Physical Standards (201)
Maximum weight: 3.5 ounces.
Heavy letter mail weighing more than 3 ounces must have a barcode in the address block and be prepared in a sealed envelope under 201.3.6.
For an overview of the physical standards for commercial letters and cards, see Quick Service Guide 201.
Prices and Fees (243.1.0)
For a complete listing of commercial USPS Marketing Mail prices, see Notice 123–Price List.
Letters that weigh more than 3.3 ounces pay nonautomation.
There are no USPS Marketing Mail card prices; cards may be mailed at letter prices.
Destination discounts apply to mail prepared as prescribed by USPS and addressed for delivery within service area of destination NDC/ASF or SCF (246.2.0).
Annual presort mailing fee applies.
Letters containing mailable items not required to be sent using First-Class Mail can be sent using USPS Marketing Mail. USPS Marketing Mail is typically used for advertisements and flyers. Additional content restrictions must be met for authorized nonprofit mailers (703.1.0).
Eligibility Standards (243.7.0)
Mailings of 200 or more addressed pieces must be 100% delivery point or Intelligent Mail barcoded (204.1.0), sorted, and marked as described below. All pieces must be automation compatible (201.3.0). Pieces are eligible if not required to be mailed at First-Class Mail prices or not eligible for Periodicals prices. Nonprofit prices require specific authorization (703.1.0).
Each piece must also include a complete delivery address with correct ZIP Code or ZIP+4 code.
For address standards, see 243.7.6; for barcode quality standards, see 204.1.0 and CASS/MASS standards in 602.9.0.
Addresses matched using CASS/MASS-certified process within 180 days before mailing date.
All letter-size reply cards and envelopes (Business Reply Mail, Courtesy Reply Mail, and metered reply mail) provided as enclosures must meet the standards in 201.3.17.
Mailers can apply Repositionable Notes. See 202.7.0.
Addresses on all pieces must be updated within 95 days before mailing through a USPS-approved address update method (e.g., ACS, NCOALink, or the appropriate ancillary service endorsement (except Forwarding Service Requested) under 507.1.5.3). For an overview of the Move Update standards, see Quick Service Guide 602a.
Postage Payment and Documentation (244)
Precanceled stamp (604.3.0), meter (604.4.0), or permit imprint (604.5.0).
Additional standards apply to mailings of nonidentical-weight pieces.
Mail Preparation (245.7.0)
Marking on each piece in the postage area (202.3.0):
- Regular: “Marketing” or “MKTG” or “MKT”, “Standard” or “STD”, “Presorted USPS Marketing” or “PRSRT MKTG” or “PRSRT MKT”, “Presorted Standard” or “PRSRT STD.”
- Nonprofit: “Nonprofit Organization,” “Nonprofit Org.,” or “Nonprofit.”
Note: Both markings (e.g., Mktg or STD) are acceptable in the same mailing.
Pieces with a Intelligent Mail barcode printed in the barcode clear zone must also bear an “AUTO” marking. For price markings applied by a MLOCR, see 202.3.8. Pieces not claimed at an automation price must not bear an “AUTO” marking unless First-Class Mail single-piece postage is affixed or a corrective single-piece price marking is applied.
When preparing full trays, mailers must fill all possible 2-foot trays first; if there is mail remaining for the presort destination, mailers must use a combination of 1-foot and 2-foot trays that result in the fewest total number of trays for that presort level.
Barcoded tray labels required (245.4.0).
Trays on pallets (705.8.5) are permitted and preferred.
Trays must be sleeved and strapped (246.3.4). See 245.3.0 for exceptions to strapping for mailings that originate and destinate in delivery area of same SCF. Strapping not required on trays placed on 5-digit, 3-digit, and SCF pallets that are secured with stretchwrap.
Traying Sequence (245.7.5)
Trays: Optional, but 5-digit/scheme trays required for price. 150-piece minimum to same 5–digit/scheme destination; only one overflow tray permitted per destination. 2
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1: For 5-digit scheme trays, use destination in L012. For 5-digit trays, use city, state, and 5–digit ZIP Code on mail.
Trays: Optional, but required for AADC price; at least 150 pieces to same AADC (see L801); group pieces by 3-digit/scheme; only one overflow tray permitted per destination. 2
Optional: One less-than-full tray may be prepared for any remaining pieces for the AADC of SCF serving post office where mail is verified.
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, use L801, Column B, for destination facility.
Trays: Required for all remaining pieces placed in mixed AADC trays; group pieces by AADC when overflow pieces from AADC trays are placed in mixed AADC trays; only one less-than-full tray permitted per mailing.
Barcoded Labels: For Line 1, L011, Column B (for NDC/ASF entry, use L010, Column B).
Price: Mixed AADC
Bundling not permitted except for mailings of card-size pieces and for pieces in overflow and less-than-full trays. The maximum thickness for a bundle is 6 inches.
1. For the 5-digit price, all possible 5-digit scheme trays must be prepared, then all possible 5-digit trays.
2. Instead of preparing overflow trays with fewer than 150 pieces, mailers may include these pieces in an existing qualified tray of at least 150 or more pieces at the next tray level. The price is based on the overflow tray that would have been made (i.e., pieces placed in a AADC tray in lieu of 5-digit overflow trays are eligible for the 5-digit price). Pieces placed in the next tray level must be grouped by destination and placed in the front or back of the tray. This option may be used selectively for AADC ZIP Codes. The overflow option does not apply to origin/entry AADC trays.
3. Use “5D BC” on 5-digit trays; use “BC 5D SCHEME” on 5-digit scheme trays.