Tom Kubinski
Printing Consultant
Direct: 612-278-1568
Fax: 612-334-5879
Cell: 612-760-3700
1109 Zane Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN. 55422
Phone: 612-375-1150
Fax: 612-334-5879
Toll Free: 1-800-230-2828

Branding - 22 Laws Of
Brand Warfare
Creative Coatings Techniques
Desktop Techniques
Digital / Variable Printing
Direct Mail Raise Response, Lower Costs
FSC Certification
For Direct Marketers
In House Mailing Capabilities
Ink Tour
Paper Mill Tour - Coated
Paper Mill Tour - Uncoated
Picking the Right Paper
PDF Formats
PDF Info & Quark vs. InDesign
PODi - Digital Print Success Story
Postal Changes, Mailing Requirements & Rates
Post it to the Web vs. Print
PURL - Avoid Dog House Campaign
QR Codes
Save Disk Space
Social Media -- The Basics
Social Media vs. Print
Top File Issues
UV Burn
Ways to Save Money
What Sets Sexton Apart?
Why Print in a Down Market?
Why Work With TK?

May 2010 TK's Korner
Postal Changes, Mailing Requirements & Rates

With so much changing in just about everything we do, it is nice to see very little occurring this year as it pertains to the Post Office. Listed below, you'll find the tools and information necessary for this years mailings.

Starting March 15th, 2010, the Postal Service will no longer fill out the USPS section of the Postage Statement, nor round-stamp the document, or send a hard copy to the permit holder. To obtain a receipt, permit holders are encouraged to visit the "Business Customer Gateway" to access PostalOne!, the system of record. The phone # to contact and set-up on "Business Customer Gateway" is 901-681-4473.

That's pretty much it for any major changes. Go figure.

Below, you'll find some of the most common weights, classes, and their appropriate rates.

To see a complete price Schedule, please visit

Postage Rates

Letters / Cards Now
1st class Postcard-Non Presorted $.28
1st class Letter-Non Presorted <1oz $.44
1st class Letter-Non Presorted <2oz $.61
1st class Flat-Non Presorted <1oz $.88
1st class 5 digit auto-letter <1 oz $.335
1st class 3 digit auto -letter <1 oz $.357
Standard 5 digit auto-letter <3.3oz $.233
Standard 3 digit auto letter <3.3oz $.251
5 digit- <3.3oz $.346
3 digit- <3.3oz $.418

Postage-Letter vs Flat <3.5 oz
Rate Comparison-3 Digit Automated

Entry Level Flat Letter Difference
None $.418 $.251 $.167
NDC $.384 $.217 $.167
SCF $.375 $.208 $.167

Entry Discounts-Letter vs Flat
Entry Discounts-3 Digit Automated

Category Local NDC SCF
Flat $.00 $.034 $.043
Letter $.00 $.034 $.043

For more information, please visit the Postal Service web site:

A lot of people are wondering what they can do to help decrease their costs - listed below are some helpful suggestions that will come in handy if you bring with you to the Post Office. Double check to make sure all falls within their guidelines, we have found that with so many rules and changes even the Postal workers fail to interpret them all correctly and consistently.

  1. Make a Dummy of your Project to size, on the actual stock you want to use with the design placed.
  2. Review the Dimension Charts to make sure it fits within the classification you want.

    Specifications for First Class, Standard and Periodical -

    1. First Class-Automation & Machinable Mail Specifications -- 115k pdf
    2. Standard-Automation & Machinable Mail Specifications -- 116k pdf
    3. Periodical-Automation & Machinable Mail Specifications -- 106k pdf
  1. Check the Aspect Ratio in order to get automation discounts, your piece must fall between 1.3 to 2.5 (when the length is divided by the height.) Letter size mail only.
  2. Take a Trip to the Post Office (Minneapolis, 612-349-4945), (St Paul, 651-293-3096) for approval. (See more helpful phone numbers below). Make sure a manager actually signs and dates your design dummy.
  3. Consider the Options of changing your size, stock weight, page count, design, where the mailing panel sits, how it folds, tabbing, etc in order to go with a lower postage rate.

    Here are some ideas you can try -

    • Convert premium-priced flats to more economical letter size mail and save! (Dimensions and thickness are the key.)
    • Convert letters to more economical First Class postcards.
    • Consolidate mailings, to mail fewer but heavier pieces.
    • Be flexible, mail piece must pass the 'bend and rigidity' test.
    • Add the appropriate endorsement lines for receiving notification and/or the return of undeliverable pieces.
  1. Move from one Mailing Rate classification to a lesser one. (See point 4 above for details.) Consider that the second ounce of a First Class letter will be less expensive than the first. So, combining information when practical saves on postage. Remember your per piece rate depends on all of the above elements.
  2. Make sure your Design doesn't Require any Surcharges for unique, odd and /or square sizes, or is considered non-mailable thereby being rejected due to non compliance after all has been printed and processed.
  3. List Hygiene and Quality is one of the most important items. Making sure your list has only mailable addresses will reduce undeliverable mail, not lose postage discounts and lower printing costs.

