Ever since the advancement of modern communication technology that's slowly but surely replacing traditional mail, hundreds of companies - and people - still can't figure out when to use direct mail.
While regular offline communications become less common, marketing mail, including USPS Marketing Mail, yields excellent results. In 2021, the USPS delivered over 66 billion advertising mailings. People willingly open print messages to check the offer inside envelopes. They feel pleasant emotions and personal touch, which online messages no longer offer.
Is USPS the best option for commercial mail marketing? Not always. You need to know when to use it. That's why we have prepared this overview.
This article breaks down the USPS Marketing Mail, when to use it, and how Inkit Send can help speed up the process.
What is USPS Marketing Mail?
The USPS describes marketing mail as a mail matter that doesn't have to be mailed as First-Class Mail or Periodicals. USPS Mail Marketing provides a means for businesses to ship bulk mail to their customers without high costs, losses, or time wastage. It's an affordable way to reach consumers via postal mail.
The service is particularly valuable for national or regional companies that do not meet the budget for traditional marketing channels such as television or radio ads.
So, how does it work?
Previously named Standard Mail, USPS Marketing Mail was rebranded in 2016 to incorporate the business aspect. Companies around the country could finally expand their marketing campaigns at a fraction of the cost. Businesses got a chance to use the Marketing Mail service for:
- A USPS marketing mail package weighing less than 16 ounces
- Newsletters, bulletins, and catalogs
- Printed matter, circulars, and flyers
The cost of using US marketing mail is based on the weight and quantity of the items to be sent. USPS Mail Marketing does not allow its users to send one mail item. Instead, you can only ship a minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail. Check out more requirements here.
Marketing Mail: When to Use
USPS Marketing Mail was designed for commercial use. However, there are several considerations to bear in mind regarding actual use. For instance, some mail categories, e.g., typewritten and handwritten mail pieces, are not eligible for shipping via Marketing Mail. Similarly, documents containing bills or statements of accounts should go through First-Class Mail.
Businesses can only sign up for Marketing Mail only if their items meet the following criteria:
- Bulk mail (200 pieces at the very least or 50 pounds)
- Mail containing explicit advertising for products on sale or lease
- Each mailpiece measures up to 15 by 12 inches
Check out the USPS Marketing Mail content eligibility for more details.
USPS Marketing Mail with tracking is an extra service companies can use to know the date and time of the delivery. It gives you more control over the mailing process and helps evaluate the marketing campaign's effectiveness, including open rates, misdeliveries, etc. Instead of sending a batch of mail and hoping it reaches the destination, you can see how everything is going.
Generally, the primary reason to use USPS marketing mail is if you need an item delivered in a reasonable amount of time at a good price. As slow as it may sound, US marketing mail will be the most cost-effective option for you with lower rates per pound of item. What it lacks in speed is compensated by pricing since quicker options such as FedEx or UPS often put a higher price tag on mail.
What is the Difference Between Marketing Mail and First-Class Mail
First-Class Mail and Marketing Mail have significant differences in their delivery speed, quantity standards imposed by the USPS, and the overall pricing. As the name implies, First-Class Mail is usually prioritized over Marketing Mail, meaning that it takes a shorter time to deliver than Marketing Mail.
What is First-Class Mail?
First-Class mail is the most popular way to send letters and parcels across the country.
If you want to send a letter, bill, invoice, or correspondence via the USPS, it must weigh less than 3.5 ounces and be small enough to fit into an envelope. Otherwise, it will not arrive at its destination through First-Class Mail services. Items that meet these requirements include bills, invoices, and large envelopes.
First-Class Mail vs. Marketing Mail
First-Class Mail was initialized for personal and commercial use. People can send letters and lightweight merchandise across the country in as little as three days. On the other hand, USPS Mail Marketing was designed for bulk commercial mail only.
Here are a few notable differences between the two services:
- Delivery time. First-Class Mail promises to deliver locally and nationally in two to three days. Marketing Mail is a bit slower, typically starting at five days. Time-sensitive businesses that want to ship fast and accurately should choose the First-Class Mail option.
- Shipping weight. First-Class Mail does not specify the minimum shipping weight. However, all flats under First-Class Mail must be under 13 ounces and 4 ounces (for ordinary letters). If you exceed the maximum weight, the item will be categorized as Priority Mail.
For Marketing Mail, the maximum weight for flats should be under 16 ounces and 3.5 ounces (for letters).
- Returns and mail forwarding. First-Class Mail users can enjoy free automatic returns and mail forwarding. The United States Postal Service offers a free return service for all insured. On the other hand, Standard Marketing Mail does not provide similar mail forwarding services.
- Cost. Based on all the differences mentioned above, First-Class Mail involves a higher price, primarily associated with the variety of items that can be shipped and the speed of service. Standard Mail is less costly given the amount of mail you send.
Marketing mail is an excellent service. However, if your business is more concerned with quality over quantity, UPS and FedX are the better way out. You can also consider mail marketing automation software like Inkit Send. It takes offline communications to a new level by making them trigger-based and synchronized with online marketing. Learn more about this tool below.
Inkit Send for Automated Batch Marketing Mails
When planning a USPS mail marketing campaign, it takes lots of time and effort to make the right choices. You must have complete information to choose the best mailing class before your campaign begins.
Inkit Send API is an easy way to automatically build, deliver, and manage paper communications at scale. From staying in tune with your CRM systems to automatically sending direct mail or printed promotional materials based on specific actions or events, it's a perfect tool to make direct mail a part of personalized cross-channel campaigns. Send also reduces back-office overhead for print workflows by automating many routine processes.
Ready to embark on a new marketing mail journey? Get Inkit for free to automate your offline communications.