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Direct Mail Update: 2013 Postal Changes

Warning: Dull, yet informative post ahead! To liven it up, I suggest playing Please Mr. Postman by the Marvelettes while you read it.

Are you aware of the United States Postal Service’s latest changes and price increases?

(Yes, it’s true, they have changed again.) Here’s the lowdown:

USPS Price Increases

Since January 27, 2013, the USPS has applied the following price increases:

  • Average increase between 2.6% – 4%.
  • Letters (1oz) – 1-cent increase to 46 cents
  • Postcards – 1-cent increase to 33 cents
  • USPS will continue their ‘2nd ounce rides free’ promotion for 2013. Presorted First-Class Lettersize mail pieces weighing under 2 ounces will continue to be charged at the under 1 ounce rates. Full rate First-Class mail pieces weighing under 2 oz, will be charged at the new $0.46 single-piece rate.

Intelligent Mail Barcode

The United States Postal Service retired the POSTNET barcode on January 28, 2013. All mailings now require the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB).  This change is result of the USPS’s efforts to provide better codes capable of encoding more information, while minimizing the space used on the mail piece. The POSTNET barcode only included delivery point routing info.  The new, IMB holds significantly more data and includes additional fields that can allow mailers to uniquely identify each mail piece in a mailing.

IMB allows:

  • Free Address Change Service
  • Better customer intelligence
  • Delivery Confirmation
  • Better looking mail pieces (fewer barcodes)
  • More effective returned mail processing

HEADS UP: If you are using Business Reply Envelopes from your printed inventory, be sure that they include an appropriate, up-to-date IMB!

You’ll need to obtain a Mailer ID for the USPS through the USPS Business Customer Gateway. Then, use the online tool from USPS to create an IMB template and incorporate it into your BRE artwork.

Changes for Folded Self-Mailers

Big changes for Folded  Self-Mailers, friends!  Here they are:

1. Self mailers that previously only needed one tab at the top, will now need two.

2. Final fold on the top are no longer permitted.

3. Tabs will no longer be allowed on the bottom.

4. Quarter-fold self-mailers must be on at least a 70# text.

5. The final folded panel creates the non-address side of the mail piece by folding from bottom to top, or lead to trail edge. Tri-folded self-mailers should have a mailing address on the middle panel, with the final fold creating the non-address side.

Great song, right? If you have any questions about the changes, please give us a call and one of our Sales Consultants will help keep your direct mail in working order!



FORMost Graphic Communications


This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 at 3:37 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.