USPS Prices Go Up on Sunday
Postage prices increase on Sunday. In the bellwether price rise, Forever stamps increase a penny. “Mailing Services product prices [go up] approximately 1.9%, and most Shipping Services products will average a 3.9% price increase,” according to the USPS.
USPS announced the proposed price increases on Oct. 6 and the PRC approved them on Nov. 9. Since then, marketing consultants like Target Marketing blogger Summer Gould, as well as marketing agencies and marketing vendors like Pitney Bowes have been suggesting ways for direct mailers, catalog mailers and publishers to save money while still using the postal service.
Gould suggests on Jan. 11 that saving money in direct mail involves sending to good lists.
Also, she says, “the wrong design can cost you a fortune.” Her suggestions here are:
- Size: For lower postage rates, keep your mail piece at letter size, which is a minimum of 3 ½” high by 5” long and a maximum 6” high by 10½” long. Larger mail pieces fall into the flat category. Flats can cost more than twice as much per piece as letters. The maximum allowed size is 12” high by 15” long.
- Aspect Ratio: Letter size automation mail must be rectangular. The aspect ratio (length divided by height) has to be from 1.3 to 2.5. Mail pieces that fall outside those ratios could cost twice as much in postage.
- Address: Make sure your address and barcode block on letter size mail fits into the USPS OCR read area. If it doesn’t fit, you pay for it with additional postage. Your mail service provider can give you a template to guide you.
- Panels: Tri-folded self-mailers must be addressed on the center panel to qualify for discounted automation postage.
- Folds: On all folded self-mailers, the final fold must be either below or to the right of the mailing address. Any other fold configuration will result in additional postage.
- Weight: Whenever possible, keep the weight of a folded self-mailer under 1 ounce. You can use minimum 70# text paper and 1 inch tab closures. When your mailer is over 1 ounce you must use minimum 80# text paper and larger tabs. Mailers over 3 ounces must go in an envelope.
- Thickness: Mail pieces that are too thin will cost more postage, so keep your piece at least 0.009” thick and you can save 25 cents or more per piece. The maximum thickness for letter size mail is ¼” and for flat size is ¾”.
Related story: USPS Increases Rates on Jan. 21