USPS Marketing Mail

USPS Marketing Mail ©

[ USPS' own information about USPS Marketing Mail here ]

The overall USPS Marketing Mail offering is the main advertising program offered by the USPS. It is comprised of seven products: Letters, Flats, Parcels, Carrier Route, High Density and Saturation Letters, High Density and Saturation Flats/Parcels, and Every Door Direct Mail.

The 2 main categories are:

  • USPS Marketing Mail
  • Non-Profit Mail

Almost all Marketing Mail is sent via these two categories, and are easily identifiable by their 'indicia' which is the 'permit imprint' at the top right of the front side of the envelope (herehere).

USPS Marketing Mail © 

USPS Marketing Mail used to be called 'Standard Mail', and you can still see that its indicia: PRSRT STD ("Presorted Standard"). It is mail that is "not required to be mailed as First Class". That's right, there IS a class of mail which is required to be mailed as First Class, and that is a good thing! Think of mailings like bills, 'statement of accounts', handwritten notes, and whether it contains any personal information. One could argue that if mail is considered 'important' by almost everyone's standards, it HAS to be mailed as First Class! The USPS has in fact a handy dandy flow chart for anyone to determine if their mail is considered Marketing Mail or First Class mail (here).

A mailer needs special authorization to uses these classes, and it's something a regular person, or even a small business wouldn't use. This category is for the big national mailers.

USPS Marketing Mail is significantly cheaper compared to First Class mail, but comes with reduced services and there are some rules associated with it:

  1. All pieces must be physically exactly the same (shape/size/weight)
  2. All pieces must have a minimum weight of 1 oz (max of 16 oz)
  3. At least 200 pieces (or 50 lbs) must be submitted at a time
  4. There is no forward-, or return service offered (unless requested)

(Note: Marketing Mail can also be mailed as First Class, but that advertising in that class is shrinking year over year as it's cost prohibitive for many mailers).

Non-Profit USPS Marketing Mail

[ Information about Non-Profit USPS Marketing Mail here ]

USPS Non Profit stamp


While part of the USPS Marketing Mail family of products, Non-Profit has it's own indicia as shown above. The USPS also offers a Non-Profit stamp, because a stamp is highly associated with First Class Mail, giving it more credence to this type of mail and of course increasing the likelihood that you open it. It's good marketing for sure, be it is disingenuous by obfuscating the true nature of the mail piece.

And how about this one... clever isn't it? The mailer paid 5c extra in stamps, but doesn't this look like it's regular mail?

Nonprofit mail with extra stamps

An organization is eligible to use Non-Profit USPS Marketing Mail if it is not organized for profit, and none of its net income accrues to the benefit of any private stockholders or individuals. One has to receive special authorization from the United States Postal Service (Being approved for nonprofit status by the IRS does not qualify an organization for the Non-Profit USPS Marketing Mail)


The other class of Marketing Mail is called "Every-Door-Direct-Mail"