Postage Increase 2020

Most people don’t realize that the price list from the United States Postal Service is over 70 pages! There are countless categories and of mail and within each, size, weight and destination affects the price.

I generally tell people, the postage cost increases if your mail has to travel further distances.

Just take a look at page 16 for First Class Letters and Cards–aside from the weight, there are costs if Automation mail, Machinable vs Nonmachinable. Under Automation the 5-digit, AADC and Mixed AADC refers to the concentration of mail going to the same area.

So postage for a 1 ounce letter mailing can cost anywhere from 38.3 to 42.8 cents each, depending on where the mail is dropped and where it’s final destination is, among other things .

page 16 of the USPS Price List
Notice 123 • Effective June 23, 2019

For this reason, it is helpful to see how and where a postage increase will affect specific categories of the mail.

Thankfully a recent article in the most recent Mailing and Systems Technology magazine offers a visual analysis, How will the January 26 increase affect your budget.

Thanks to Adam Lewenberg’s analysis, we can see the specifics of the Jan 26, 2020 postage increase. Large envelopes weighing more than 2 ounces will be most affected with price increase of 4.3 – 21.4%. In fact, larger sized envelopes will see an increase across the board, especially nonprofit flat sized mail seeing as much as 14% increase.

Please feel free to contact me if you have a quick question about pricing,

The Power of Touch

Sappi North America, provider of fine papers for printing invested deeply to investigate the power of ink on paper and found…



Neuroscientists, psychologists, and other researchers have looked at how people interact with paper, comparing it to their interactions with other media in more than 100 published studies since the early ’90s. These studies dominantly show that people read best on paper for three reasons:

  • it makes content more intuitively navigable;
  • it facilitates better mental “mapping” of information;
  • and reading on paper drains fewer of our cognitive resources, making retention a little easier.

All of this is because paper is a physical, tangible medium. ¶

When you consider memory and comprehension, paper looks even better: studies show that when we read on paper we process information differently, sustaining a deeper level of interest.

Online reading is often purposeful and utilitarian, a kind of information foraging.

But paper directs attention and working memory much differently, with a resulting increase in what neuroscientists identify as knowledge rather than recall. ¶

Even “digital natives” are more likely to remember something longer when they read it on paper.  When touch is part of an experience, it helps shift the brain into the deep level of engagement most conducive to building knowledge.


The Eagleman Lab took this one step further and tested the effects of paper quality, finding that people who read about a company on heavy, high-quality coated paper understood and remembered the content significantly better than those who read on either lighter, lower quality uncoated paper or on a computer screen. What’s more, they had more positive feelings about the company


Change of Address Updating

It is estimated that 40 million Americans move each year and that 8% of all mail is undeliverable because of incorrect addresses.

Because undeliverable mail presents a strain to the USPS, the post office requires that discounted mail (such as bulk mailings) make efforts to have the correct address or use alternative addressing, such as Or Current Resident.

A standard part of our service for our clients is to run their mailing list through the USPS NCOA Link—National Change of Address link.

Our license fee offers us changes that have occurred in the past 18 months. It also identifies questionable addresses and non-mailable addresses. We generally return the results to our clients so they can update their database.

The lists we rent or purchase for our clients are usually already NCOAd by the list company.

There is now a service that will go back 35 years to find and change previous addresses—PCOA Plus—Premium Change of Address. In addition, it tracks name information to resolve multiple names or aliases, such as maiden names or initials

PCOA Plus will also confirm that the name associated with the address is current. And it includes 35-year deceased file processing.

Addressing/sending  mail to a deceased individual can cause anguish and anger to the living relatives.

Consider PCOA Plus if you are trying to find and connect to long lost donors, alumni and/or customers.

Contact for more information.

New Postage Rates effective January 27, 2019

The cost for first class stamp will increase to 55 cents ea on Jan 27, 2019. there are other changes but that is one of the biggest increases. But if you think about it, what else can you get for 55 cents? A letter across the country in 2 business days!

Some more good news is that the cost for each additional ounce in first class mail decreased to 15 cents ea (from 21 cents ea).

