USPS offers commercial mailers a free ounce for promo inserts

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In response to feedback from the mailing industry, businesses mailing automated or presort letters first-class can now mail letters weighing up to two ounces at the one-ounce postage rate, said U.S. Postal Service (USPS) spokesperson Patricia Licata on Jan. 26. The “2nd Ounce Free” initiative became effective this week.

Licata said that the USPS “communicates very regularly with customers through various organizations” representing commercial mailers. “We're almost like a partnership here,” she said. “What's good for them is good for us. We take very seriously their recommendations.”

Although businesses using automated presort letters are typically mailing bills or transactional statements, the new pricing will allow them to include up to an additional ounce that can be used for operational or marketing purposes at no additional cost, the USPS said in a statement.

Bills and statements delivered via First-Class Mail are opened more than 95% of the time and, on average, the receiver spends two to three minutes with each piece, the USPS said. “This makes transaction mail a highly effective medium for target marketing,” said Gary Reblin, VP of domestic products, in a statement.

The new pricing does not apply to single-piece letters mailed by consumers, but for commercial mailers, no registration is required, no annual minimum thresholds apply, and no payment rebates are needed.

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