Direct Mail Marketing

How Long Does First Class Mail Take?

December 22, 2021

Technological advancements have brought newer and quicker ways to deliver messages, but many businesses still prefer to send bills, invoices, and postcards via direct mail.

In a digitized era such as this, knowing that the United States Postal Service processes and delivers approximately 429.9 million mail in a day may come as a shock to many. However, considering that according to these direct mail statistics, direct mail has an open rate of 90% as compared to email’s 20 to 30%, the number of mail at postal service providers will only grow larger.

To cater to these needs, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers a myriad of mailing services, including standard and first class mail delivery.

However, delivery times are a rising concern to many entrepreneurs. Many want to know, how long does mail take?

This article focuses on first class mail, helping you understand what it really is, how it differentiates from standard mail and the 1st class mail time.

So, what is first class mail? How efficient is it? How long is first class mail?

Let's delve into the specifics.

What Is First Class Mail?

Before we understand how long USPS first class mail takes, let’s define it.

First class mail is a mail delivery system by the United States Postal Service. It is an immediate mail delivery option, allowing you to send letters with a maximum weight of 3.5 oz and 13 oz for flats and parcels fast.

First Class mail is one of the widely used mail delivery solutions. It is mostly ideal for individuals as well as retailers and includes additional services like return and forwarding.

Read on to find out how long is first class mail.

What Is the Difference Between First Class and Standard Mail Delivery Systems?

Similar to first-class, standard mail is another mail delivery option that USPS offers. These two differ in their service provision and pricing.

But before we dig a little deeper into how fast first class mail is, let’s first define standard mail.

Standard mail, also known as bulk postage, is a mail distribution service ideal for batch mailers, where time is not of the essence.

Since both options serve businesses, marketers often experience challenges picking the right one for their campaigns. To help them make an informed decision, here are the differences between the two.

  • Delivery Time

Comparing the two, how long does mail take?

First-class mail is time-sensitive and is given the utmost priority.

So, how long does first class mail take to deliver?

First-class mails need to reach the recipient on or before stipulated times or dates, even on peak seasons. As such, it is faster.

Unlike the strict first-class mail time, standard mail has a more flexible delivery timeline as USPS processes them on an availability basis.

  • Capacity

The minimum number of mail to be distributed is another defining factor. With standard mail, you can only send a minimum of 200 parcels, unlike first class mail where the minimum mailing quantity is 1—another reason that explains its speedy first-class mail delivery time.

  • Expenses

Mail delivery pricing is dependent on various moving parts, including the mailing quantity and quality of service. The express and time-sensitive nature of first-class mail services make it a bit pricey per unit mail.

However, when all is considered, standard mail requires you to send over 200 letters or parcels, which can be expensive.

  • Additional Services

USPS offers personalized services for both first-class and standard mail at additional services. However, the standard mailing option is not inclusive of return and forwarding, a service that the postage service provider offers with first-class mail delivery.

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Why Do Businesses Need to Deliver Mail as First Class?

We live in a fast-paced world where businesses need to reach their target audience and respond to their habits quickly. Considering the importance of excellent time management in business marketing campaigns, two questions that linger in the minds of business owners are; how effective is first class mail, and how long does mail take?

There are various reasons why businesses need to deliver letters and parcels as first class.

For starters:

First-class mail delivery is a premium mailing service that will guarantee the quick distribution of company letters, client invoices, billings, and other lightweight parcels. Accelerated USPS first class package time guarantees rapid deliveries, and companies can rest easy knowing their letters will reach their recipients without delay.

More importantly, USPS prioritizes this mail delivery system, making it an excellent option for companies when sending emails during high-traffic seasons like Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, and other important holidays. This trait also makes it the perfect option for businesses like credit card companies, financial institutions, and other businesses that need a more consistent mailing schedule.

Furthermore, first-class mail delivery also offers presorting services that allow companies to send bulk mails fast—500 pieces and above. It is a more cost-effective time-sensitive mail delivery system.

How Long Does First Class Mail Take to Deliver?

Most people know first-class mail as a same-day delivery service. However, this USPS first class package time is not entirely accurate.

So, how long does first class mail take, really?

In the United States, the first-class mail time is one to three days. Of course, people living within the State will receive their mails speedier than those living across the country. Also, factors such as adverse weather conditions and senders indicating the wrong addresses may affect delivery times. However, standard shipping time for first-class mails is done within three days.

Now that we have answered how long USPS first class mail takes, let’s delve into batch deliveries.

mail delivery

What’s the Difficulty with Batch Delivery of First Class Mail for Your Customer Database or Employee Database?

With streamlined postal services, first-class mail shipping time is rarely a problem. Despite this, many mail service providers encounter their fair share of batch delivery challenges.

Address verification is one of the most common problems that a company faces when handling batch deliveries and is often the case when a recipient has relocated. Bulk mails with inaccurate addresses slow down the dispatching of mails and add unnecessary costs, which is one of the reasons why USPS has stipulated rules and guidelines for batch mailers.

For starters, you need to verify all customer or employee address details against the National Change of Address database. You then have to update any inaccurate addresses.

The postal service also requires you to be CASS certified. This is a process that ensures you have accurate ZIP+4 codes and a delivery point code if you are going to include barcodes to be eligible for a discounted postage rate.  

Additionally, you need to sort out your mail in accordance with USPS’ sorting and transportation requirements. For first-class mailing, you are not only required to sort them out according to their ZIP codes but also their sizes, placing them in their rightful trays.

These are not the only bulk mailing USPS rules. The whole process becomes even more complex considering the varying rules in each mail type and size. Furthermore, in a bid to minimize the handling of mail, USPS reviews these requirements quite often, which can make batch delivery a nightmare for businesses.

How to Facilitate, Speed Up & Automate the Process with Inkit Verify + Inkit Send Combination?

Inkit is a reach enablement platform offering software products to help businesses reach their customers or employees faster and with a higher success rate. We understand that bad addresses are detrimental to the longevity of your brand as they prevent important information from reaching its intended recipient and can be a hindering factor when making vital business decisions.

With Inkit Verify, our batch address verification API eliminates the stresses and time-consuming process of checking the accuracy of addresses one after the other. Inkit Verify allows you to process high volumes of addresses and confirm their correctness at the click of a button. The process is completely automated, checks all addresses in real-time, facilitating a speedy bulk mail delivery.

Inkit Send allows you to automate the process of sending mail to your customer or employees. The software quickly integrates with your CRM and becomes an essential part of your multichannel marketing campaigns sending mail based on triggers and providing tracking information.

To learn more about the capabilities of Inkit software, contact us today.

Ready to captivate your customers?
Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.