Updated for the January 27, 2019 USPS postage increases.

The most common type of postal bulk mail is called "Marketing Mail" (formerly "Standard Class Mail", "Standard Mail" or "Third Class Mail"). Most advertising mail, newsletters, etc. are sent using Marketing Mail. Marketing Mail has one level of postage rates for commercial mailers, and a second lower level of postage rates for approved nonprofit organizations.

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy Here's what this page covers:
red dotWhat are the postage rates?
red dotHow many pieces do I need?
red dotWhat are the size and weight limits?
red dotCan I personalize the mail?
red dotHow do I pay the postage?
red dotHow do I get started?

Postage depends on the size category and weight of the pieces being mailed, along with where the pieces are going and what type of postal facility they are mailed from (and more....) You can use our Marketing Mail bulk mail rate calculator (below on this page) to see the rates for the specific type of pieces you are mailing.

This page is about Marketing Mail postcard, letter and flat sized mailings. For information about Marketing Mail parcels, please see our parcels help page.

Postage Saver software makes postal bulk mailing easy

What are the postage rates for Marketing Mail Bulk Mail?

Make sure you know whether your mail piece is a letter, a flat, or a parcel. That is determined by the size of the piece, not by what it contains.

For example, a 9 x 12 envelope containing a letter is considered a "flat" because of its size, while a 5 x 8 card is considered a "letter", even though most of us would call it a postcard.

Unlike First Class, Marketing Mail does NOT have a special, lower rate for 4 x 6 postcards. There is no difference in postage between a card and an envelope, as long as they are the same size.

For full information on the categories, see Letters vs. Flats.

There is no single postage rate that applies to all commercial or nonprofit Marketing Mail bulk mail. In fact, in any Marketing Mail bulk mailing, there's a pretty good chance that you'll pay several different postage rates on different pieces, depending on where the pieces are going.

The postage rate for Marketing Mail bulk mail depends on the size and weight of the mail piece, and on how many pieces you have going to a particular zip code or area.

Also, Marketing Mail offers "entry discounts" for sending your mailing from a major sorting center. Nonprofits get additional discounts off of the commercial Marketing Mail rates.

You can use our Marketing Mail bulk mail postage rate calculator to find the rates available for your mailing.

Marketing Mail Bulk Mail Postage Rate Calculator

Rates updated for USPS changes effective January 27, 2019.

Make the following selections to find the postage rates for your Marketing Mail mailing:

Mailer is:

Select Mail Size:
letter - up to 6⅛" x 11½" x ¼", whether in an envelope or not.
flat - up to 12" x 15" x ¾" whether in an envelope or not.
 Flats must be able to bend. If your piece is not flexible, or is larger than a flat in any dimension, it is a parcel. For parcels postage rates, please see our parcels help page.

Weight in ounces (must be less than 16):

For letters, does something (like an unusual shape) make this mailing
yes  no
 See here for explanation.

Your 5-digit zip code:

If you already have the list you want to mail to, we recommend you download a free trial copy of our Postage Saver bulk mail software, and run your list through it. It will figure out the exact postage you'd pay for mailing that specific list, and let you try various options.

There are additional discounts for mail sent to every address in an area, and for mail sent from USPS National Distribution Centers and Auxiliary Service Centers. Please contact us for more information if these situations apply to your mailing.

How many pieces do I need for Marketing Mail bulk mail?

To get Marketing Mail bulk mail pricing, you need to send at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail at one time (whichever is less). You don't need to send a certain number of pieces to any particular zip code or part of the country, etc., as long as all of your mail is going to addresses within the United States (which can include military addresses, Puerto Rico and U.S. possessions). There are also no monthly or yearly quantity requirements.

What are the size and weight limits for Marketing Mail Bulk Mail?

The weight limit for Marketing Mail bulk mail depends on the size of your mail piece.
  • Marketing Mail letter-size mail may not weigh more than 3.5 ounces if it is barcoded, or must weigh less than 16 ounces if it is not barcoded.

  • Marketing Mail flat-size mail must weigh less than 16 ounces.
The longer side of each piece must be no more than 15 inches long. The shorter side must be no more than 12 inches long. The piece can be no more than 3/4" thick.

Pieces that are larger, or that aren't flexible enough to go through postal sorting equipment, may be able to be sent using Marketing Mail parcel service, or Parcel Select Lightweight service, which are very economical services for parcels under one pound. See our help page on saving money on bulk parcels.

Can I personalize Marketing Mail bulk mail?

In each mailing, your pieces must be essentially identical. However, you can include some personalized information on each piece, if it's directly related to the purpose of the mail. (Careful, the rules can be tricky. See our help page on the do's and don'ts of personalizing bulk mail.)

That means you may send form letters on which you personalize the name and address. And, if you follow the rules carefully, you can include some other personalized information, like the amount of a recent donation.

But, you can't scribble notes to your friends on various pieces. And you generally can't send invoices, statements, checks, or other similar mail using Marketing Mail.

(If you send mail like invoices, statements, or similar mail that is not eligible for Marketing Mail rates, and you send at least 500 pieces at one time, you can still get a small postage discount by using presorted First Class Mail.)

How do I pay the postage for Marketing Mail bulk mail?

Bulk Mail Indicia
if you buy a permit imprint authorization, you can print an "indicia" box like this on your mail instead of putting a stamp on each piece. That saves a lot of work.

Here's what goes in an indicia box.
The most common way to pay your postage is to maintain an account at the post office. You just print a "postage paid" box, called an "indicia", on your mail pieces, instead of using stamps or a postage meter. Then, each time you bring in a mailing, USPS will verify your postage calculations and then make sure you have enough in your account to pay for your mailing.

To use an indicia on your mail, you must buy a "permit imprint authorization", which you can do when you apply for your mailing permit. There is a $235 one-time charge for the authorization.

Since the indicia is not really actual postage, you can design it as part of the printing on your mail piece, just like your return address. You don't need any special software to print an indicia.

Some mailers believe it is worth the effort to use stamps or a meter on their presorted mail, instead of an indicia, so it doesn't look like bulk mail. The choice is up to you.

How do I get started with Marketing Mail?

To learn how to get started and to prepare your first mailing with Marketing Mail bulk mail, see our Getting Started with Postal Bulk Mail page.


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