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Mailing with Mossberg

By Katie Coughlin

Until you’ve handled a mailing or two, you might not realize the frequently changing rules and regulations imposed by the Postal Service.

For example there are specific rules that govern:

  1. Minimum and maximum sizes
  2. Allowable paper thickness
  3. The quantity and position of sealing tab(s)
  4. The placement and dimensions of the address panel
  5. The size of text for the indicia

With all of these regulations it is easy to get confused. This week we sat down with our in-house mailing expert, Mike Rice, to discuss some frequently asked mailing services questions.

What is the difference between Nonprofit, Standard Mail and First Class Mail?

Non-Profit mail is a subclass of the USPS Marketing Mail and is only available to qualified organizations by U.S. statute.  An organization must apply with the USPS to be approved to mail at Non-Profit Rates.  Non-Profit Mail can be a letter, flat or parcel and must meet a minimum quantity of 200 pieces or 50 pounds to mail.

Standard Mail is being changed to be called Marketing Mail.  Standard Mail usually consists of flyers, circulars, advertising, newsletters, bulletins, catalogs, or other printed pieces that are generally identical in content. Standard mail must meet a minimum quantity of 200 pieces or 50 pounds to mail.

First Class Mail is a class of mail that includes all matter wholly or partly in writing or typewriting, all actual and personal correspondence, all bills and statements of account, and all matter sealed or otherwise closed against inspection.  Any mailing can mail at First Class rates and must meet a minimum of 200 pieces or 50 pounds to mail but will not get the pre-sort discount until the mailing total reaches 500 pieces.

What is an indicia?

An indicia is the postage applied to a mail piece that informs the USPS as to what mailing permit is used for the mailing and to which account funds are to be drawn from.

How do I know if my mail piece meets postal regulations?

Mossberg & Company has trained operators to examine your mail piece design against the USPS regulations for each type of mailing.  If there is an issue with the design we will bring it to your attention along with the recommendations on how to re-design the piece.  We will not go to print unless the piece has been approved.

What is a mailing permit? Do I need to get my own permit for mass mailing and postage discounts?

A mailing permit is the same as the indicia, this lets the USPS know which account to draw the funds for the mailing and what type of class is used in said mailing.  Mossberg can mail for any customer on our permit in any class of mail (Non-Profit only for qualified customers). 

Using the Mossberg permit will still qualify you for postage discounts without the need to set up and operate your own permit.  However, if a customer is using a Business Reply permit than they will need to get their own permit.

What mailing list file formats do you accept?

Excel, CSV and Text files are accepted.  Each file must have dedicated columns as the addresses cannot float between different columns.

Can you eliminate duplicate records in my mailing list?

Yes, the default method is to look for the same person’s name at the same company, address and zip code.  We can adjust the criteria to look for Addresses only, same Company at the same address and zip, etc. if the customer needs their list filtered differently.

How long will it take to prepare my project for mailing?

We have an estimated turnaround time of 24 hours from when we receive the final lists to process and get a postage cost and mail count to the customer. The actual preparation of the mailing (print, fold, stitch and inkjet) will vary pending on the job.  Please discuss time frames for print and bindery work with your sales rep.

What can we do to get the price reduced?

Pending on the mailing project an adjustment in paper stock can change the postage and print cost.  Each type of mailing has minimum and maximum weight tolerances. 

For example, you are mailing a 48 page catalog and the piece is priced at the higher rate category you may change the stock to a lighter paper to lower the overall weight of the piece to get below the threshold.

What paperwork is required for mailing with Mossberg & Company? 

Mossberg requires all customers to fill out a Processing Acknowledgment Form (PAF) in order to process your mailing lists through the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This database makes sure the mailing is Move Update Compliant.  This form will be kept on file and is valid for one calendar year from date of signing.

What is Every Door Direct Mail?

EDDM is another mailing that is offered at Mossberg.  USPS® Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) is an affordable targeted advertising technique that lets you map your marketing mail audience by age, income, or household size. You can use the EDDM mapping tool to choose the zip code and carrier route that will target your best possible customers—current and future.  EDDM is a flat style mail piece and can be a single sheet or multiple page piece as long as it meets the size regulations.

Whew! That’s a lot to take in! In closing, we think it’s time to stop guessing and hoping that your mailing is being handled correctly. Contact your Mossberg & Company National Account Executive to get your pending direct mail projects into motion. There has never been a better time to leverage the expertise of Mossberg & Company’s mailing division, alongside the enhanced delivery options available from the United States Postal Service.



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