbers. Some barcodes represent ZIP Codes, ZIP+4 codes, and delivery addresses. The Postal Service uses automated equipment that reads these barcodes to process and sort mail. At the Postal Service, the barcode tells us where to deliver your mail. 42

43 Automation: Mailpiece Characteristics Automation rate mail is mail that is 100% barcoded and prepared for the Postal Service s high-speed mail processing equipment. The Postal Service saves the cost of more laborintensive sortation and shares the savings with you in the form of lower postage rates. Automation rates are available for letters and cards, flats (large envelopes), and parcels. 43

44 As of May 2011 you must use the Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) to receive Automation rates. If you are interested in mailing at Automation rates, contact the Business Service Network for information. 44

45 Address Accuracy The Postal Service processes your mail on machines that read address information and translate it into a barcode. When a machine misreads an address, that mailpiece may get mis-sorted or delayed. This section will guide you through some smart choices for getting your mail addressed and getting it delivered right the first time. There are two steps: Get an address list. Check the addresses to make sure they are correct and apply them to your mailpieces. 45

46 Address Accuracy Address Lists: There are many keys to a successful mailing: knowing what your message is, knowing who your audience is, and getting your message delivered to your audience. If you do not already have an address list for your message, then you need to put together, buy, or rent a mailing list. The Postal Service does not keep a database of residential or business customers and does not sell address lists. However, the Postal Service has products and services that help mailers check and standardize their addresses (for instance, whether 123 MAIN is a ST, AVE, or DR) and keep their lists up to date (for example, providing ancillary services to let mailers know if addressees have moved). There are companies that collect and sell information about consumers and businesses. You can buy or rent a mailing list from those companies. Look in the yellow pages under "lists" or "mailing lists" or do an on-line search for list providers in your area. 46

47 LIPCC Long Island Postal Customer Council has a website with approved mail service providers. Click Mail Service Provider 47

48 Address Accuracy Checking the Accuracy of Your Address List: Why bother? First, because it's required by the Postal Service. Second, look at these statistics: 17% of Americans change addresses annually. 43 million people move each year. One out of every six families move each year. How many of these people are your customers or members? Just because you buy or rent a list does not mean that the addresses are correct, checked, updated, or "certified." 48

49 Address Accuracy The Postal Service offers many ways to check the accuracy of your list. Vendors also offer USPSapproved products and services for address list maintenance. To claim presorted Standard Mail and Presorted First-Class Mail rates, you MUST have checked the accuracy of ZIP Codes within the last 12 months. When you fill out and sign your postage statement you are certifying your mailing qualifies for the rates claimed. 49

50 Address Accuracy Address Quality Choices: Move Update is required for all discounted mailings. A USPS-approved method must be used within 95 days prior to the date of mailing. Use to check the ZIP Codes in your list. Process your address list through CASS-certified software. Address List Correction Service. You can submit a printout of your list to the Postal Service and we will mark any changes. There is a fee for this service. It is available through your Address Management System Office. NCOALink. A licensed vendor will run your mailing list through special software that updates addresses for your customers who have filed a change-of-address with the Post Office. 50

51 Address Lists Ensuring Your Addressing is Accurate 17% of Americans change addresses annually 43 million people move each year One out of every six families move each year 51

52 Address Lists Move Update Approved Methods (QSG 230a) Address Change Service (ACS) National Change Of Address Link (NCOA) Fast Forward Ancillary Service Endorsements (QSG 507d) - Address Service Requested - Return Service Requested - Change Service Requested ( 1 st class with ACS) - Temp-Return Service Requested-(1 st class only) Alternative Address Format (or current resident) 52

53 Address Lists Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) Address-matching software looks up addresses to standardize, correct and validate the physical address elements and append ZIP+4 Codes. To Qualify For: Presort Rates Automation Rates Enhanced Carrier Route Rates You Must Verify: 5-Digit Zip Code Complete Addresses Carrier Route Information By This Date: 12 Months of Mailing 180 Days of Mailing 90 Days of Mailing Tip: A list of Certified Vendors and Licensees can be found at: 53

54 Mail Preparation Sorting Your Mail: Once your mailpiece has been designed, printed, and addressed, you re ready to sort your mail. There are four major steps: Get supplies. (Trays, buckets, sacks, sleeves,labels) Sort the mail. Prepare the containers of mail. Fill out a postage statement. When you are finished with these steps you ll be ready to go to the Business Mail Entry unit to drop off your mailing. 54

55 Get Supplies: Mail Preparation You ll need supplies to sort and prepare your mail. You can pick up most of these supplies during normal business hours at the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) the place at a Post Office where mailers drop off business mail. A BMEU clerk will help you find exactly what you need. 55

56 Mail Preparation Supplies continued: The Postal Service supplies the following items for free: 1. Trays For letters: The Postal Service has 1-foot and 2-foot trays. 2. Tray "sleeves" or lids. 3. Bundle Labels. 4. Container labels. 5. Labeling Lists. Available online 6. Quick Service Guides Available online 7. Postage statement. Available online You will also need strapping material. Trays of mail must be secured with a single strap around the length of the sleeved tray. Most large office supply stores carry strapping material. 56

57 Business Customer Gateway Click on Business Customer Gateway in lower right corner. Register with a User Name & Password This site will become an important tool for your mailing needs. 57

