Whenever you are preparing to do a good-size mailing, you should consider the pros and cons of sending it standard mail. Commonly referred to as bulk mail, standard mail can save for-profit companies about 40% off first class postage rates and nonprofits can save even more. To realize these significant savings, companies have to follow specific sorting, tagging and paperwork procedures and accept that their mail will take longer to arrive than if they send it first class.
How much longer? A widely-quoted rule of thumb is that standard mail will be delivered nationally within 10 to 14 days and locally within 4 to 6 days. If your mailing needs to arrive by a certain date, however, you may need a more precise estimate than this.
Fortunately, the USPS has set very specific standards for how long it should take to deliver mail from one three-digit zip code area to another, which you can review here. Simply specify “Standard Mail” and the first three digits of the zip code from which you are mailing the letters, click “Originating” and then click “Display Map” to see a map like the following:
What the map shows is that standard mail sent from zip codes starting with “200” (i.e., Washington, D.C.) should be delivered within 6 days to most places in the eastern third of the U.S. and within 9 days to everywhere in the continental U.S. While the map displays standards rather than actual performance, the Inspector General’s most recent operational review showed that the USPS has been meeting its bulk mail standards almost 90% of the time.
If both speed of delivery and postage savings are important, you should also consider commingling. Commingling companies like MailSmart Logistics pick up your mail from your shop, sort it with other mail, and deliver it directly to postal processing facilities close to its ultimate destination. Our research shows that our clients get the best of both worlds – they save an average of 12% versus regular standard mail postage and their mailing gets delivered 2.4 days earlier on average than it would otherwise.
If you’d like to learn whether commingling would be appropriate for your company, please call Debbie Sylvester at (302) 545-1629 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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