USPS Board OKs Odd-Shaped Mail Classification

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Customized MarketMail, a new postal classification recently approved by the USPS Board of Governors that will let direct marketers design more creative direct mail pieces, takes effect Aug. 10.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp., Winston-Salem, NC, said last week that it has signed on to use CMM.

Currently, for pieces one-quarter-inch thick or less, mailers cannot send non-rectangular pieces, irregularly shaped pieces or pieces that have holes and voids unless they are in a package, carton or envelope.

CMM allows such pieces as long as they meet certain requirements. Pieces may weigh up to 3.3 ounces and measure 12 inches high by 15 inches long and three-quarters of an inch thick.

Prices will be based on Standard Regular and Nonprofit Mail basic tier rates plus a residual shape surcharge. Postage rates for these mail pieces will be 57.4 cents for Regular Standard Mail and 46 cents for Nonprofit Standard Mail.

The Krispy Kreme mailing, which will go to 10,000 prospective customers living within a three-mile radius of three of its stores in Orange County, CA, will drop the week of Aug. 10.

"We are sending the mailing as a way to drive new and existing customers into our stores," Krispy Kreme spokeswoman Brook Smith said. "We are looking at it as a test for the region."

Though the final artwork is still being decided, Smith said that the mail pieces likely will be shaped like an open box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

To produce and fulfill the mailing, Krispy Kreme is working with ShipShapes, the first company to provide production of CMM. ShipShapes is a division of ImageWorks Manufacturing, Park Forest, IL.

ShipShapes estimates that per-piece costs will range from $1 to $3, including postage, drop ship costs and addressing.

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