Outgoing Mail Recommendations
This information is not limited to Mail Operations personnel. The following recommendations should be shared with every department within your agency. Hopefully this information will ensure material received by Mail Operations for dispatch will be prepared in a way which meets customer and United States Postal Service (USPS) requirements. Also the mail will have the characteristics necessary for the most cost effective and efficient mailing possible.
Working on a project? Will anything in this project result in a mailing?
A few moments spent in the early phases will save your agency time and money at the time of mailing.
Complete the following checklist. It will be worth your time.
What is it (letter, flat, package, publication)?
Quantity expected to be sent?
How will it be sent (self-mailer, envelope, packaging)?
How fast do I need this to be in the hands of my recipients?
Immediately? Use First Class mail (Barcode and Presort First Class mail)
Not urgent? Consider using bulk mail (Standard A) for material that qualifies and is less time sensitive.
What is the Mailing List Source?
Address mail according to USPS standards in order to ensure efficient handling of mail and qualification for discount rates.
Does my mailing list meet USPS Move Update (Change of Address) requirements? What method?
Information about the USPS Move Update requirements can be found in the attached USPS Quick Service Guide on page 5.
Is this a one time only mailing or will it be repeated in cycles (monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annually)?
Who will physically prepare the mailing at all steps? List steps and responsible party:
Internally, can I get resources committed to complete the mailing from data processing, procurement of envelopes, printing, inserting, etc., in the time frame my project requires?
Will any part of this mailing be prepared by an outside source/contracted?
Will there be mail generated back to the agency as a result of this mailing?
If yes, how is it coming back to us?
The agency will pay the postage? You will be using Business Reply Mail (BRM). BRM is charged at First Class postage for the mailing piece in addition to a handling charge which varies dependent upon the level of BRM service your agency selects.
The sender will pay the postage? Will you furnish a courtesy reply envelope, properly addressed, for the customer to use for responding? Using a courtesy reply can help the mail center isolate the mailing faster for you, and encourages a response from your sender.
Will the reply mail contain remittances? If so, consider the use of a separate PO Box to expedite the remittance process.
What is my budget for mailing?
You can reduce your postage costs through use of State Contracts for mail services.
The size of the piece can also dictate how much it will cost. For instance, an oversized postcard does not mail at postcard rates. Imagine your surprise to find out a 5x7 card is full First Class postage even though it was printed on card stock. By the same token, a flat sized piece under one ounce is also surcharged.
So how do I know how much the piece will cost me? Or how do I find out how to save money on the mailing?
Once you have an idea what the requirements of the Agency will be, then the USPS and SSSD State Mail Office can help you in determining the best way to do this mailing. A team of mail professionals are available to you for help in design specification and to ensure everything in your mailing plans will meet your needs, as well as postal regulations.
Important Reminders and References:
- Please consolidate mail going to the same address (field offices, vendors, etc.);
- Consultation Requirements - see Mail Equipment and Service Consultation Requirements Page 13 of the Guidebook; and
- State Mail Services Contract and National Change of Address Contract information can be found on Page 5 of the Guidebook.