USPS Postal Rates and Promotions for 2024

Another round of postal rate changes has been approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). They go into effect Sunday, January 21, 2024. We’ve updated our Commercial Postage Rate Sheet covering the most widely used mail classes among our direct mail clients and how they’re changing.

Note: If you’d like more detail on other mail classes not mentioned here, make sure to visit USPS Postal Explorer or contact us and one of our mailing experts will be happy to help.

If you haven’t taken advantage of these postal discount programs in the past, it’s time to pay attention. In addition to discounts on postage, the USPS promotions can help you improve the ROI of your direct mail campaigns—making it a win-win for marketers. Each promotion incorporates direct mail best practices and encourages marketers to test new approaches, add interactivity, link to digital channels, and make mail more engaging for consumers. Download our USPS Postal Promotions Calendar below and be sure to reach out if you’d like to take advantage of these discounts!

Postage Rates for Popular Mail Classes

First-Class Mail®

Commercial pricing and automation discounts are available for presorted letters, flats, and packages with a minimum quantity of 500 mailpieces. To qualify, mailers must use a presort service, barcoding or other automation software, or outsource the mailing to a provider like Shawmut. Whether direct mailers use First-Class or Marketing Mail (which we cover below), commercial rates are based on sort levels, delivery zone density, and where mail enters postal operations.

For example, if you have a mailing of 10K pieces and 150 pieces are going to a 5-digit zip code like 90210, those pieces will get the 5-digit rate. If you have 150 pieces going to a grouping of 3-digit zip codes (90210, 90310, 90410) you get the 3-digit rate. Everyone else gets the mixed AADC rate and if you manually sort mail (without using an automation software) you get the presorted non-automation rate.

Letters: Up to 3.5oz

Automation 5 Digit (1 oz).498.507
Automation AADC.537.547
Automation Mixed AADC.561.571
Presorted (Machinable).576.586
Single Piece Retail.66.68

Flats: Up to 1 oz (additional ounce: .24)

Automation 5 Digit (1 oz).831.841
Automation 3 Digit1.0371.047
Automation AADC1.0981.108
Automation Mixed AADC1.2341.244
Single Piece Retail1.351.39

Postcards: Up to 1 oz

Automation 5 Digit (1 oz).355.357
Automation AADC.376.378
Automation Mixed AADC.388.390
Presorted (Machinable).404.406
Single Piece Retail.51.53

Marketing Mail®

Must have at least 200 pieces or 50 lbs of mail to qualify for Marketing Mail discounts. Delivery in 2–9 business days (not guaranteed). The max weight is 16 oz. Additional discounts may be available based on the mail entry point (DNDC, DSCF, DDU). Please contact us for more information.

Letters: Up to 3.5 oz

Automation 5 Digit.326.330
Automation AADC/ADC.361.365
Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.381.385
Non-Automation AADC/ADC.363.365
Non-Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.387.391

Flats: 4 oz or less

Automation 5 Digit.609.639
Automation 3 Digit.786.816
Automation AADC/ADC.893.923
Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.9761.006
Non-Automation 5 Digit.705.735
Non-Automation 3 Digit.852.882
Non-Automation AADC/ADC.916.946
Non-Automation Mixed AADC/ADC1.0071.037

In addition to sort levels, Marketing Mail is also eligible for destination entry discounts. That means if you can move your mail further into the postal system (either to a distribution network center or sectional center facility) you’ll get a discount because your mail is closer to its final destination. When you have large volumes of mail, destination entry discounts can really add up.

Marketing Mail® Nonprofit

Organizations wishing to mail at nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail prices first must be authorized by the Postal Service as eligible. Then, they must make sure that the material being mailed complies with strict requirements for nonprofit prices.

Letters: Up to 3.5 oz

Automation 5 Digit.171.173
Automation AADC/ADC.206.208
Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.226.228
Non-Automation AADC/ADC.208.208
Non-Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.232.234

Flats: 4 oz or less

Automation 5 Digit.384.400
Automation 3 Digit.561.577
Automation AADC/ADC.668.684
Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.751.767
Non-Automation 5 Digit.480.496
Non-Automation 3 Digit.627.643
Non-Automation AADC/ADC.691.707
Non-Automation Mixed AADC/ADC.782.798

Commercial Mailing Services Defined

AADC/ADC: An Automated Area Distribution Center (AADC) or an Area Distribution Center (ADC) sorts and sends mail for the same service area to the destination delivery unit (the local post office) where mail is put into delivery sequence for each carrier. The difference between an AADC and ADC is the volume of mail that goes through each center.

Mixed AADC/ADC: Mixed AADC/ADC means that the tray or sack has mail for multiple AADC or ADCs in an area. That means the USPS has to sort it and ship to the individual AADC or ADCs. This adds time and expense to the process.

Automation: Mail that is prepared in such a way that allows the USPS to utilize their equipment to read and distribute mail using a barcode, which includes the delivery ZIP code.

Presort: The sorting of outgoing mail by delivery ZIP code in order to take advantage of a cheaper rate of postage.

5 Digit: The delivery address ZIP code on all pieces is the same 5 digit ZIP code.

3 Digit: The delivery address ZIP code on all pieces begins with the same three digits.

Presorted (Non-Automation): Mail sorted by ZIP code which meets USPS labeling standards but does not meet postal automation criteria.

Postage Savings Opportunities for Direct Mail

Here are a few ways to optimize your mailing budget:

  • Move Away from Retail Rates: By using First-Class 1-ounce metered mail, you’ll save (versus non-metered First-Class 1-ounce letters). If you haven’t yet invested in a metered service or worked with a direct mail provider and you send a significant amount of mail per year, this is something you’ll want to consider.
  • Take Advantage of Presort and Automation Rates:
    • If you send a certain number of letters or cards at once (200 pieces for USPS Marketing Mail, 500 pieces for First-Class Mail), you can leverage a presort service and get discounts depending on the delivery density of your mail.
    • If you work with a direct mail provider to include Intelligent Mail Barcodes (IMB) in the address block, you’ll qualify for savings across the board.
    • Automation software includes address verification so you’ll reduce undeliverable mail and wasted postage.
  • Consider Marketing Mail: If your mail consists of generic content or advertising offers (versus personal correspondence or bills), send it via Marketing Mail which is less expensive than First-Class and offers destination entry discounts. Just be sure the estimated 2–9 business day delivery window meets your deadline. The more you can optimize each mail class, the more you’ll save.
  • Can You Send a Postcard? Postcards are one of the least expensive formats to send. If you’ve previously sent letters, try reformatting your offer as a postcard—you’ll save a considerable amount of postage. If real estate is an issue, you can always use your postcard to drive recipients to a website for more information.