Bulk Mail Preparation
Advance planning is highly recommended to help ensure your bulk mail piece design and addressing standards are in adherence with postal regulations. Contacting ReproGraphic Services and Mail Services in the initial planning stage of your mail project will help reduce postage costs and assist in ensuring that your mail is processed and delivered in a timely manner. Typically, Mail Services will process and deliver a properly prepared bulk mailing to the USPS within 2-3 days of receipt. Generally, it will take the USPS an additional 3-4 days to complete delivery to the addressee. These are meant to be general guidelines and do not imply any type of promise or guarantee. Bulk mailings that do not meet USPS standards or are accompanied with incomplete paperwork will be delayed. Bear in mind that first class mail receives top priority both on campus and at the USPS.
1. In order to qualify for bulk rates, a mailing must consist of at least 250 pieces of identical content and weight. Maximum weight per piece is 15.99 oz.
2. There are two types of bulk mail: non-profit and regular. Mailings not approved for non-profit rates can be sent as regular bulk mail at a higher rate.
3. All bulk mailings sent to Mail Services must have a completed Volume Ticket Form (available from Mail Services), and a sample of the mail piece.
4. The SDSU logo or name must appear on the top line of the return address. A return address is mandatory on all bulk mail.
5. A self-mailer is any mailing that does not use an envelope. According to USPS requirements, paper on any self-mailer must be at least 60-lb. stock. Self-mailers must be secured with adhesive tags, wafers, seals or spot glue. Staples are not permitted.
6. Mail addressed to foreign countries cannot be sent as a bulk mailing. This includes Canada and Mexico.
7. As a rule, an indicia should be pre-printed in the upper right-hand corner on each piece (samples below):
8. Mail pieces with or without an indicia may not be commingled in a single bulk mailing. All pieces in a mailing must either have the indicia or none at all.
9. Envelopes that have been imprinted with an indicia should be reserved for use in a bulk mailing.
10. Mail sent in envelopes imprinted with an indicia will be returned to sender if the mailing does not qualify for bulk mailing rates. It will be the sender's responsibility to completely cover up the indicia (with an Avery label) or to replace the envelopes prior to processing by Mail Services.
11. There should be no markings such as "First Class," "Bookrate," etc., on any mail piece that is part of a bulk mailing. It will be the sender's responsibility to completely cover up any such markings (with an Avery label) or to replace the envelopes prior to processing by Mail Services.
12. Bulk mail sent to Mail Services in envelopes that require sealing will be subject to a charge of $.01 per piece, $10.00 per thousand. For larger envelopes, such as 9" x 12", the charge is $.02 per piece, $20.00 per thousand (note: we are unable to seal larger envelopes with the flap on the short side of the envelope). Please make sure that all of the envelopes are facing in the same direction with the flaps up.
Zip Code Listing for Bulk Mail without Indicia
Departments frequently send outgoing bulk mailings to Mail Services with mail pieces that don't have the permit indicia imprinted on them. When this occurs, Mail Services must affix (meter) postage to each piece.
The amount of postage that we apply to the mail pieces is determined by the number of pieces that are being sent to certain zip code prefixes. Those zip code prefixes are 919, 920, and 921. Zip codes beginning with the prefix of 921 have a San Diego City destination and those that begin with 919 and 920 have a San Diego County destination.
To help ensure proper postage is affixed and USPS requirements met, it is the responsibility of each department to provide Mail Services with a listing that provides specific information about each bulk mailing. The information includes number of pieces and a breakdown of the zip code prefixes contained in the mailing.
When providing us with zip code information, we need to know if there are 150 or more pieces being sent to any one of those 3 prefixes. (Note: This zip code information is used to determine postage amounts only. A mailing must still contain at least 250 pieces overall to qualify for bulk mail rates.)
A copy of a simplified zip code listing form is shown on the reverse side. Feel free to use it as a master and to reproduce as many copies is required. The important thing to consider when completing the form is to make sure that the information is accurate. Otherwise, incorrect postage may be applied to the mail pieces, and the USPS will reject the mailing when it is presented for processing.
It is not necessary to provide an exact count for each prefix, nor to physically sort and separate the mailing by zip code!
The best way to avoid having to prepare a zip code listing is to have the bulk mail permit indicia pre-printed on your mail pieces. Another option is to use a rubber hand stamp.