Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Do you want to mail a magnet?

First of all, yes, you can mail a magnet. Great news right?

But once you decide you want to mail a magnet you have a few options available through the United States Post Office, or the USPS for short.

Here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of your mailing options, but first, a summary.

First class is the fastest and the most expensive. Great to make sure you pieces get delivered before your event date, especially if you're short on time.

Standard bulk mail is the less expensive and slower, but great if your pieces aren't time sensitive.

Non-Profit bulk mail is only available if your are a non-profit organization AND if you have applied for and received an authorization number from the USPS for a non-profit bulk mail permit. The authorization and permit are extra steps required after the non-profit organization is established.

Not for the details:


First Class Bulk Mail

Advantages:

Speedy Delivery: First Class mail, in-state, is generally delivered in 1 to 2 days, and rarely takes longer than a week to anywhere in the continental U.S.

Returned Mail: Bad addresses and moves that are 12 to 18 months old come back to the sender at no charge. Moves within 12 months automatically get forwarded (or could be directed by the use of postal endorsements) to come back to the sender. In either case, there is no charge.

Postal employees try harder: Postal employees are instructed to make every effort to deliver first class mail. No directional indicator? Bad handwriting? If it's first class there's a good chance of arrival.

Likely to be opened by the recipient: Because things of importance are mailed first class (bills, travel confirmation, etc.) recipients often feel compelled to open their first class mail.

Disadvantages:

Cost: The postage on first class mail is higher than some of the other classes of mail to compensate for the additional services provided.

Weight / Cost: Standard mail keeps the same rate as long as the piece weighs less than 3.3 ounces. The cost of first class mail rises incrementally with every ounce.

Weight Restriction: Weight of a single piece cannot exceed 13 ounces.

Qualification: There is a 500 piece minimum to qualify for the first class bulk mail rate.


Standard Mail (Bulk Rate - Most popular)
Advantages:

Low Cost: The Post Office gives standard mail users a low postage rate.

Up to 3.3 ounces: While first class postage increases with every ounce, standard mail gives you the same low rate of postage up to 3.3087 ounces.

Incremental postage increase: After 3.3 ounces, postage goes up incrementally as the weight goes up. FYI: No worries here. Magnet mailers only weigh in at just over 1/2 of an ounce (.6), even with a large 3.5" x 4" magnet. 

Disadvantages:

Slow Delivery: Standard mail generally takes 4 to 8 business days, in-state. Across the U.S., 10 days to 3 weeks is normal delivery time. Worse yet, there is no guarantee that a portion of the mail will not take longer.

Not required to return mail: The Post Office is not required to return undeliverable mail, and in fact throws most undeliverable standard mail away. While a mailer can use an endorsement to be notified of moves or bad addresses, it is not a free service.

Weight Restriction: Weight of a single piece cannot exceed 1 pound, unless your piece qualifies for bulk printed matter.

Qualification: To qualify for standard mail, one must have 50 lbs. or 200 pieces of mail. Either way, all the pieces must have identical weight.


Nonprofit Mail


Advantages:
Low Cost: The Post Office gives additional discounts off the regular standard rates if nonprofit qualifications are met.

Up to 3.3 ounces: While first class postage increases with every ounce, nonprofit mail gives you the same low rate of postage up to 3.3087 ounces.

Incremental postage increase: After 3.3 ounces, postage goes up incrementally as the weight goes up.

Mailer may be seen as frugal: Some nonprofit organizations make it a point to use their nonprofit status to show how frugal they are with donors' money.

Disadvantages:

Restrictions: Nonprofit mail has certain restrictions on what content the mailpiece can contain. If the nonprofit mailer has not complied, they can be charged back the additional postage.

Slow Delivery: Nonprofit mail generally takes 4 to 8 business days, in-state. Across the U.S., 10 days to 3 weeks is normal delivery time. Worse yet, there is no guarantee that a portion of the mail will not take longer.

Not required to return mail: The Post Office is not required to return undeliverable mail, and in fact throws most undeliverable nonprofit mail away. While a mailer can use an endorsement to be notified of moves or bad addresses, it is not a free service.

Weight Restriction: Weight of a single piece cannot exceed 1 pound.

Qualification: To qualify for nonprofit mail, one must have 50 lbs. or 200 pieces of mail. Either way, all the pieces must have identical weight.

Additional paperwork is required to process your order at the non-profit rate. In order to send your magnet mailers out at the non-profit rate, you will need to provide the following:

1. A signed letter of intent on your company letterhead authorizing us to send out the mailer through your non-profit.

2. We will also need fields 1-5 filled on the the USPS form 3623, including a signature.

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