Price changes for First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, Periodical, and Package Service take effect on January 22, 2017. For consumers that means that the First-Class Forever Stamp increases from 47 cents to 49 cents (which was the price of a Forever stamp when the exigent surcharge was in place).
For mailers, the amount of increase and in a few cases, decrease, varies by presort level and entry point for First Class and Standard mail.
For Standard or soon to be named Marketing Mail, the Postal Service has been evaluating the cost savings for destination entry letter mail. Origin entered mail rates have actually been lowered from 1% to 4%. For NDC entered mail there has been no change to the rates for most carrier route tiers, while presorted automation mail has been increased by approximately 2%. The Postal Service has evidently determined that the cost savings for SCF destinations has been overestimated, and those rates have increased from 2.4% to 3%.
Standard Mail is being rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail to better align the product name with customers’ use of this mail. Interestingly, we have already had clients ask if their indicia must now contain the words “Marketing Mail” rather than “Standard”. Some marketers don’t want to call attention to the fact that the mail is for marketing or advertising purposes rather than business mail, which is more likely to be opened by consumers. Postal experts in the industry have indicated to us that marketers will have their choice of using “Marketing Mail” or “Standard” on indicia imprints.
Highlights from the changes taking place January 22, 2017:
- First-Class Forever Stamp increases from 47 to 49 cents.
- Retail Postcards remain the same at 34 cents.
- One ounce meter price is being reduced to 46 cents.
- Presorted 3-digit and AADC categories have been combined for both First-Class and Standard Letters.
- First-Class presorted letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces now have a single price. Currently packages over 2 ounces have a significantly higher rate.
- Maximum weight for Standard Machinable Letters increases from 3.3 to 3.5 ounces.
- Standard rates are being realigned with origin entered mail rates being reduced, NDC rates remaining the same for Carrier Route and increased for automation, and SCF rates increasing from 2.4% to 3%.
For more information on how the rates may affect your direct mail programs, contact us at 847.588.4800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.