Campus Mail Room - mass and bulk mail


Bulk mailings are a way for the customer to save money on postage when sending out large amounts of mail. The cost of postage charged by the USPS is reduced considerably because the customer verifies addresses and presorts the pail pieces.  This saves the USPS man hours and that savings is passed on to the customer

In November 2008, there was a big change with how bulk mailings need to be set up and it is known as “Move Update.”  Basically, the USPS wants to cut down on the number of Undeliverable As Addressed (UAA) pieces in bulk mailings by having the senders confirm their address lists before they send out the mail pieces or pay for mail that is returned.  They want the customer to either verify all addresses (Cleaning the Address List) in the mailing by an approved USPS means or by adding an Ancillary Service Endorsement to each mail piece when it is mailed.  By using the Ancillary Service Endorsement, the customer is charged a fee for pieces that are returned, whereas if the address list was cleaned, the mail pieces are normally not returned and if they are, the customer is not charged.

Determining if a mailing meets presorted non-profit bulk mailing criteria is easy. There must be at least 200 pieces, each piece must be identical in contents and weight, and pieces must have no personal information in the mailing except for the name and address.  If you are a little short of that, say you have only 180 or 190 pieces, you can address the number difference to 1900 W 7th St, Plainview TX and still get the discount for bulk mailing.  Any more than 20 to make up the difference doesn’t make it worth it to send it as bulk.  USPS policy is that we cannot send bulk mail pieces to an address in a foreign country.  We are allowed to send to U.S. Territories like Puerto Rico and Guam.

There are two different types of bulk mailings we can do by using the “Non-Profit Standard” class of mail.  They are “Permit Imprint” and “Postage Affixed.”  “Permit Imprint” is where an indicia is printed on, stamped on, or labeled on the envelopes where postage normally goes and “Postage Affixed” is where we put the postage on the envelopes with the postage meter machine. Below is an example of an indicia for “Permit Imprint”. 

PERMIT # 134

Bulk mail can also be sent out as Automation or Non-Automation. The automation rate is a little cheaper to mail, normally a penny or two less per piece on the postage. To get the automation rate, an Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) must be included with the printing of the “TO” address for each mail piece. 

Whatever way you choose to send a bulk mailing (permit imprint or metered), the address must either be verified by a USPS-approved vendor or you can use an “Ancillary Endorsement” which is printed on the envelope when run through the postage machine. 

If you want the address list cleaned, coordinate it with Amanda Sutterfield in IT.  She will have you send the list to her, she will send it to whoever she sends them to, and she’ll get it back in about 2 days, and send it back to you.  The receipt from the company that “Cleaned” the address list must accompany the mailing paperwork when it is taken to the Post Office.  Address lists that have been “Cleaned” are only good for 95 days.  You must have the list cleaned again if it has been more than 95 days since it was last cleaned and you are going to use it for bulk mailing. 

Using an “Ancillary Endorsement” is an alternative way to qualify a Bulk Mailing without verifying the address list. The endorsements are: “Return Service Requested”, “Address Service Requested”, and “Change Service Requested”.  Using an ancillary endorsement works well unless the piece is returned for the address not being correct.  For Return Service Requested, if the mail piece is returned we are charged the normal postage rate for that piece. For Address and Change Service Requests that are returned or forwarded, an additional cost of fifty cents is charged. 

For both types of mailings, make sure all the envelopes are put into the trays in numerical zip code order from the lowest number in front to the largest number at the back. We will check them for you but if we find a problem with them, we will need you to put them in proper order. We can give you as many envelope trays as you may need. 

Mailings using the permit imprint require payment of the postage to go along with the mail pieces when it is brought to the Plainview Post Office.  As you are aware, cutting a check is time consuming and you need to know the cost of the mailing before you ask for the check to be cut by the business office.  Contact the mail room supervisor as soon as you know you are sending a bulk mailing using permit imprint so you can get assistance on determining how much will be spent on the postage.

Mailings using “Postage Affixed” are simple to pay for because they are run through the postage machine the same way as daily outgoing mail except at a less expensive rate.

As you are preparing for a bulk mailing, an MS Excel file list of the addresses in the mailing needs to be used and sent to the mail room supervisor. This address list is used to determine what discounts can be used by the number of mail pieces sent to zip codes.  The easiest one is having at least 150 pieces going to zip codes using the first 3 digits like “790” for the area around Plainview.  The Excel address list sheet is also used to make a “Bulk Mailing Tally Sheet” which is required by USPS for all bulk mailings.  The number of address on the list must match the number of mail pieces sent.

One other way to do a bulk mailing is to have a mailing service company do all the legwork for you. Some companies can do everything from designing and printing the contents to cleaning your address list and giving it back to you, to putting all the pieces into the envelopes and mailing the envelopes out for you. A good point of contact for that is the Public Relations Office. 

We can get any and all types of containers needed for a bulk mailing, including sacks that are required for bulk mailing flats.  Please give us some lead time for these projects and do not wait until the last minute.