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Non-profits and for-profit businesses face a choice at the mailbox: how best to use postage to their advantage. Although at first glance it may not seem like a strategic decision, it can impact the timing of your mail delivery as well as the look of your envelope.  

What is USPS Marketing Mail®

USPS Marketing Mail is a class of USPS commercial mail that has strict requirements as far as weight, size, content, timing and more. It is frequently used to send marketing material, and cannot be used when another class of mail is required. The full list of requirements can be found here, and is further discussed in this Tension blog. It is different than First Class Mail®, which has its own strict requirements including, but not limited to, sending personal or financial information. 

Commercial Mail: The Basics 

The USPS describes commercial mail as large quantities of mail that are prepared for mailing at reduced postage. Contrast this with “single-piece” prices, where a single piece of mail like a birthday card or nonprofit donation has a stamp affixed to the upper-right side of the envelope. 

Marketing Mail: When to Use  

In 2018, the USPS finalized its transition of rebranding Standard Mail to Marketing Mail. By doing so, the USPS delivered a strong message about how they believe this type of mail is used. 

The USPS explains that Marketing Mail is typically used for advertisements and fliers.  This means it’s ideal for many of your direct mail campaigns. From store openings to special events and sale, USPS Marketing Mail can be an ideal, cost-effective way to reach your audience. 

What is the Difference Between Marketing Mail and First Class Mail® (FCM)?  

Envelope Hot Spots

When deciding between Marketing Mail and First Class Mail®, mailers take into account several key differences including price, timing of delivery, restrictions and the look of indicia.  

Your decision may be impacted by a tight budget as Marketing Mail is cheaper than FCM. Prices can be found here. Non profits who want to utilize Marketing Mail may be eligible for even lower rates. Your printer or Tension Associate should be able to provide more details on the costs difference between the two.

This decision between Marketing Mail and First Class Mail® often becomes strategic. There are deadlines to hit, for example, and First Class Mail promises faster delivery times. Additionally, the indicia, or the kind of stamp or postage mark, can impact the overall look of the envelope. Some believe that FCM, and especially the stamp, leads to better open rates.    

In summary, First-Class Mail service is faster and more trackable than Marketing Mail, but costs more. Marketing Mail service offers basic mail delivery and costs less. Select the best choice for your direct mail goals. For more information, contact Tension