How to Save More Than 50% Off Mail Postage

Save 50% Off Postage

When preparing a direct mail campaign it’s important to factor in the types of postage to ensure your mail pieces are being delivered in a timely manner while also saving you money. Learn about the differences between first class mail and standard mail to understand which type will suit your campaign best.

First Class Mail

First Class Mail is best for time sensitive delivery, but in small quantities like 250 pieces. The four basic types of first class mail are letters, postcards, large envelopes and small packages. In addition to size and thickness, first class mail must be 13 ounces. If over 13 ounces they will be sent as priority mail. Priority mail pieces include large flat envelopes, padded envelopes, or “flat rate” boxes.

USPS first class mail is processed first, before standard mail. First class mail that is locally addressed typically arrives within 1-3 business days, whereas nationally first-class mail can take up to 4 business days.

Presorted First Class Mail

You can choose to presort your mail to obtain a better postage rate once your mailer surpasses 250 pieces. Presorted mail is done by grouping mail based on area and zip code. Doing so will result in costing the USPS 15% less in which the savings get passed along to you with a lower postage rate. Plus delivery time is the exact same as first class mail.

However, with a lower postage rate comes more work. First, the addresses must be updated with a “move update” method and the most common update method is NCOA (National Change of Address) along with being CASS certified. You will then need to group by zip code and saturation. Lastly, you will then need to place the mail into the appropriate USPS container (trays, buckets or sacks) with container labels and prepare the correct USPS form for your mail.

Presroted Standard Mail (Marketing Mail)

Standard Mail, also known as Marketing Mail, usually consists of flyers, circulars, postcard advertising, newsletters, bulletins, catalogs or other printed pieces. Standard mail must be less than 3.3 ounces for letters and 16 ounces for flats. The minimum for marketing mail is 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail. You will not qualify for the postage discounts if these minimums are not met.

Standard mail or “bulk mail” is processed by USPS after the first class mail is “worked”. Marketing mail is the least expensive postage mode as it’s generally more than 50% less of the price of first class mail. The cost for a letter size mail that is heavier than 3.3 ounces has to be calculated by adding a per piece price or a per pound price for the entire job.

The delivery time for marketing mail will typically be 2-5 business days when delivering locally, but nationally can take up to 10 business days. Same as presorted first class mail, you will have to do the extra work to receive a lower postage rate. This work includes the addresses getting updated with NCOA, CASS certified, put into presort order and placed into the correct type of USPS container.


At Image Cube, we not only help determine what mail piece resonates with your target audience, design the deliverable but we also help choose which postage and delivery option will be best while saving on costs. Connect with one of our expert team members to learn more and get started today!