    This is easier than you think with Sexton Printing's optional list hygiene services with industry leading software (see options available below). Send an e-mail request to

    • CASS Certified Postalsoft Mailing Software - requires addresses to be updated using LACSLink data, confirms that the primary address be verified using Delivery Point Validation (DPV) and further verifies that the address is truly deliverable by the USPS. With DPV, ZIP 4 can confirm whether any individual address really exists. Until Nov 22nd of this year, this is required for Postal Discounts and must be done every 180 days for Automation discounts and every 90 days for Carrier Routes. After this date it will be required every 95 days for all previously mentioned discounts.
    • National Change of Address (NCOA) - more than 40 million Americans move each year and make accurate list maintenance a difficult task. NCOA is updated every 2 weeks and identifies individual, family and business moves. Very important for Standard Mail, as it's not forwarded.
    • Address Correction and Encoding by correcting and standardizing address components to increase mailing efficiency and cost-effectiveness, while ensuring that your mailings reach their final destinations.
    • Merge/Purge and Deduping using a matchcode, or sampling of pieces to find similar records, remove costly duplicates and create an accurate single-customer view. Thus reducing the cost of duplicate mailings, which is can be annoying to the recipient.
    • Mail Preference Service (MPS) established the Deceased/Do Not Contact List.
    • Presorting achieves the highest available automated-mail discounts from the USPS and other postal authorities around the world.
    • International Addressing improves accuracy of address data for more than 190 countries. Mailings not conforming to the new standards lose all their automation discounts.
  1. Consider Mail Dropping to designated drop shipping locations or direct entry facilities.

    Sexton has been doing this for years!

  1. Using Variable Data Printing (VDP) - marketing one-to one to your top customers and prospects is a great way to cut down your printing and postage costs. Not to mention increasing your responses, purchases and ROI.
    See Digital Printing / Variable Data or Business Development issue)

    (Sexton has had this option available since 2006.)

Some helpful phone numbers:

Mail Piece Design -
MPLS 612-349-4945 or 612-349-3546
St Paul 651-293-3096

Mailing Requirements -
MPLS 612-349-4739
St Paul 651-293-3177

Permit Information -
MPLS 612-349-4740
St Paul 651-293-3261

Different Classifications that could yield Postal Savings:

  • Class (single piece) & Presorted First Class (bar coded=more postal discounts)
  • Standard Mail & Non-Profit Standard Mail Periodicals - Regular & Non-Profit publications issued at regular intervals requiring a special publication number.
  • Bound Printed Matter, 1lb and over
  • Others

Visit for more information on topics below

Physical Standards for Automation-Compatible Mail
   Quick Service Guide 201a
Placement of Tabs & Wafer Seals
   Quick Service Guide 201b
Automated Flat Sorting Machine (AFMS) 100 & Flat Sorting Machine (FMS) 1000
   Quick Service Guide 301a
Business Reply Mail Layout Guidelines
   Quick Service Guide 507a
Courtesy Reply Mail Layout Guidelines
   Quick Service Guide 507b
Meter Reply Mail Layout Guidelines
   Quick Service Guide 507c

Envelope Sizes -

Other issues of TK's Korners that may be of interest to you:

  1. In House Mailing Capabilities
  2. Direct Mail-Raising Response, Lowering Costs
  3. Digital Printing / Variable Data or Business Development
  4. Ways to Save Money
  5. Why Print? Especially During a Down Market
  6. For Direct Marketers

Hope this helps and stay tuned for the next issue of TK's Korner. You never know what might be covered!

If you have a production issue not discussed above that you would like me to address, or a project that needs to be looked at, please give me a call or send me an email. I will do whatever it takes to ensure you get the best value for every marketing dollar invested.

You can also check out my profile, join my network and view more client comments on LinkedIn at:

Referrals are greatly appreciated, if you know someone I could help, or who might like to receive TK's Korner, please let me know.

"Make sure to check out other issues of TK's Korner!

Selected portions reprinted in Print & Media Buyer, a national magazine for the print industry (Search for Tom Kubinski).

Read world-wide throughout Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Slovenia, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA-Educational, USA-Military, and of course USA".

Print & Media Buyer Magazine, Winter issue 2007

Take care and have a great day!

Tom Kubinski, Printing Consultant

Printing Consultant Who Helps You Make Good Impressions
Direct: 612-278-1568
Cell: 612-760-3700

TK Out Standing in his Field

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