Yes, the Post Office is changing their prices yet again. 

The emphasis being on changing because it doesn't automatically mean that is increasing rates. As a matter of fact, some prices goes down, some up; some rates are cut out entirely, like the 3-digit presort rates for letter-size mailpieces. There are few modifications in the services and their titles.

Here are the highlights of the latest postal rates and classification changes. The exciting news is that most of the adjustments are made with businesses and marketers in mind. There is no more "standard" aka "bulk" mail; now we are talking about "USPS Marketing Mail" rates. In addition to the new and improved tracking (link) capabilities, the new name might actually enhance the handling, delivery quality and delivery time.

The overall increase is with less than one percent, 0.87% to be precise.

Overall Postal Rates Increase

Key First-Class single-piece prices

Key First class single-piece prices

Key First-Class presorted rates (automation)

Key First Class commercial mail rates

Market Dominant Classification Changes

First-class

1. Eliminates the 3-digit presort, which will simplify not only the prices but the preparation process as well. The 3-digit will be combined with the AADC sortation.

2. Prices for pieces up to 3.5 oz will be the same as 1 oz. An additional 1.5 oz and 2.5 oz more than the single stamped letters! This will provide marketers the ability to include additional materials along with the main message.

3. Alternate postage will be renamed to "Share Mail". The new Share Mail will have one flat rate. Marketing agreement will no longer be required, and it will be included in the 2017 Earned Value Promotions.

Static and serialized IM Barcodes will be allowed.

USPS Marketing Mail, former Standard Mail

1. The Postal Office expects to influence businesses to include Direct Mail as a channel in their marketing mix.

2. There will be 18 months transition for the abbreviation for the new indicia.

Key USPS Marketing Mail rates (automation)

Key Marketing Mail rates

The rates above are for Automation preparation, Pieces entered at origin. EDDM Retail goes up only one thousand of a penny from 0.176 to 0.177

Another bonus the Postal Office grants to marketers is: the increase piece-price weight break for the marketing flats from 3.3 oz to 4 oz and marketing letters from 3.3 oz to 3.5 oz! The extra weight will allow for including additional materials which will add value to the marketing package.

Key USPS Marketing Mail Non-profit rates (automation)

Key Marketing Mail Non profit rates

Conclusion

The new USPS changes are more inspiring than discouraging.

The expansion of the 2017 incentive promotions will encourage new marketers as well as the integration of the digital marketing.

The will that Post Office shows for the integration of the traditional direct mail with the new digital marketing is especially exciting for us providers of the cross media or integrated marketing.

USPS Postal Rates Effective January 22nd 2017 Cheat Sheet

USPS Postal Rates January 22nd 2017
USPS bonus to marketers: piece-price weight break for flats from 3.3 to 4 oz!
Milena Marguenski
Milena is the owner and CEO of US Presort.
US Presort | 3801 Victory Blvd., Suite 1 - Staten Island, NY 10314 | P : 718.980.6556