What is the difference between Presorted Standard (formerly Bulk Rate) and First Class Mail?
There are several differences including contents, postage costs and preparation, and speed of delivery. Personalized items (such as statements of account, bills, etc.) cannot be mailed as Presorted Standard. They must go as First Class Mail. Presorted Standard is used for mailing of generic items (newsletters, notices, etc.). Postage for Presorted Standard is less than First Class but has to meet certain sorting requirements established by the U.S. Postal Service. Most First Class Mail will be delivered in 1 to 3 days within Florida and 1 – 6 days nationwide. Presorted Standard usually takes 5 to 10 days for delivery within Florida and 5-15 days nationwide.>

What is CASS Certification?
The CASS™ system improves the accuracy of carrier route, five-digit ZIP®, ZIP+4®, and delivery point codes that appear on mail pieces. CASS is offered to all mailers, service bureaus, and software vendors who want to evaluate their address-matching software and improve the quality of their ZIP+4, CRIS, and five-digit coding accuracy. This process is graded by the United States Postal Service®, National Customer Support Center (NCSC), and the results returned to mailers in order to provide useful diagnostics for correcting deficiencies.

CASS enables the Postal Service™ to evaluate the accuracy of address-matching software programs in three areas: (1) ZIP+4 delivery point coding, (2) carrier route coding, and (3) five-digit coding. CASS allows vendors/mailers the opportunity to test their address-matching software packages and, after achieving a certain percentage of compliance, to be certified by the Postal Service. CASS does not measure the accuracy of ZIP+4 delivery point, five-digit ZIP®, or carrier route codes in a mailer’s existing files. CASS enables mailers to measure and diagnose internally written, commercially-available, address-matching software packages. The effectiveness of service bureaus’ matching software can also be measured.

There are two stages in the CASS process: Stage I, which is optional, and Stage II, which is required for certification.

Are there other benefits to using First Class mail?

Yes. First Class offers a lower postcard rate that applies to our smaller size cards such as 4×6 and 4.25×6. Our larger sized cards such as 8.5×5.5 or 6×9 can mail at the regular First Class letter rate. One other benefit is that First Class automatically includes the forwarding or return of mail if the recipient has moved. Bulk mail is not forwarded unless you use an Ancillary Service Endorsement and pay additional fees for those forwarded and returned pieces. Contact our Mailing Services Department (EXT 1508) for more details.

What is Bulk Mail and what are the major requirements?
A bulk mailing is one that has a minimum number of pieces (200), and is sorted by Zip code when it is delivered to the Postal Service. For PSC, the most commonly used bulk mail class is: Non-Profit Standard Mail (formerly Third-Class Bulk Rate): Minimum of 200 pieces, all the same weight and size. Available for letters up to 3.4 ounces, and flats up to 16 ounces. Content restrictions: Advertising for credit cards, insurance and travel is prohibited under all circumstances. Other advertising must be “substantially related” to the mission of the University (note: this requirement can be difficult to interpret; please contact Mail Services for assistance if you have any questions).

Can you mail my Standard size postcards at Bulk rate?

Yes, but it is rarely cost-effective to do so and may actually cost more than mailing this size card at the First Class postcard rate. Bulk rate only offers discounts from the higher letter rate and does not offer lower postage for postcard size pieces.

Are there lower postage rates for Non Profit organizations?
Non Profit groups can apply to the U.S. Postal Service for approval to mail at special Non Profit postage rates. This class of mail is a lower priced Bulk Mail rate with the same delivery timeframes. Once this approval has been received, imageMEDIA can mail for your organization at this postage rate once you have sent us the proper documentation. This includes a completed Postal Service Form 3623 plus a request for additional entry on company letterhead signed by a responsible organization official. We will forward these documents to our local Post Office for their approval.

What if I want to mail the remaining leftover postcards?
Can I simply put them in the mailbox if they already have your “Postage PAID” indicia on them? 
We only invoice you for the postcards we will be mailing using imageMEDIA’s postal permit. In turn, we pay the Post Office for each piece mailed at the appropriate rate for the mailing class you specify. If you want to mail your leftover cards, you will need to place a postage stamp or meter imprint on each piece.

What is the Difference Between the Presort Rate and the Automation Rate?
Within Non-Profit Standard Rate there are two main rates, the presort rate and the automation rate. Both are sorted by Zip Code, but other preparation, mail piece design, and addressing requirements must be met. You should always try to qualify for the automation rate , which provides the best service and has the lowest postage cost. If you cannot qualify for the automation rate, then you will have to use the Presort rate. In this event, your postage and production costs will be higher. Check out our “prepare files to mail” section to determine if you will meet automation requirements.

Should I include a return address on my postcard?
This is all up to your preference. Including a return address enables you to update your list after each mailing. You also may benefit by reducing postage costs and increased sales (your information reaches who you intend it to). We mail all small postcards via First class mail, and bounced mail is returned free of charge.  When you send out your postcards via First Class Mail, the USPS automatically forwards your mail to individuals or companies that have moved and submitted a Change of Address (COA). However, that forwarding is only good for 12 months. For the next 6 months, the Post Office will return the pieces to the sender and indicate the new address that they have on file.

This service notifies the USPS to return the piece to you with updated address information.

What is Address Service Requested?
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED means you want them to forward the piece to the new address they have on file and to separately send you a notice with the new address information.

For Bulk Mail, both of these services are provided at an additional fee on just the forwarded or returned pieces. FORWARDING SERVICE REQUESTED is an endorsement that will forward pieces at no charge but will not provide a separate new address notification back to you. For all ASEs, your Return Address must be on the card. For more information on Ancillary Service Endorsements, visit the USPS website.

Where do you purchase your data?
Our mailing lists are the most accurate, detailed, and current mailing lists in the industry. The information for our mailing data comes from the world’s leading consumer and media information resources, such as: 

– Equifax 
– Dun & Bradstreet 
– InfoUSA 
– Melissa Data
– Acxiom

How do I know I’m buying updated and accurate data?
Our lists come from established and reputable sources such as infoUSA and Dun & Bradstreet. Addresses are updated weekly and telephone verified through a rigorous process. We do not hide our list vendors because we are not using unverifiable 3rd party lists and are confident of the data we purchase. With the volume of data we purchase, we are able to get you better prices than if you bought them directly from the list vendors. Also, by purchasing your mailing lists from us, we are able to give you expert one-on-one advice regarding your marketing campaign.