Yes, the US postage rates went up effective January 26, 2014. There is some good news, though. The USPS decided to continue the “Second Ounce Free” rates for First-Class Mail Presort and Automation Letters.
What is “Second Ounce Free”? Or “2nd Ounce Free”?
It’s a rate that allows you mail presorted First-Class letter mail that weighs up to 2 ounces each at the 1 ounce rate. The post office admits that it started 2nd Ounce Free “to slow the diversion of bills, invoices and statements to electronic channels.” It’s one of the best moves made by the US Postal Service, ever.
It’s highly effective for those who want to include extra marketing materials in with a billing statement mainly because studies (“The Future of Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment in North America”, by Info Trends) have shown that bills sent via US Mail are opened over 95% percent of the time. Think about it, you wouldn’t ignore a bill. And once opened, people spend an average of 2.5 minutes taking a peek at what’s in that statement envelope (“Trans Meets Promo… Is it More than Market Hype?” InfoTrends).
But it doesn’t only apply to bills, invoices and statements. It applies to any First-Class mailing that meets the other requirements for automation presort discounts. It does not apply to regular, Single-Piece First-Class letters or what the post office calls ‘risidual Single-Piece Letters’.
This special rate is perfect for fundraisers, and events — mailings that are time sensitive because you get First-Class Mail delivery and the advantage of that free second ounce for all those extra, persuasive marketing pieces and reply cards.
You can find out more about “Second Ounce Free” here: https://www.usps.com/business/first-class-mail-for-business.htm?
Or better yet, contact us and we’ll deal with the tricky details, inserting and presort the mailing for you.
If you can think of other uses for 2nd Ounce Free, please share in the comments below.