The U.S. Postal Service rewards mailers whose mail pieces move effortlessly through their machinery with an automation discount.  In the quest to reduce your postal costs to the bone, make sure your mail pieces comply with these requirements:

Dimensions:  Mail pieces must meet the basic eligibility standards for Standard Mail specified in the USPS’s Domestic Mail Manual.  In general, letter-size envelopes must be 5 to 11.5 inches long and 3.5 to 6.125 inches high with a length divided by height aspect ratio between 1.3 and 2.5.  Envelopes may not be greater than ¼ inch thick and may not contain rigid objects such as pens.

Address Block:  The address block must be within the Optical Character Reader (OCR) area, which is between 5/8ths of an inch and 2¾ inches from the bottom of the envelope and excludes the areas within ½ inch of the right and left sides of the envelope as shown below:


Intelligent Mail Barcode:  While this was not the case until recently, to qualify for automation savings today, all pieces must contain a 65-bar Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb) that is unique for at least 45 days from the mailing date.  The IMb can be placed directly under the address or in the barcode clear zone which is in the bottom right hand corner.   If you decide to use the barcode clear zone, please make sure to add the word “Auto” to the left of the barcode outside the clear zone area.

In addition, each tray or sack needs to include an Intelligent Mail tray barcode (IMtb) and each destination-entry pallet needs to be labeled with a unique Intelligent Mail container barcode (IMcb).

Volume:  Each mailing must contain at least 200 pieces or 50 pounds.

Sorting:   Depending upon the number of mail pieces in each zip code, mail must be sorted in trays by 5-digit or 3-digit zip codes or by ADC.  Trays must be sleeved, strapped and tagged as required by the USPS.

Electronic Documentation:  The paperwork for your mailing must be submitted electronically via an approved USPS process.

To learn more about ways you can minimize your direct mail postal costs, please contact Debbie Sylvester at (302) 545-1629.


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