58 58

59 Mail Preparation Presorting Your Mail: Basically, "presorting" means grouping your mail by ZIP Code. All of the pieces going to the same destination get grouped into the same bundle or tray. You ll sort to specific areas, and then work your way up to more general areas. All leftover mailpieces are put together. Some mailers want to experience lower discounts but do not want to presort their own mail. In order to get presorted rates of postage these mailers contract out their mailings to individual presort bureaus and letter shops. 59

60 Preparing Your Mailing Presort Software Available at 60

61 Preparing Your Mailing Sorting 5 Digit Mailpieces that are sorted to 5 digits share the same ZIP Code and are usually concentrated in one small town or neighborhood 3 Digit All remaining mailpieces that share the same first 3 ZIP Code digits are grouped together AADC All remaining mailpieces are sorted to Automated Area Distribution Centers (AADCs), which are areas that serve several 3-digit ZIP Codes in one area of the country Mixed AADC All remaining mailpieces are sorted to the mixed AADC level. Mixed AADC presort includes mail that is sent to all parts of the country 61

62 Preparing Your Mailing Sorting Basic Carrier Route If you have 10 or more mailpieces going to the same carrier route High Density If you are mailing 125 or more mailpieces to the same carrier route and you sort the pieces in carrier route sequence Saturation If you are mailing to at least 75% of the total possible delivery points on a single carrier route or to 90% of the total residential addresses on a single carrier route 62

63 SIMPLIFIED ADDRESSING Simplified mailings are mailings that are addressed to Postal Customer and delivered to 100% (Saturation) of the Carrier Route. Letter size Simplified addressed mailings are only available to Government institutions or Rural or Post Office Box only delivery offices. 63

64 As of January 2, 2011, mailings of Simplified addressed flats and irregular parcels are available to all Business mailers. 64

65 Preparing Your Mailing Containers Letters are sorted into trays First Class flats are sorted into flat trays Other flats and parcels are sorted into sacks Letters Flats 65

66 Mail Preparation Prepare the Containers of Mail: Once all of the mail has been put into the correct tray, the trays must be sleeved and strapped: Check that each tray has a label on it. Slide the correct-sized sleeve (a paperboard "jacket" that fits over the four sides of a letter tray) over each letter tray. Each tray has a matching sleeve (i.e., a 1-foot sleeve for a 1-foot tray). The sleeve slips over the entire tray, leaving the ends of the tray exposed. Secure each tray with a single strap around the length of the sleeved tray. 66

67 Mail Preparation Fill Out a Postage Statement: Once your mail is packaged and all of the trays are sleeved and strapped, you re ready to fill out a postage statement. A postage statement is a special form produced by the Postal Service that documents the number of pieces in your mailing and the postage rate that you're paying for those pieces. It also includes spaces for your company name and permit number. 67

68 Preparing Your Mailing Supporting Documentation All mailings require a signed and completed postage statement Please refer to the handout 68

69 Preparing Your Mailing Supporting Documentation All mailings require a signed and completed postage statement 69

70 Preparing Your Mailing Supporting Documentation USPS Qualification Report 70

71 Entering Your Mailing Checklist All of your mail (count the containers!) Signed and dated postage statements Supporting Documentation (USPS Qualification Report) A check to fund your permit account and pay annual mailing fees (if you haven t already) A check, cash* or meter strip affixed to your postage statement for additional postage (if you used precanceled stamps of meter strips 71

72 Mail Preparation-Where to drop off All presorted (discount rate) mail must be brought into the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU). This includes all presorted First- Class Mail, all Standard Mail, bulk quantities of Package Services, and any mail paid with permit imprint. YOU CANNOT GIVE PRESORTED OR PERMIT IMPRINT MAIL TO A LETTER CARRIER OR DEPOSIT IT IN A COLLECTION BOX! You must take your mailing to the office where you hold your mailing permit. For most mailers, this will be your local business mail entry unit, but if you re in a small town you may have to take your mail directly to the retail window. Be sure to check the hours of Bulk Mail Acceptance at the office you hold your permit. 72

73 Mail Acceptance What Happens at the Post Office: The clerk checks to make sure that you ve prepared your mail properly. The clerk will open at least one of your trays to check your mail for: Eligibility of contents (for Standard Mail, the clerk will actually open one of your mailpieces to check that the contents qualify for the rate you re claiming). Markings and endorsements. Sortation. Postage payment. If you re paying with permit imprint, the clerk will check to see that there s enough money in your advance deposit account to cover the cost of your mailing. 73

74 Checklist Get a mailing permit. Pay an annual mailing fee. Decide on a class of mail. Choose a postage payment method. Get an address list. Check the accuracy of your address list. Create your mailpiece. Address your mail. Get supplies. Sort your mail. Prepare your postage statement either hard copy or electronic 74

75 Resources United States Postal Service usps.com Postal Explorer pe.usps.com DMM Advisory MailPro usps.com/mailpro RIBBS ribbs.usps.gov PCC 75

76 Resources For help designing a mailpiece Mailpiece Design Analysts (MDAs) are postal employees specially trained to answer your questions regarding mailpiece design. For help with nonprofit mail Publication 417, Nonprofit Standard Mail Eligibility, describes the kind of organizations that are eligible for lower nonprofit postage rates. For help sorting your mail Quick Service Guides (QSG) are quick reference guides that describe, with words and pictures, how to prepare your mail to qualify for a certain postage rate. For official Postal Service mailing standards The Postal Explorer web site: pe.usps.com, lists a complete collection of mailing standards and Postal Service publications. 76

77 Additional Resources Domestic Mail Manual, Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service Move Update Standards: click on Move Update from the left hand menu Mailing Requirements (631)

78 78

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