Bulk mailings allow postal customers to send large mailings of identical pieces of mail at reduced postal rates. The “bulk” in bulk mail comes from the fact that mail pieces are processed and mailed in large quantities. Bulk mail is delivered to individual mailing addresses and paid for in one payment by the business or organization. Bulk mail has a variety of modern names like pre-sort standard mail, Bulk Business Mail and Marketing Mail.
By offering discounted rates for bulk mailing, the U.S. Postal Service basically rewards businesses for making its job a little easier. To qualify for bulk mail rates, businesses sort and organize their mail pieces so the post office doesn’t have to. By saving the postal service time, businesses earn a discount.
To qualify for bulk mail discounts, businesses must:
A lot of mail can be sent at bulk rate, but it must meet a number of requirements. For one, it must be the same mail piece, sent to many people. Here are just a few examples:
Also, only mail being delivered in the United States qualifies. International mail cannot be sent bulk mail.
How many pieces are needed to qualify for bulk mail?
The number of mail pieces required varies from one type of mail to another. The current quantity required for bulk mail is:
USPS Marketing Mail – 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail
Bulk mail pricing can be difficult to predict; one industry writer said bulk mail rates are about as difficult to predict as airfares. A number of factors come into play when the USPS calculates rates. Among them are:
The USPS website includes a handy calculator that can help determine the amount of discount a mailing would receive.
Bulk mail has a number of upsides. There are no monthly annual or minimum requirements; in other words, a customer doesn’t have to lock into a set number of mailings. Also, the minimum mail piece requirement is strictly based on quantity; it doesn’t require that a minimum number of pieces be delivered to a particular zip code or area.
The biggest advantage of bulk mail though is cost, with bulk mail discounts typically from 35 to 65 percent off first-class postage. For those who are mailing newsletters or advertising brochures by the thousands, that means substantial savings.
Because a lot of requirements and rules are attached to bulk mail, we always advise businesses to consult with an expert at the post office or mailing services company like ours before they take that route.
Among the questions we ask businesses that come to us for advice about using bulk mail are:
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