Meter (or permit imprint) increase from 47 cents to 50 cents each.

There are increases pretty much across the board of all classes of mail–first class presorted, commercial (bulk), nonprofit and package mail. However, the increases are nominal–and in especially the case of nonprofit mail, still very affordable!

Parcel prices increase 12% as the USPS tries to be more in line with parcel carriers.

Click here for a fact sheet summarizing the changes

Your list is a gold mine!

Your List—whether it be your customers, clients, donors, prospects… IS your Gold mine

Be sure to create and refine your mailing list to ensure you reach your target audience!

If you have your own list be sure to keep it updated—it’s estimated that 3-4% of the population moves every month.

Run your list through our NCOA—national change of address– and other software to clean it up and remove undeliverable addresses.

DMS will append your records with Return Codes that indicate whether there was a move in the past 18 months, what the new address is if available or whether their address is missing vital information for deliverability.

We can also append information to your list such as emails and phone numbers, where available.

If you are building a list, keep each piece of information such as first name, last name, street address, in separate fields so you can sort the database later. You can add fields such as y/n to receive newsletter or other notations about that record….and remember to back it up/store it safe—it is very valuable!

Identify & target your audience

If you want to reach all in a neighborhood or area….

–Occupant/Resident list for all of the mailing households and/or businesses cost is as little as 1 cent per record

If you wanted to reach specific residents, there are several consumer databases that offer more details such as age, income or presence of children, home value, mortgage loan info and many other details…

For one client to promote Kindergarten registration, the list targeted households in Allegheny County with presence of children ages 4 or 5 years old.

For specific educational offerings, lists of individuals can be selected who have completed high school, college or graduate school. In addition, specific occupations and income levels can be selected.

Or we can reach a very unique and specific set of folks, such as theatre goers. There is a list of those folks—and within that list there were 2400 that identify with the LGBT community

So think about your list! It is worth mining!

Post Card vs. Self Mailing Card

There is always a lot of confusion cards used for mailings.

postcard dimensions for USPSA postcard is treated as first class mail, so delivery is 1-2 business days. Postage for a single postcard is 35 cents each. We can presort your data and prepare postcards to get that postage as low as 26 cents each. Because of the smaller size, the thickness of the card is 7 pts, usually 80 lb cover stock works

Now if you need more room to show pictures and convey your message, you can print a bigger card…as large as 6 x 11. But since it is larger it has to be on thicker paper stock so it doesn’t get caught in the postal machinery, generally we use 100 lb cover.

Gloss coating usually works well for heavy ink coverage…

Self-Mailer Card Dimensions

Now if you were to mail the larger card to a minimum of 200 addresses we can prepare at marketing mail rates which are approx. 22 cents for local addresses. Marketing mail can take longer to reach mail boxes, anywhere from 3-14 business days.

So, it comes down to time (and or space) vs money.

Show Some Class–It Matters in Postal Mail!

I received a piece of mail from my college Alum association

Pitt Alumni mailer

Was surprised to see the permit was originally printed as First Class mail- which would have cost 66 cents ea

Saw they added Presorted, which brings postage down to approx 38 cents ea–that saved them approx $10,000 in postage (approx 100,000 mailed)

But, if they had prepared from the start as Nonprofit bulk mail
Pitt Alumni mailer if prepared as nonprofit mail
postage could have been as low as 9.3 cents ea and a savings of 26 cents ea or $26,000!!

It Pays to  Pay attention to the classification of mail and to properly design the mail piece for optimal postage savings!

Direct Mail Has a Greater Effect on Purchase Than Digital Ads

An in-depth neuroscientific study sponsored by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office (OIG) found direct mail ads to be superior to those viewed online in eight out of nine categories. Digital ads seized the attention of consumers quicker, but physical ads held that attention longer, elicited a greater emotional reaction, and played a more direct role in ultimate purchase decisions.

The MRI scans found that the postcards triggered the ventral striatum of the brain, the center of desirability and value. On that evidence, Temple researchers concluded that physical ads have a deeper and longer-lasting effect than digital ads on instilling desire for products and services.

see full study: OIG & Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making