There are different types of mail, called mail classes. You may be more familiar with some versus others, especially if you’ve ever sent out direct mail pieces as part of a campaign. The one you should choose depends on factors like the content of your mailing, how quickly you need to reach your customers, postage prices and presort requirements.
There are 2 Types of Business Mail Classes
First Class Mail
First Class mail comes at either a discounted rate or at full price. Full price is used when you stick a stamp onto a piece of mail manually. So, it’s usually for personal mail or low quantities. When used for business purposes, it’s most likely used at a discounted rate. To obtain this lower rate, you need a business mail permit and a minimum of 500 pieces. First Class Mail is not used for advertising purposes, but rather for a letter, bill or statement. It typically reaches the recipient in 2-5 days.
USPS Marketing Mail
USPS Marketing Mail is used for, yep-you guessed it, marketing! This is what mail class you would use if your mailing includes an obvious advertisement for a product or service or is clearly asking for a donation. There is a minimum of 200 mail pieces or 50 pounds of mail (whichever is less). This mail class also requires a business mail permit and rates are very discounted. These mail pieces typically reach the recipient in 3-10 days.
Note: nonprofit mail falls under this mail class but is priced even lower. In order to qualify, you’ll need prior authorization from USPS and there are additional rules and requirements.