Learn About Bulk Mailing and Tracking → Electronic Postage Statements

USPS Soon Requiring Postage Statements to be Electronic - What Bulk Mailers Need to Know

ScottScott
 Postage $aver Software


Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy When you take a bulk mailing to the post office, you have to give them a form to show how you've calculated the postage. This form, called a postage statement, can currently be submitted as a hard copy or electronically.

Starting January 28, 2024 March 31, 2024, USPS will no longer accept hard copy postage statements. You will need to submit the information from the postage statement electronically before you take your mailing to them.

Who does the USPS electronic postage statement requirement apply to?

Just to be clear, this change has nothing to do with normal mail dropped in a blue mailbox, picked up by your carrier, mailed at a USPS retail counter, etc., regardless of quantity.

This only applies to mailers who get postal discounts by sorting, barcoding, printing a postage paid box, or otherwise saving the post office money by doing some of USPS' work themselves. If you don't have to submit a postage statement now, you are not going to be required to after the change.

But the change applies to all mailers who are currently submitting paper postage statements. There are no exceptions for "small mailers" or anyone else
Confused by the USPS Postal Wizard?

Postage $aver bulk mail software automatically figures out exactly what to enter for each mailing, and prints line-by-line instructions walking you through the entries. See a sample.

Plus, it computes all postage amounts so you can check your work!

And, you get full instructions for assembling your mailing, tray tags, a hardcopy postage statement for your records, and more!

Starts at just $49.50 with a full year of updates! (Full price, not a monthly charge.)

Try it FREE for 30 days! No credit card required!

"Just wanted to tell you, that your Postal Wizard instructions are perfect. My BMEU guy is telling me that I'm the only person in my area doing it right, thanks for making me look good!" - Michael, Foxy's Publishing.

Aren't some mailers already required to submit electronically?

Yes. If you are submitting "full-service barcoded" mailings, you already must meet the electronic postage statement requirement. So nothing will change for you.

What do I have to do to meet the USPS electronic postage statement requirement?

There are two ways to meet the USPS electronic postage statement requirement. One is fairly easy and free. The other is easier, but expensive.

USPS Postal Wizard – free, and believe it or not, pretty easy to use:

Fortunately, USPS has actually done something to make life easier for small and medium volume mailers. If your mailing is not full-service barcoded, or is full-service but has less than 50,000 pieces, you just have to give USPS to information it needs to calculate the postage you owe for the mailing.

You can do this by simply entering the information from the postage statement onto the Postal Wizard tool on the USPS business customer gateway web site.

If you use our Postage $aver Pro or Postage $aver Lite software to prepare your mailing, you'll automatically get line-by-line instructions telling you exactly what to enter into the Postal Wizard. Otherwise, here's our step-by-step Postal Wizard walkthrough .

Note that the per-mailing limit for using the Postal Wizard for full-service barcoded mailings was recently increased from 9,999 pieces to 49,999 pieces. And there is no limit for basic-service barcoded mailings and for mailings that do not use barcodes. That lets a lot more mailers use this free system.

Mailers sending full-service barcoded mailings have been required to submit electronically for quite a while, and many have been using the Postal Wizard. Most find it easy to use, once they figure it out the first time.

We recently asked our users if they are already using the USPS Postal Wizard, and if so, how easy is it to use. 60% said it is easy or very easy to use, with just 11% finding it difficult or very difficult. That's pretty great for a postal app. And with Postage $aver's new line-by-line instructions, it's even easier!

60% of users rate USPS Postal Wizard easy or very easy to use

Mail.dat and Mail.xml – the expensive solution:

Instead of using the USPS Postal Wizard, you can submit special files, called Mail.dat or Mail.xml, that include piece-by-piece barcode information about your entire mailing, plus postage calculations and other information. These files are created by special software created for that purpose, usually as part of a larger presort software package.

Mail.dat and Mail.xml are designed for large volume mailers. The files are complicated and designed to handle mailing scenarios rarely used by small to medium volume mailers, and they're priced accordingly. There is no "light" version of Mail.dat or Mail.xml for smaller volume mailers.

Plus, for Mail.dat (arguably the easier format to program), there's a steep royalty that software developers are required to pay to an industry group just for creating files in that format. That adds to the cost.

The only time you are required to submit a Mail.dat or Mail.xml file, instead of using the Postal Wizard, is if you are submitting a full-service mailing of 50,000 pieces or more, or a combined mailing of full-service barcoded pieces and nonbarcoded pieces.

Our recommendation - Use the USPS Postal Wizard whenever possible.

Unless your mailings don’t qualify to use the Postal Wizard, or you send bulk mailings so often that you'd spend a lot of time entering data, we recommend using the Postal Wizard. That's what we do.

Buying more expensive software just to create Mail.dat or Mail.xml would wipe out a lot of your postage savings. So unless you already need large volume mailing software because of the kinds of mailings you are doing, we recommend staying away from Mail.dat and Mail.xml.

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy

How do I get started using the USPS Postal Wizard?

If you use our Postage $aver Pro or Postage $aver Lite software to prepare your mailing, you'll automatically get line-by-line instructions telling you exactly what to enter into the Postal Wizard.

Otherwise, here's our step-by-step Postal Wizard walkthrough . It takes you through getting started and explains all of the required information.

What if I have questions?

Feel free to ask us a question if you get stuck. We'll do our best to help.

And, of course, you can always reach out to the USPS help desk.


Scott
Scott started Postage Saver Software in 1994. He's been helping small businesses and nonprofits save postage with postal bulk mail for more than 25 years. Scott's based in Austin, Texas. He's happy to answer your bulk mailing questions!