Customized MarketMail postage drops 30 percent under new prices

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Postal Service is alerting mailers that, under the new postal rates that went into effect May 14, the agency's Customized MarketMail drops 30 percent.

The Customized MarketMail classification lets direct marketers mail nonrectangular pieces that meet certain criteria without having to put them in a package or envelope.

Krispy Kreme was one of the first companies to use a CMM mail piece as an advertising vehicle, and the company said it received excellent results. Other companies have used mail pieces that depicted cowboy boots, the U.S. Capitol, puppies and motorcycles.

CMM pieces may be as large as 12 inches high by 15 inches wide by three-quarters of an inch thick. They may be as small as 3 1/2 inches high, 5 inches long and .007 of an inch thick. They can weigh up to 3.3 ounces.

Pieces must be delivered to USPS Destination Delivery Units, and there is a minimum of 200 pieces per mailing. Before the new rate case, prices for these rates were based on Standard Regular and Nonprofit mail basic tier rates plus a residual shape surcharge. Rates were 57.4 cents for Regular Standard mail and 46 cents for Nonprofit Standard mail.

The USPS said that included in the new prices that went into effect Monday are reduced prices for CMM because the surcharges that had accompanied non-rectangular pieces were dropped and CMM was placed in the Not Flat-Machinable category, a new category covers Standard Mail pieces with parcel-like characteristics, including rigid pieces.

Before the rate case, NFM pieces qualified as automation flats. Under the new standards, these pieces will be presorted, entered, and processed as parcels.

With CMM mail pieces being placed in the NFM category, CMM postage rates decreased by 24 percent to 46 cents for each Standard Mail Regular CMM mail piece and by 30 percent to 33.4 cents for each Nonprofit Standard Mail CCM mail piece.

While the new reduced postage prices make CMM a more cost-effective option for advertisers, the USPS reminds customers that the cost of production is another factor advertisers must consider when looking at CMM, as well as the fact that the mail pieces must be drop-shipped, which can be an added expense.

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