Classes of Mail

Classes of mail are tied to the actual postage amount you will pay.  Below are the main classes of mail.

Carrier Route - ECRWSS or Extended Carrier Route Walking Sequence Saturation.  Organizing a list in walk sequence limits the interaction the USPS has with the mail piece by placing each piece in the order that the mail carriers walk/drive their route.  A Saturation mailing is a great way to reach all households in a given area at a low postage rate. 

EDDM - Every Door Direct Mail is a bulk mailing option offered by the United States Postal Service that allows your business to reach potential customers without knowing their address. Simply choose the mailing routes you feel would benefit your business and your mail pieces will be delivered to every active address on your designated route.

First-Class - First Class mail takes one to three business days to reach its destination and is a fast and efficient way to send mail that is personalized. Personal letters and correspondence is often sent through First Class mail, as are many business letters, including statements and invoices.

Marketing Mail - Bulk mail not required to mail as first class or periodical is often mailed as marketing mail. Previously known as ‘standard mail’, marketing mail is less expensive than first class and can leverage destination entry discounts, which may offer even greater postage discounts for large mailings. Marketing mail also includes a special category for non-profit organizations, with postage at  approximately half the normal bulk rates.

Periodicals - Periodicals are a type of publication that is published in a series, or periodically. Things like newspapers, magazines, journals, and newsletters may be eligible to mail at periodical service and rates. It is important to note that according to the USPS, a periodical is a special approved designation, and while a mailpiece may have the appearance of a periodical (like a magazine or a newspaper) the rate is only available to publications approved as a periodical.

Mailpiece Design

Postcards - Many people use the term ‘postcard’ to refer to any rectangular piece of mail from a single sheet of heavy paper. To the Postal Service, a postcard is a single sheet (which may include a single fold with a tear-off return panel) with a final size between 3.5” x 5” and 4.25” x 6”. A postcard is a special category of First Class mail, with first class service. It must conform to more rules, but will offer some postage savings when compared to a First Class letter.

Letter - To most of us a ‘letter’ usually makes us think of a folded piece of paper in a #10 envelope. To the Postal
Service a letter is a category that can also include folded self-mailers and booklet-style mail pieces. There are many nuances, but you can generally think of a letter as a rectangular mail piece between 3.5” x 5” and 6.125” x 11.5”.

Flat - The Postal Service uses the word “flats” to refer to large envelopes, newsletters, and magazines. The words large envelopes and flats are used interchangeably. Whatever you call them, flats must: Have one dimension that is greater than 6-1/8 inches high OR 11-½ inches long OR ¼ inch thick.

Parcels - If your mailpiece does not fall within under one of the categories above, then it is a parcel. Commercial parcels must be a  minimum of 3 x 6 and 1/4" thick and generally no larger than 108 inches in length and girth combined with a maximum weight of 70 pounds.

If you have questions, or need assistance creating your mailpiece, please connect with us through the link below or call us at (888)571-3358.

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Presort Terms

CASS - CASS, the Coding Accuracy Support System, is a software tool certification used to standardize mailing addresses to the preferred USPS standardized address format. Examples of CASS changes include updating to standardized city names, standardized street names, combining primary and secondary addresses into a single line, and updating a ZIP code to from a 5-digit to a 9-digit.

Mail Anywhere Certification - Mail Anywhere is a program that allows a mailer to withdraw postage from a permit held at any post office, not just the post office accepting the mail. This allows a significant advantage of managing a permit from a single post office that can be used to pay for mail presented by an approved mailer anywhere in the country, therefore saving the overhead of opening additional permits.

NCOA - NCOA, or the National Change of Address database, is a USPS managed database of registered moves.  By comparing a mailing list to the NCOA database a list can be updated to mail to the most recently registered move. NCOA processing will also remove records to closed PO Boxes, Foreign moves, or moves with no available updated address.

Walk Sequence - Organizing a list in walk sequence limits the interaction the USPS has with the mail piece by placing each piece in the order that the mail carriers walk/drive their route.

Additional Services

Ancillary Service Endorsement - Ancillary service endorsements are used by mailers to request an addressee’s new address and to provide the USPS with instructions on how to handle undeliverable-as-addressed pieces. The endorsements consist of one keyword: “Address,” “Return,” “Change,” or “Forwarding,” followed by the two words “Service Requested.” The endorsements are the same for all classes of mail, but the treatment and cost differ by class of mail. Use of an ancillary service endorsement on a mail piece obligates the mailer to pay any applicable charges for forwarding, return, and separate address notification charges.

Informed Delivery - Informed Delivery is a consumer-facing feature offered by USPS® that provides users with digital previews of their household mail arriving soon. Mailers can integrate digital campaign elements to enhance and extend the mail moment.

Variable Data Programming - Variable Data Printing (VDP) allows you to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail marketing by making your printed pieces even more personal, and targeting specific segments of your customer base.  Your choice of fonts, colors, images, layout and text all affect how well your direct mail is received.