usps_ratechangesFollowing last week’s review of the implications of the Intelligent Mail® barcode, this week’s post focuses on another aspect of the latest U.S. Postal Service changes: the increases to postage rates. Rate increases are the marquee item in each year’s USPS changes – and the ones that will have the biggest impact for most organizations. We’ll take a look at highlights of the changes and ways you can mitigate their impact and get more value from your mail.

2013 USPS rate increases take effect today

As it does each year, the USPS applied for the authority to raise postage rates for most classes and categories of mail. These postage increases may be significant to some organizations in a today’s challenging business climate, marked by tight margins. For example, First-Class Mail® presort letters and postcards have risen 2.555% overall, and flats by 2.675% overall. For Standard Mail®, letters have risen by 2.722%, and flats by 2.617%. The full set of changes also includes increases to additional-ounce pricing for First-Class Mail, as well as a few new categories and pricing tiers.

Strategies for adapting to the rate increases and changes

The good new for mailers is that there are steps you can take to offset the rising costs of sending mail. For example, the USPS has introducing a new Standard Mail price tier called “High Density Plus”, which for some mailers offers a less expensive option that the existing Saturation rate tier.

To make significant headway offsetting the rate increases, organizations will have to adapt their mailing practices and take greater advantage of mail technologies. For example, the Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMb®) is not only essential for continuing to benefit from automation rates, it can also help increase visibility into the progress of your mail to and from customers. When the IMb is combined with mail tracking technologies such as TrackMyMail from Pitney Bowes, the increased visibility can help speed up collections, avoid mail waste and make marketing programs more effective.

Another strategy to offset the rate increases is to ensure that more of your mail arrives at its destination and that fewer duplicates are sent. Mailing software such as Pitney Bowes SmartMailer™ 7 and SmartMailer™ Premium helps to reduce duplicates and undeliverable addresses from your system. It also enables more of your mail to qualify for automation discounts, which can result in significant savings. For example, mail with 3-digit sortation can cost 9.6 cents less than full postage.

With the right technologies and partners to help you, there are many more ways to help mitigate the negative impact of the USPS changes.


Get more ways to save in our full white paper, The 2013 USPS Rate and Service Changes: A Guide to Maximizing the Value of Your Mail.

Learn more about our reducing CASS errors with SmartMailer™ 7 and SmartMailer™ Premium, or find out how our mail tracking solution, TrackMyMail, can increase visibility into the progress of your mail to and from customers.